“In recent years national events like the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were accompanied by a rise in food and grocery sales as shoppers celebrated at home with family and friends,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive.
“While there may not be a public holiday this time, we expect the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son to be another ‘oasis moment’ that boosts shoppers’ sentiment and encourages them to buy quality British products to toast his arrival,” she said.
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, agreed that the royal birth would deliver increased food and drink sales. “At the margin, the royal birth may provide the economy with a temporary, small positive boost at a time when it seems to be increasingly moving in the right direction,” Archer told The Daily Telegraph.
£240M to the British economy
The Centre for Retail Research predicted the birth could add more than £240M to the British economy in additional sales of drink, food and memorabilia.
The McMullen Brewery of Hertfordshire has launched its Heir Raiser beer in response to the birth of the, as yet, unnamed future monarch.
The brewery’s production and sales director Fergus McMullen said before the happy event: “We are eagerly awaiting the birth of the prince or princess. And as part of our seasonal brews, we thought it [Heir Raiser] would be ideal to wet the baby’s head.”
Meanwhile, the latest IGD ShopperVista research revealed shoppers were becoming more optimistic. Those expecting to become worse off over the coming year dropped from 51% in January to 40% in June 2013. “That’s the least pessimistic shoppers have been since we started tracking sentiment three years ago,” said Denney-Finch.
Baby food facts from Mintel
• Nine-in-10 (89%) parents in Britain with a child aged up to four years feed homemade food.
• 66% of parents claim to trust homemade baby or toddler food over manufactured baby food.
• One-in-five (20%) British parents let their baby choose what he or she wants to eat.
• The UK baby food, drink and milk market recorded a 53% leap in value sales between 2007 and 2012 to reach £617M.
• Baby milk is the largest sector of the UK baby food and drink market, valued at £359M in 2012, accounting for 58% of the total market share.