Mangos, melons and mushrooms - what we're buying to make us healthier in the new year 

Wooden Co-op sign with hanging plant

Central England Co-op data reveals spending habits over the new year - Credit: Central England Co-op

This month, thousands of people across Norfolk and Suffolk are taking part in Dry January and Veganuary as well as attempting to combat over-indulgence during the festive period. 

So it comes as no surprise that shoppers' spending habits have flagged up some interesting food and drink purchases recently. 

New data from Central England Co-op has revealed the buying habits of shoppers looking to make a fresh start in 2021. 

Highlights of the study showed health food sales were up by 12.3pc, with a rise in popularity for vegan snacks, speciality milk and milk substitutes were up by 32pc, and low alcohol drinks saw a 32pc rise in sales. 

In terms of fruit, stone fruits and melons saw significant gains in popularity this month. Co-op mangoes saw an 86pc rise in sales, while Co-op cantaloupe melon saw a rise of 59pc year on year. 


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For vegetables, loose broccoli florets were a popular purchase, up 56pc year on year, while organic veggies such as Co-op organic mushrooms were up 20pc and Co-op organic cauliflower up 43pc. 

But the biggest growth in vegetables were Co-op hot mixed chillies which saw an 81pc rise.  

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Herbs and spices also saw a rise from last January, up 6pc overall, with the biggest seller being Co-op's ground black pepper, up 5.8pc, and Co-op LBU Lazy Garlic, also up 5.8pc. 

There were big jumps in dairy-free chocolate, including Co-op's 35g free from chocolate bar, up 50pc, and healthy nut snacks, such as Co-op's healthy snacking cashew nuts, up 16pc, and healthy snacking unsalted mixed nuts, up 24pc. 

The biggest sellers of speciality milk and milk substitutes were Alpro Almond Unsweetened, up 43pc, with 5,000 more units sold year on year, and Alpro Fresh Soya Drink, which was up 19pc. Traditional milk sales stayed flat. 

And during this year's Dry January month, 1,100 units of Co-op's low alcohol Sauvignon Blanc (75cl) were sold while "Nosecco" was up 63pc year on year. 

For more ideas on how to make a good start in 2021, visit Central England Co-op’s special webpage.

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