Sales of avocados and e-cigarrettes surge

The 'clean-eating' trend is attributed to the increased sales

Sales of avocados and e-cigarrettes surge

[Flickr/Hannah Queen]

What do avocados, e-cigarrettes and almond milk have in common?

Admittedly not much - except for the fact that they all enjoyed increased sales in the UK in 2016, according to new research.

Figures from data provider IRI, which specialises in helping retailers to understand consumer demand show almond milk, e-cigarettes and avocados enjoyed the biggest surge in demand among UK shoppers last year.

£62m (€73m) was spent on almond milk in 2016, a 32% increase on the previous year. Sales of e-cigarettes rose by 30.1% to £81m (€95m) and sales of avocado added 28.3% to a whopping £187m (€219m).

Fortified water, coconut water, peanut butter, smoothies and popcorn also experienced a surge in demand, which IRI attributed to a widespread ambition to lead a healthier life.

"2016 was the year of so-called ‘clean eating’ led by a group of lifestyle gurus, food bloggers and Instagrammers who are highly influential among consumers, particularly younger shoppers," Martin Wood, head of strategic insight for the retail sector at IRI said.

"It encourages people to eat non-processed foods like fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein, and drink lots of water," he added.