Craft bakers have reported a strong Christmas trading period as it was revealed that sales of cake, pudding and confectionary surged by 8.3% in supermarkets.

IRI, the market research company, said sales of cakes and puddings in the supermarket chains reached £46.9m. Confectionery was up 8.8% – the biggest sales surges of all the food categories.

Waitrose said its gross sales (excluding fuel) were £859.8m, up 1.2% compared with last year, but down 1.4% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis. Marks & Spencer said its Christmas food sales rose by 17% on the same period in 2014.

As yet, none of the other supermarket chains has updated the market on their festive food sales.

positive festive period

A British Baker round-up from craft bakers also revealed they experienced a positive festive period in 2015.

Dunn’s of Crouch End, north London, said that its bestselling product was without a doubt its mince pies, with sales incredibly high, “buoyant in fact”. The bakery added overall sales were good, as the company had expected.

E5 Bakehouse in East London said that it could not pin-point one product in particular that sold well, but breads and cakes both did very well across the board. The bakery added it had been busier at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

JG Ross in north east Scotland saw its traditional breakfast buttery (a cross between a roll and a croissant) do very well. Production director Cameron Ross said that in general sales had been good despite starting their Christmas baking a week later than normal.

Stuart’s of Buckhaven in Fife, Scotland also said it had experienced very good Christmas sales. In terms of quantity, their rolls sold the best over the festive period, but the product that made them the most money was steak pies, the company added.

Mince pies were the best seller at Dorringtons Bakery in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. The business said sales were better than last year but it added that festive turnover was variable depending on the day that Christmas days falls.