Healthy eating trend inspires surge in demand for almond milk, e-cigarettes and avocado

Almond milk, e-cigarettes and avocados enjoyed the biggest surge in demand among UK shoppers last year, as a trend toward healthy eating gathered pace, according to one research firm.

Figures from data provider IRI, which specialises in helping retailers to understand consumer demand, £62m was spent on almond milk in 2016, a 32 per cent increase on the previous year.

Sales of e-cigarettes rose by 30.1 per cent to £81m and sales of avocado added 28.3 per cent to a whopping £187m.

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.