Supermarket shoppers have spent £2.3m more on mince pies than at this time last year.

Sales in the mince pie category in the 12 weeks to 2 December 2018 totalled £47.7m, up 5.1% (£2.3m) year on year, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Data from the retail analysts also show that more than one in eight households have already bought a Christmas pudding,

The strong performance of mince pies continues the growth in sales recorded in October, when data showed shoppers had already spent £4.1m on the festive treats, up 5.2% on 2017.

Last month, British Baker reported that sales in the 12 weeks to 4 November were up 6.4% on the same period the year before.

Meanwhile, research from Waitrose found that consumers just couldn’t wait to eat mince pies, with only 3% waiting until Christmas Day and 4% holding off until Christmas Eve.

It remains to be seen whether the total sales for this year will top last Christmas, which delivered a 13.2% year-on-year increase in mince pie sales, although Kantar Worldpanel expects overall Christmas spend to break records.

Analysts have pointed out that the last time Christmas Day fell on a Tuesday was in 2012, and that the Saturday before was the busiest shopping day of the year.

“We expect the same trend to hold true this year, with Saturday 22 December pulling in the last-minute Christmas crowds,” said Fraser McKevitt, Kantar Worldpanel retail and consumer insight head.

“Because of the way Christmas falls, grocers have an extra trading day this year meaning overall sales in December – up to and including Christmas Eve – could reach £10bn.”