WAITROSE STIRS UP STRONG SALES AS CUSTOMERS PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS Waitrose has announced sales of over £98m for the week ending Saturday 20th November (including petrol) . This is 8% up on the same week last year. The figures are particularly impressive when considering the supermarket’s strong performance this time last year. Compared with the same week two years ago sales grew by 24%. Today (Sunday 21st November) is ‘Stir up Sunday’ when tradition dictates that Christmas cakes should be baked. So it’s no surprise that Delia’s Classic Christmas Cake Prepared ingredients pack, containing ready- measured portions of dried fruit, already soaked in brandy, and baking ingredients, is the hit of this week’s sales with one pack selling every seven seconds. Commenting on the week’s sales performance, Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director, said: “Our strong sales figures show that Christmas preparations are well underway as customers stock up with festive fare for their freezers and store cupboards. Delia’s cake ingredients pack is the fastest-selling Christmas product Waitrose has ever had at this stage in the run-up to the holiday season.” Based on Delia’s 40 year old recipe, this innovative product, which Delia has adapted especially for Waitrose, has been selling in tens of thousands. Customer demand has been so strong that branches have been pulling out all the stops to keep shelves fully stocked with what is proving to be a must-have. Speaking about the success of the cake, Delia commented: “For people who've never made a Christmas cake, or are too busy, having everything prepared and weighed makes it incredibly easy. In terms of encouraging people to cook and experience the joy of home baking this is an absolute first". This week also saw a brisk trade in cake-making accessories for Delia’s recipe with deep round cake tins, baking parchment and cake tin liners proving big sellers. Waitrose has also sold 50 times more marzipan than during the same week last year and 40 times more ready rolled icing - enough to cover an Olympic-sized ice rink. Even the star shaped cutters that Delia has used to create the stylish icing design for her cake are selling in thousands, along with thousands of tubs of silver balls.