Sales of mince pies are on track to top £100 million this year amid a surge in early Christmas shopping.
According to Kantar data, lockdown restrictions last year prompted a drop in demand, but this has now roared back to pre-Covid levels.
Around 5.5 million – 200,000 more than this time last year – have already bought mince pies from a supermarket.
“There is a lot of pent-up ‘want’ for a decent festive season,” Kantar consumer insight director Tesni Steele Jones told the Guardian.
“I think people are getting into the spirit early and looking forward to a bigger than usual celebration.”
The festive treats are a key battleground for supermarkets, with two-thirds of the population buying mince pies at least once each Christmas.
“It is always a competition between the retailers at Christmas so it is about how you keep it interesting,” Steele Jones said.
“A retailer should always have a core mince pie that’s got good pastry and flavours and then other varieties people can buy.”
Iceland’s mince pies, flavoured with yuzu juice and cider, topped the leaderboard of consumer experts Which? last week.
In the Good Housekeeping rankings, Iceland’s offering had the best “citrusy notes” and came third among supermarkets.