More than 52,000 of Aldi’s Christmas puddings have been sold in the last 17 days, a 43% increase year-on-year.

It comes as the discount food retailer’s Orange Topped Christmas Pudding, priced at £7.99, was ranked second in a taste test conducted by Good Housekeeping magazine, beating the likes of Fortnum & Mason whose upmarket version of the festive pudding was placed 29th out of 32 products.

Aldi explained that since its Christmas puddings went on sale on 5 November, 255 have been sold every hour during the 17-day period.

A spokesperson from Aldi said: “The sales data shows that the traditional Christmas Pudding is a clear favourite for the annual festive feast this year. At Aldi we are surprised to see it flying off the shelves so early. It’s testament to the fact that shoppers this yuletide are seeking value as well as quality for their Christmas shop.

“As we have such a great selection of puddings ranging from our traditional to our connoisseur, we have something to suit every taste and wallet.”

The firm said its range of Christmas puddings has been popular with its customers in the south east, selling on average four-times more than in Scotland – a 416% difference in sales between the north and south.

Aldi described its Orange Topped Christmas Pudding as a Heston Blumenthal-inspired product containing sultanas, whole cherries, almonds, pecans, Spanish sherry, French Cognac and rum, topped with whole candied orange slices.