As the largest producer of premium mince pies in the UK, BBF’s NPD team worked closely with the UK’s leading retailers to analyse exactly what consumers will be rooting out for this year and designed a range that riffs on modern day flavours of the classic version, including a speculoos infused number and vegan alternatives.
“Following the lockdown challenges we faced last Christmas, many people are planning to make the most of this festive period with bigger and better celebrations,” said BFF’s CEO Jonathan Lill.
“With this in mind, we’re expecting there to be increased demand for festive favourites, in particular premium mince pies.”
In its quest to create the next gen of mince piece, BBF’s team of mince pie experts played around with a myriad of alternative fillings, different pastry types and toppings and predict the following will be the biggest sellers this season:
Sugar ‘n spice speculoos
Originating in the Netherlands, this highly spiced shortcrust biscuit is set to be at the top of everyone’s wish list this Christmas.
An almond flavoured sweet pastry cream, which has traditionally made its way into tarts, galettes and puff pastries, is now making its grand entrance into mince pies and expected to be a big hit.
Premium adult twists on the traditional mincemeat filling will see Sloe Gin and Bourbon grow in popularity.
Although the season typically means lashing of treats and indulgence, the nation is more aware than ever before of its waistline and how food plays a role in its overall health. To top that, sharing is caring – never more so than now. According to BFF, the mini selection packs will be come through with a vengeance this year, particularly as we get back to hosting parties.
“Traditionally, we’ve seen chocolate/sweet selection boxes, but this year, consumers will be offered mince pie versions, meaning more opportunity to try new flavours,” said BFF.
The new lifestyles
Aligned with the trajectory surge in plant-based, along with the tremendous uptake of more personal and varied lifestyle choices, so the Christmas mince pie category will need to diversify. Vegan and free from variants, in particular, are expected to flourish as the most go-to options this festive season.
There’s no getting away from the most loved classics and the average Brit will revert to the tried-and-true time and time again. Traditions also come into play at this time of year and mince pies are no different.
“While consumers are open to trying new flavours and we’ll continue to see popular trends filter into this category, the traditional buttery, crisp pastry packed with mincemeat and baked in aromatic spices, as well as lots of plump vine fruits, will continue to be enjoyed by many,” said BFF.
Lill added, “As well as working closely with the UK’s biggest retailers to give consumers new and exciting alternative flavours, we’ve also been working with them on more sustainable packaging options.
“This Christmas, many retailers will be opting for smaller plastic windows or no window at all to help increase recyclability and reduce their carbon footprint.”
Apart from mince pies, BBF produces more than 600 million cakes/desserts annually across several different categories, including celebration cakes, fruit pies and tarts, chocolate-enrobed cakes and Christmas cakes.
“The alternative and traditional mince pie ranges that we’ve been working on over the last few months include a wider variety of different flavours than ever before. As Christmas products have now started to hit the shelves, an extensive selection of mince pies can now be found on the shelves of major retailers across the UK,” said Lill.