Brits set to munch their way through more than 1 million mince pies this week

8 Sep 2011

It’s still officially summer but this week Christmas will be in the air already as mince pies go on sale. And if previous years' sales are anything to go by, we can expect Brits to munch their way through more than an incredible one million mince pies.

It’s still officially summer but this week Christmas will be in the air already as mince pies go on sale.  And if previous years' sales are anything to go by, we can expect Brits to munch their way through more than an incredible one million mince pies.

Traditionally the first mince pie sales also trigger the start of Christmas food shopping with puddings, cakes, Yule logs are also appearing on supermarket shelves this week.  Last year Tesco sold nearly 3,000 Christmas cakes and Yule logs plus 6,000 Christmas puddings in the first week of September.

Said Tesco mince pie expert Kim Hesketh: “Mince pies are one of our most loved treats and there are a huge number of hardcore fans across the UK that descend on our stores as soon as they go on sale. Mince pies sales are very much driven by cold weather and the further the temperature drops in the run up to Christmas, the higher the sales. With the current gloomy weather and heavy rainfall we've seen across much of Britain, this year we predict a 10 per cent rise in first week sales.”

Mince pie connoisseurs are in for a real treat as Tesco has improved the ingredients this year of its top of the range selection to include Courvoisier Cognac, luxury mincemeat, Mediterranean sultanas and raisins, Vostizza currants and Amarena glace cherries.

Added Hesketh: "It’s well known in the retail industry that other areas of the food business keep a keen eye on mince pie sales because they know that the sales are a good barometer for the start of Christmas shopping.”

The mince pie - along with the sandwich, fish and chips, Stilton and Cheddar cheese - is a great British culinary creation and its origins can be traced back to the 13th century and the Crusaders returned from the Middle East with recipes for meats, fruits and spices.

Pies with meat in them were created using mixtures of sweet and savoury foods including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Through the ages sweet and savoury varieties developed and by the Victorian era we saw the first mince pies as we now know them.  There were at one time 13 ingredients used in the making of the pie to represent Christ and his 12 Apostles.