Retail sales show rising demand for healthier lifestyles, but will this be a temporary blip?

Commenting on the latest retail sales figures published by the Office of National Statistics, Andrew Westbrook, RSM’s head of retail said:

‘The latest ONS figures reveal that the value and quantity of food sales dropped considerably in January as consumers tightened their belts after the Christmas binge. Despite the strong competition between supermarkets to suppress the cost of an average food basket, price inflation has impacted on cost-conscious consumers. We have also seen a trend towards healthier eating, driven in part by campaigns such as Veganuary.

‘We can also see the impact of consumers’ desire for healthier lifestyles in the non-food statistics. Consumers appear to have responded positively to New Year’s resolutions to get fit, leading to a rise in sales of sports equipment such as trainers and gymwear. As a result, retailers have been more resilient post-Christmas than many people had feared. It remains to be seen whether this trend for healthier lifestyles will be a longer term trend or a temporary blip.’