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From avocados to energy drinks: The fastest-growing grocery products of 2017 show our changing tastes

PUBLISHED: 08:48 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:38 15 December 2017

File photo dated 30/07/14 of fruit, as fresh fruit and sparkling wine were among the fastest-growing grocery products of the year as consumers defied rising prices to eat healthily and indulge at home, figures show. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

File photo dated 30/07/14 of fruit, as fresh fruit and sparkling wine were among the fastest-growing grocery products of the year as consumers defied rising prices to eat healthily and indulge at home, figures show. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Consumers defied rising prices to eat healthily and indulge at home, show new figures which reveal the most popular new products of 2017.

Fresh fruit and sparkling wine were among the fastest-growing grocery products of the year as consumers defied rising prices to eat healthily and indulge at home, figures show.

Shoppers in the UK spent £176.4m more on fresh fruit this year than they did last year, according to Nielsen’s annual analysis of till sales at supermarkets and convenience stores.

Sales of “free from” products, such as those without gluten or dairy, soared by 18.7% alongside a 10.7% increase for sparkling wine, while other categories to see a rise in popularity were hand-held ices, up 6.9%, bottled water (6.7%) and ale and stout (6%).

Sales of spirits rose £152.3m and shoppers spent an extra £80.3m on sparkling wine, while ale and stout became a bigger market than instant coffee.

Avocados were the third fastest growing individual product of the year, with shoppers spending £29.8m more on them than last year, behind the Budweiser brand, which saw a sales increase of £49.2m and energy drink Monster, up £31.3m.

Ian Mansley, Nielsen’s head of grocery analytics, said: “Supermarkets have done a good job at protecting shoppers from the brunt of rising costs. However, it’s still been an anxious year for households about their grocery bills.

“Despite rising prices, shoppers still want to treat themselves with good quality and healthier food but also indulging and enjoying oneself by drinking and dining more at home, particularly if households look to cut costs by not going out as much.”

The Grocer editor Adam Leyland said: “Brits can’t get enough of avocados, particularly the middle classes for whom its super-food qualities - high in fibre, oleic acid, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium - make it an ideal staple in salads, on sandwiches and even in protein-packed smoothies.”

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