Veg leaves its competitors in the dust for Oliver's 64th number one

Veg leaves its competitors in the dust for Oliver's 64th number one

Jamie Oliver’s Veg (Michael Joseph) has leapt straight into the UK Official Top 50 number one spot, selling 24,261 copies through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market. In its first three days on sale, it improved 107% on the launch week of 2018’s Jamie Cooks Italy, and beat that title’s biggest seven-day volume by over 7,000 units. While Veg couldn’t quite hit the heights of eventual million-copy-bestseller 5 Ingredients, now Oliver’s second-bestselling title to date, it did best the first-week sales of 2012’s Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals, which went on to sell 1.1 million copies.

Veg is the third plant-based cookbook to go to the number one spot inside a year, after Deliciously Ella’s vegan offering Deliciously Ella: The Plant-Based Cookbook (Yellow Kite) and Joe Wicks’ Veggie Lean in 15 (Bluebird) topped the chart in August and December 2018 respectively. The veggie cookbook sector is currently booming, up 62% in both volume and value year on year, and the fastest-growing category within the Food & Drink section.

We may have just had a 30C August bank holiday, but the annual Oliver release is the unofficial starting gun on the Christmas gift-buying season. Can the celebrity chef notch up a sixth Christmas number one with Veg? Or will David Walliams emerge victorious once again? Or perhaps Kay Featherstone and Kate Allinson will top off a blockbuster year with a Pinch of Nom book under every Christmas tree?

Philippa Gregory’s Tidelands (Simon & Schuster) swiped the Original Fiction number one from Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs (Century). At 11,974 copies sold, Gregory’s new series opener is the biggest-selling number one in the chart for the year to date. Val McDermid’s How the Dead Speak (Little, Brown) and David Lagercrantz’s The Girl Who Lived Twice (Maclehose Press) claimed second and third in Original Fiction.

The previous week’s number one, Harlan Coben’s Run Away (Arrow), fell from both the overall pole and the Mass Market Fiction top spot, with John Grisham’s The Reckoning (Hodder) bouncing back up for a fifth non-consective week in the number one spot. It is now Grisham’s joint-longest Mass Market Fiction number one, tied with The Associate in 2009, since the seven-week run of 2005’s The Broker. Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Light (Hodder) was the top 20’s highest new entry.

While Veg ended the 20-week run of Pinch of Nom (Bluebird) in the Hardback Non-Fiction number one to claim Oliver’s 161st pole in the category chart, Adam Kay racked up his 43rd number one in Paperback Non-Fiction with This is Going to Hurt (Picador). Jeremy Dronfield’s The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz (Penguin) and Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Vintage) were the chart’s highest new entries in second and fifth place respectively.

Walliams’ The World’s Worst Teachers (HarperCollins) swiped a ninth number one in the Children’s chart, with Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s The 117-Storey Treehouse (Macmillan Children's) debuting in the runner-up spot.

Though the market slid to its lowest volume and value since the last week of June, average selling price vaulted upwards 1.7% week on week to £8.61, no doubt helped by two hardbacks topping the charts. The year is now heading into its priciest period already with the second-highest average selling price ever recorded for any total year.