by Ross Haig
With consumer confidence seemingly on the rise again after a difficult year on the high street, demand for luxury food items has rocketed. Aisles once filled with discount and value brands are seeing the return of their expensive counterparts, following on from figures released earlier this month which showed that a 2.8% sales increase at Tesco included significant growth in their Finest food lines. Last week the supermarket launched a Finest Restaurant range which includes dishes such as the Roasted Peppers and Cream Cheese Pasta Tartlets with Basil Dressing. Retailing at £5, it’s a significant step up from a 75p Value Lasagne.
Similarly, while 2008 was all about the rise of cut-price retailers such as Lidl and Aldi, upmarket supermarket Waitrose is now the UK’s fastest growing food chain after a 10.2% surge in sales. It’s reassuring news for retailers after an uncertain 12 months.