Christmas has come early for the supermarkets as shoppers have already splashed out £4.1m on mince pies, an increase of 5.2% compared to a year ago.

However, Christmas puds have not fared so well, with the data from retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel for the four weeks to 7 October 2018 showing a 10.4% decline in spend to £906,000.

“Christmas will be here before we know it and some families seem to be getting into the spirit already – 8% of households bought mince pies last month,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

Waitrose has also noted a significant increase in sales of festive favourites, with mince pies up 14% compared to last year, while stollen has experienced a 12% uplift.

“As the weather turns colder, we tend to see a change in customers’ shopping habits, and sales of Christmas treats are already on the rise,” a Waitrose spokesperson told British Baker.

“Our customers have started stocking up, with mince pies already making their way into baskets. We’ve sold 14% more mince pies so far compared to last year, with our Waitrose 1 All Butter Mince Pies proving extremely popular, with an early spike in sales up 38%.”

The retailer is expecting big things from its new Heston from Waitrose Cherry Bakewell Mince Pies following the success of last year’s Heston from Waitrose Chocolate Mince Pies. The NPD features sour cherries, sour cherry curd and a dash of Cherry Bakewell Vodka encased in chocolate pastry.

Waitrose isn’t the only one to get creative with flavours in mince pies this year. Other examples include Asda’s Extra Special Rhubarb Gin Mince Pies, Morrisons’ The Best Black Forest Mince Pies and The Co-op’s Irresistible Spiced Salted Caramel & Rum Mince Pies.

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