Sainsbury’s reveals food trends and top regional purchases with Nectar’s ‘Year in Review’

  • Londoners revealed as the number one buyers of eggs last year whilst the West Midlands craved the most instant coffee*
  • Sales of flour rose 102% in April as Brits baked their way through the first lockdown
  • While they couldn’t travel, Brits took their tastebuds on tour and tried different world cuisines
  • The cuppa kept us going, with tea sales up 6% and biscuits up 5%

Sainsbury’s reveals the top taste trends that swept the nation in 2020 as well as what food we favoured in a year like no other. Using data from 18 million Nectar customers, we can see just how the different regions shopped and cooked over the past 12 months.

These insights accompany Nectar’s annual ‘Year in Review’ which launches today. At the end of each year, selected Nectar customers are provided with a personalised playback of their shopping habits and fun facts about their purchases throughout the year. The top regional buying habits are also available to view at

At the end of 2020, it was revealed that Londoner’s couldn’t get ‘un oeuf’ of eggs, with the region producing the number one buyers of eggs last year. In comparison, the West Midlands saw the highest purchases of instant coffee per person in the UK. Further to this, those in Wales purchased a staggering 1.2 million bananas, whilst health conscious people in the South West purchased more than 360,000 portions of kale*.

From the start of the first lockdown, Brits turned to baking to pass the time, with sales of flour in April rising 102% as sourdough starters and pizza bases were kneaded. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was banana bread that proved to be the most popular bake, pushing sales of the fruit up 17% in London alone.

In May, Britons flipped from bread to burger buns as they relished the sunny weather and made the most of BBQ season, with burger sales increasing by 22.2%.

By Autumn, Britons’ desire to scratch cook dwindled, but their inquisitiveness over cuisine did not. As customers couldn’t travel, they decided to take their tastebuds on tour, especially across Chinese and Thai world foods which grew by a third.

Many took the opportunity to go on a health kick in the autumn, as customers purchased more than 20 million portions of fruit and veg in September alone, as a result of Nectar’s fruit and veg challenge.

In a year when many needed a break, it was the KitKat that took the biscuit as the most prolific partner for customers shopping for tea.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “2020 has been a year like no other. With more time spent indoors, as a nation we’ve really stepped up to the plate and taken the opportunity to get creative in our kitchens, collectively cooking and baking our way through the year. Despite all the experimentation however, it’s also heart-warming to see the humble tea and biscuit continued to be a comforting staple in our customers’ homes as we all navigated a truly extraordinary year. We hope our customers can enjoy some light-hearted facts about their shopping habits in 2020 in a way that’s completely personalised to them.”

*Year in review figures are internal Figures sourced internal Sainsbury’s data from 1/1/2020 to 30/11/2020. The data is intended to be representative of shopping behaviour. We may not have got it spot on this time, but we are working hard to be more accurate.

All other data sourced by Nectar between 14 December 2019 – 12 December 2020 year-on-year.

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