he cost-of-living crisis has not stopped consumers from indulging in a little retail therapy when the occasion calls for it.
Here is a month-by-month rundown of the trends that set Britain’s tills ringing in 2022.
So-called “Veganuary” is back and sees Wagamama launch its first vegan fish and chips, contributing to a 12% jump in sales of vegan options on the month before.
Cooks are able to buy “tearless” onions for the first time at Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer changes the name of its popular Midget Gems sweets to avoid offending people with dwarfism.
The rising cost of living is now affecting more than three in four adults in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Perhaps in the search for cheap protein, #GratedEgg racks up more than 32 million views on TikTok as recipes including mashed avocado on toast topped with a fluffy cloud of egg becomes the latest kitchen fad.
Sales of microwave egg poachers at Lakeland are up 143% on the month before.
High street bakery chain Greggs announces a fashion collection in a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Primark. A limited-edition range of 11 clothing items, including hoodies and socks, all emblazoned with the Greggs logo goes on sale in 60 Primark stores.
A host of UK bars and retailers stop selling Russian vodka due to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Stanley Tucci’s series Searching For Italy airs in the UK. The A-list actor, who became a viral hit in lockdown posting weekly Quarantini cocktails, travelled the country uncovering the secrets of Italy’s regional dishes.
As a result, searches for cacio e pepe, a cheese and pepper sauce recommended in one episode, are up 150% at Waitrose.com, and spaghetti alla carbonara up 52%.
The Queen Elizabeth II Barbie, to be released on the Queen’s 96th birthday, is created to commemorate her historic Platinum Jubilee. The doll is “instantly recognisable”, fitted with an elegant ivory gown and blue ribbon adorned with insignia, and also features a tiara modelled on Queen Mary’s fringe tiara, which the Queen wore on her own wedding day. It later sells out in 30 minutes at JohnLewis.com.
Waitrose reports a year-on-year rise in Easter-themed crackers and wreaths as people embrace the holiday period to entertain friends and family after years of lockdown.
Pinterest sees a 102% year-on-year growth in searches for “DIY Easter tree”, while John Lewis also enjoys a boost, with sales up 65%.
#HealthyCoke arrives. When influencers begin sharing videos of sparkling water with balsamic vinegar and swearing it tastes just like the “real-deal Coca-Cola but healthier”, many are sceptical. But that only adds to the hype – at the last count, the trend had racked up more than 87.2 million views on TikTok.
Sales of bunting, trifle dishes and favourite royal tipple Dubonnet set tills ringing as consumers prepare for a long weekend of Jubilee parties.
John Lewis reports bunting sales are up 85% as streets turn red, white and blue, while outdoor speaker sales are up by two-thirds.
Meanwhile, searches for “Royal Collectibles” are up by 700% at eBay, “Queen salt and pepper shakers” increase 200%, and searches for “Knitted corgi” jump by 231%.
The announcement of Jemma Melvin’s lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle as the official pudding of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations is thought to be behind sales of large glass trifle bowls selling out at Lakeland.
Searches for marmalade rise by 46% in the week after the Platinum Jubilee, when Her Majesty mischievously revealed in a sketch with Paddington that she kept a marmalade sandwich in her handbag. It touched the nation so much so that grieving crowds outside Buckingham Palace left Paddington toys and sandwiches among the floral tributes before her funeral.
As the UK swelters in historic temperatures on July 18 and 19, with some areas topping 40C for the first time, consumers strip shelves of paddling pools and fans, and fire chiefs urge retailers to stop selling disposable barbecues after they are linked to a string of blazes.
Searches for “Air con unit” surge by 415% at eBay – which recorded three searches a minute – while searches for “fan” soar by 333% on the month before.
On July 31, England’s Lionesses win their first European Championship title. Football boot searches are up 60% at John Lewis, while searches for sports bras double at the department store following Chloe Kelly’s celebration. At eBay, searches for “Lioness kit” leap by 220%.
When butter prices soar in the summer, people take to social media to post DIY alternatives.
#Buttertok is born and a whole new world of flavours takes over, from Marmite to sundried tomato, seaweed and even chocolate on toast.
No sooner is the heatwave over than Ugg boots see a resurgence, possibly as reports begin to predict ever higher energy bills will be announced on October 1.
eBay sees searches for the footwear rise by 123% on the previous month, while “mini Uggs”, “baby Uggs”, “used Uggs” and “platform Uggs” all do a brisk trade.
Households begin to face the reality of soaring energy bills as winter approaches, and Toolstation sees a 28% week-on-week increase in sales of chainsaws as many look for cheaper alternatives to heat their homes.
Halloween’s ever-increasing popularity, both as a night out and an interior design event, sees searches for “Halloween Wreath” up 58% on the year before at Hobbycraft.
Searches for “Plush Pumpkins” rise a staggering 2,156% on the year before, and those looking for a follow-up to Christmas and Easter trees send searches for “Halloween Tree” up 225% on last year after they trend on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok
November is the month when air fryers hit the national consciousness, seemingly touted as the single most effective gadget to survive the winter.
They notch up 4.9 billion views on TikTok, while Lakeland sells more than double the number of air fryers in 10 weeks than it did for the whole of last year. Iceland sells out completely.
eBay reported a peak of five searches every minute for “air fryer”, and Currys sold 43,000 after recording 335,000 customer searches for them over the month.
Consumers are warned of a shortage of British free-range turkeys for Christmas with half already dead due to bird flu.
Poultry farmer Paul Kelly, of Kelly Turkeys, tells MPs that the price of turkeys is not expected to increase but warned of a “big, big shortage of British free-range turkeys on the shelves this year”.
Marc Hardiman, head chef at Galvin at Windows restaurant, urges Britain’s Christmas cooks to switch to ham this year to avoid the shortage, adding that “glazed gammon can look incredible, is cheaper than a free-range turkey, and is a lot easier to prepare”.