Coffee sales grow as luxuries top the list

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Ground coffee was the fastest growing category for UK supermarkets last year as shoppers "ditched essentials in order to keep luxuries."

Sales of roast and ground coffee at Britain’s biggest supermarkets rose by 13.1pc to £220.2m in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to research company Nielsen.

Consumers are turning their backs on the likes of Tesco (Other OTC: TSCDY - news) and Sainsbury’s when it comes to frozen foods and even bread, milk and tea, instead shopping at “discounters” like Aldi and Lidl for their “staples”, Nielsen said.

Frozen desserts and ready meals were among the fastest falling product categories.

However, shoppers aren’t rejecting supermarkets’ other convenience products sales of “instant pot snacks” grew by 12.7pc to £182.9m, making it the second fastest growing category.

“Canned pasta” and instant coffee also proved popular, while supermarkets’ own brand soups, bagged snacks and ice cream also saw significant sales growth over the period.

Excluding fresh food, Britons spent £78.2bn on groceries in large supermarkets last year up by just 2.9pc.