The warm summer weather helped grocery sales grow 2.2% over the last month, as shoppers stock up on ice cream and BBQ items, according to new Nielsen data.

Convenience stores also benefited from the strong trading conditions with sales accelerating by 7%, as shoppers popped into their local shops for last-minute top ups. The 2.2% rise in grocery sales during the four weeks to July 14 was also the highest since July 2013, outside of Christmas and Easter.

The figures also revealed that shoppers spent 4.5% more on groceries over the four-week period, helped by the World Cup and the continuation of the sunny weather.

Products for entertaining and dining al fresco experienced the most growth, with ice cream sales soaring by 28%. Fresh beef burgers (+35%) and olives (+10%) both saw considerable growth while fresh pizza (+14%), sushi (+14%) and prepared fruit salads (+10%) were also favourites among shoppers.

Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, Mike Watkins, said: The last four weeks have been a strong trading period for food retailers, with volume growths the best they’ve been since July 2013. This is great news for retailers and manufacturers as shoppers are buying more food and drink.

“It’s also good news that the hot summer weather looks set to continue for the next few weeks, with the hottest days of the year (35C) expected later this week. With the summer holiday season now truly underway, retailers will be planning inspiring media campaigns supported by compelling in-store promotions, to encourage shoppers to keep spending.”