Mince pie capital of the country revealed in new Central England Co-op Christmas research

Central England Co-op has revealed some of its best-selling products and Christmas shopping habits in recent years as its customers stock up for a very different festive period in 2020.

New research conducted by the Society involving over 260 food stores spread across 16 counties has found the best-selling items across the festive season last year, including which part of its trading area couldn’t get enough mince pies.

After a big 15 per cent rise in mince pie sales the previous year, sales somewhat flattened last Christmas and in fact, it was Christmas puddings that saw a resurgence in popularity with a 31 per cent growth year on year.

The research also looked at where in the Central England Co-op trading area mince pies proved particularly irresistible to customers.

It revealed that our Suffolk stores saw the biggest percentage of customers popping a box of the festive favourites in their baskets, closely followed by our Marston Moretaine store, in Bedfordshire, in second and our Stafford stores in third.

The research also shone a light on what were the top sellers last Christmas in all ranges, and there were some interesting results.

In wines and spirits, prosecco remained the Christmas tipple of choice with the Co-op Irresistible Prosecco at number one and seeing a huge jump in sales, over 48 per cent up on the previous year.

However, there was also big growth in fortified wines, with port up over 36 per cent, in low alcohol, up over 18 per cent and in miniatures which saw a huge 57 per cent jump in sales last Christmas.

In terms of desserts, the best sellers were old classics with the humble trifle still often the choice for Central England Co-op shoppers with the Co-op Strawberry Trifle (600g) most popular, growing 27 per cent year on year and selling 14,839 last Christmas.

Finishing the meal with some cheese and biscuits also seemed to be popular with shoppers with cheese sales up 28 per cent, while crackers also saw a growth of over 15 per cent.

Everyone likes a Christmas buffet and Central England Co-op shoppers certainly did last year with the retailer’s frozen seasonal party food range seeing a rise of over 17 per cent year on year, with the most popular item in the range the Co-op 10 Gluten Free Tempura Prawns (140g) with over 2,440 sold, up 15 per cent.

Marta Foley, Customer Analytics Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “The research shows that our customers and members are keen to enjoy the Christmas period with seasonal favourites and products that suit the time of year and after a challenging 2020 we expect shoppers to want to enjoy Christmas with comforting and familiar festive offerings.

“We are stocking our stores with lots of festive treats, as well as some great new products to appeal to customers wanting to try something different, while ensuring that those important everyday items that remain popular all year around are still readily available.”

Find out more about what ranges are on offer in Central England Co-op stores, how the retailer is supporting its communities and festive recipes at

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