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Ocado sees boost in customers looking for vegan Christmas

The increase in searches was revealed as the firm said a product review of new partner M&S found its prices are the same as or cheaper than Waitrose.

Ocado has revealed a boost in sales and said shoppers are searching for more vegan options this Christmas (Ocado/PA)
Ocado has revealed a boost in sales and said shoppers are searching for more vegan options this Christmas (Ocado/PA)

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Online supermarket Ocado said it has seen a surge in customers searching for vegan and gluten-free Christmas options as it reported a jump in sales.

The company also said plans to launch Marks & Spencer products on its site from September are progressing well and recent surveys show customers are warming to the new plans.

Finance chief Duncan Tatton-Brown said research shows “sales lost is coming down and the customer attractiveness to the new offer is coming up”.

He added that a review of M&S products against Waitrose ones found the former’s are “at the same price or lower, and of the same quality or better for the majority of those currently supplied by Waitrose”.

Ocado currently has a price promise, where it vows to match Tesco – excluding promotions – but Mr Tatton-Brown declined to confirm whether the system will remain in place after the M&S launch.

For the festive season, the company revealed the top five best-sellers are smoked salmon, organic carrots, broccoli crowns, books of Christmas stamps, and mince pies.

Customers are also getting more organised, with Christmas delivery slots filling up faster than ever before, with an increase in searches for party food.

For the 13 weeks to December 1, Ocado Retail’s revenue rose 10.8% to £429.1 million, although this was slower than the 11.4% growth in the preview period.

Average orders per week rose 10.4% to 350,000, with an average order value of £104.90.

Ocado Retail is now a joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer, after the latter bought a 50% stake to enter the online marketplace earlier this year.

PA

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