Supermarket spending dipped in August as people went back to restaurants, figures showed, but shoppers still spent more than last year.
Fraser McKevitt, an analyst at Kantar, said that the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which gave diners discounts in restaurants during the month of August, had helped push people back to their normal routines leading to a £155m drop in supermarket spending.
However, consumers still spent £9.6bn on groceries in August compared to £8.9bn in the same month last year, and spending increased by 10.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to September 6.
Mr McKevitt said: “Diners’ confidence built throughout the month and footfall increased during each week of the scheme, culminating in the final bank holiday Monday when dining out accounted for a two and a half times greater share of consumer spend than the pre-Covid average.
“Fewer meals eaten at home meant consumers spent £155m less in the supermarkets in the four weeks to 6 September compared with July.”
The discount scheme entitled diners to up to £10 per person off their bill on Mondays to Wednesdays and was launched by the Treasury to protect jobs in the restaurant sector.
The Kantar figures also showed that alcohol sales were also down month-on-month, with spending on wine falling by five per cent and beer by 10 per cent.
Mr McKevitt said this was down to consumers “swapping the Zoom catch ups for their favourite bars and restaurants”.
Spending on hair-styling products increased by 17 per cent as people “reignited” grooming regimes as they began to see their friends and colleagues in person post-lockdown, he added.
Online grocery sales were up by 77 per cent year on year in the past four weeks, bringing the cumulative increase in orders to £3.2bn since lockdown began.