A total of 20 million packs of hot cross buns were purchased throughout the major UK retailers in Easter week alone, according to research analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

The update comes as Kantar released its latest grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 23 April 2017.

Kantar said a strong Easter contributed to the market’s 3.7% growth – the fastest rate since September 2013.

“In the past 12 weeks British shoppers splashed out £325 million on Easter eggs, with almost three-quarters of the population buying at least one,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said.

“Consumers plumped for more premium confectionery lines this year – the average price paid for an Easter egg rising by 8.6% to £1.65 – while 20 million packs of hot cross buns were bought in the Easter week alone.”

Innovation has been a key factor for the surge of hot cross bun sales, as retailers such as M&S revealed it was “pushing the boundaries” this year with the cheese and onion addition to its hot cross bun line-up.

Meanwhile, in April 2017, Cambridge Market Research – which works with retailers and manufacturers – put some of this year’s hot cross bun NPD to the test by taste-testing 10 innovations.

British Baker subscribers can click here to view and download our insight report on Easter.