Brits celebrate first sign of spring and reach for picnic food and sun cream

13 Apr 2013

Weather forecasters’ promises that Brits will see the sun and feel spring warmth for the first time this year are sending shoppers racing to stock up on barbecue and even picnic products. Sales of salad foods, sun cream and ice cubes are expected to soar on Saturday and Sunday, said Tesco. Significant temperature changes and levels of sunshine impact customers’ buying habits instantly – pushing demand for some products up and making others less appealing.

Weather forecasters’ promises that Brits will see the sun and feel spring warmth for the first time this year are sending shoppers racing to stock up on barbecue and even picnic products.

Sales of salad foods, sun cream and ice cubes are expected to soar on Saturday and Sunday, said Tesco.  Significant temperature changes and levels of sunshine impact customers’ buying habits instantly – pushing demand for some products up and making others less appealing.  

The first good weather has a bigger impact on customer behavior than sunny spells during the summer months do.  This weekend, forecasters predict gloom for some regions but sunshine for others. Tesco’s advanced store ordering system adapts for 15 different regions.  

Tesco store ordering project manager Ben Lister said: “The weather has been miserable for so long that customers will take the opportunity to have barbecues and picnics.

“We’re sending lots more ice cubes, firelighters, bread rolls, corn on the cob, single ice creams, peaches and chilled dressings into stores in those regions.

“Our suppliers can also see what we’re likely to want more of over the next 7 days since we launched our Tesco Connect system to share our information to help them plan and cut waste.”

A surprising uplift in antipasti is expected.   Consumers have developed a taste for olives, sundried tomatoes and other Mediterranean favourites.  Sales are due to rise by 30 per cent on Sunday. More traditional salad foods will also be in hot demand.

Said Tesco’s salad and dips buyer, Helen Dwyer: “We expect to see sales of coleslaw rise by up to 200 per cent in the warmest parts of the country and quiches up by 80 per cent on a normal weekend.”

Good weather is arriving just in time for the British berry season.  It will boost demand for British strawberries by 60 per cent, with most demand in the south. Customers are also expected to buy 400,000 heads of iceberg lettuce and 600 tonnes of cherry tomatoes.

Tesco meat, fish and poultry buyer Ashley Chatterton added that demand for barbecue meats will rise by up to 85 per cent in the warmest places – including 20 tonnes of barbecue ribs.

Messages about staying safe in the sun – especially after a prolonged wintry period of wrapping up warm – have landed. Sun care sales will rise by 20 per cent, said Tesco’s health and beauty team. 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Delivering for customers

  • Tesco’s advanced store ordering system ensures reliable product availability and reduces waste.
  • Last year, the store ordering system helped avoid over £6m in food waste, through careful management of stock. 
  • This type of innovation allows Tesco to maintain low prices for its customers.

The team

  • Tesco has a team of nine technology experts responsible for research, development and implementation of its automated store ordering system. 
  • This team draws on its wealth of academic and industry experience, including expertise in Formula 1 racing systems, to develop Tesco’s bespoke capability.

Advanced store ordering system

  • Tesco has developed an automated real-time store ordering system which combines weather data and customer behaviour modeling to produce pinpoint accurate predictions for demand in stores spread across the UK.
  • The system, which handles 38 million cases and over 2,000 stores per week, is the first of its kind.
  • The system is the culmination of 15 years of research and development.
  • The system uses five years’ worth of weather data, and data on every product, in every store, on every day.  This means order modelling is based on live sales data and the supply chain can be informed by what is happening on the shop floor.
  • Customer behaviour is predicted for 15 different regions based on factors such as day of the week, time of year, location, and store format, and then cross-referenced with a calendar of hundreds of UK events such as football matches and bank holidays.
  • Live weather data is automatically introduced into the ordering system three times a day.  Within 15 - 30 minutes of this data being introduced, the system will automatically updated to reflect any new information.
  • Sales forecasts update for each product, in each store, stock records update in real time, and orders automatically increase, or decrease as required.
  • This is then reflected in store within 24-48 hours.  Stock can be reallocated to different parts of the country, depending on the local weather, and buffer stocks can be released to reach demand.
  • The robust and accurate system means Tesco can work closely with suppliers to plan demand for products, allowing us to give customers what they want as soon as they want it.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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