Data for the 12 weeks to the end of December show all categories showing strong value and volume growth, but the real winner were the fresh processed poultry and meat categories, according to retail experts Kantar.
With inflation not putting a dampener on the category, as some commentators had feared, an additional £1bn grocery spend was rung through the tills over the Christmas period.
Nathan Ward, Kantar business unit director, said shoppers traditionally traded up at Christmas, either through their choice of retailer or by choosing more premium products.
“Turkey performed well over the Christmas period; even after a strong 2016. There were 184,000 more shopping trips that included turkey this year and the average trip cost 40p more.
“Whole birds and crowns enjoyed growth on last year as shoppers continued to pick up the classic choice for Christmas dinner.”
Chicken, he added, continued to be one of the strongest deflationary markets with falling prices in breast, legs and whole birds bringing average prices down by 3%.
The strong turkey performance will be heartening to the NFU, whose #BuyMyTurkey campaign saw more than 1,700 tweets and 1,200 retweets paving the way for the hashtag to reach 7.7m twitter users on social media when it was launched on 1 December.