An age-old tradition, and a stalwart for Christmas dinner, the humble Christmas pudding remains the most popular sweet option for the festive table, according to research.
Artisan Christmas pudding brand, LillyPuds, commissioned the SMPL research into Christmas food and drink trends, which reveals details on Christmas purchasing, planning and eating.
According to the research, September and October are the most popular times to start planning for Christmas (35% of people), with 53% of men waiting until December to plan for Christmas, compared to 18% of women.
Despite modern ideas and the rise of social media trends, when it comes to Christmas, traditions are important to most people (49% ), with only 4% seeking out new trends or looking for something different each year. Moreover, 37% say it’s essential to have a Christmas pudding every year.
And, although it’s the meat and potatoes that come out on top for most respondents, Christmas pudding was ranked as top choice for dessert, ahead of mince pies and Chocolate Yule Log.
“I think it’s because we all love nostalgia and the Christmas table isn’t complete without a Christmas pudding, even if there are other dessert options,” explains Alison Lilly, founder of LillyPuds.
Alongside Christmas pud, 60% of those surveyed will also buy another dessert, with a chocolate-based pudding being a top choice, with dietary requirements, personal preference and quality ingredients also being key considerations.
According to the data, drawn from 131 respondents, when it comes to Christmas pudding purchasing 37% opt for a thoroughly traditional recipe, whilst 24% choose a subtle twist on the classic.
Although figures show that Christmas pudding sales have fallen across major supermarkets over the last five years, there is increased appetite for more ‘premium’ products and some data even suggests Christmas pudding consumption has actually risen across all generations. In 2018 only 35% of 35-54 year olds were set to eat one, compared to 56% in 2022.
With quality and indulgence still a must-have for the Christmas table, some are suggesting a cost of living crisis may make shoppers more discerning with their spending, but not necessarily spending less. Concludes Alison, “Christmas is the time of year to be nostalgic and, faced with bleak headlines, people do look to food for comfort. Whether that’s leaning into familiar favourites that feel like a warm hug, or harking back to humble childhood favourites. I think that’s why Christmas puddings remain so popular and intrinsic to the celebration, despite the divide between lovers and haters.”
Founded by Alison Lilly and based in Suffolk, LillyPuds lovingly creates traditional Christmas puddings that deliver on taste for a perfect end to a classic festive feast. The extensive range includes Christmas puddings to suit all tastes, from the classic and award-winning Traditional to Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Figgy Pudding and Plum Puddings, all suitable for vegetarians. And for those that seek a second pudding on Christmas day, LillyPuds also produces a range of sponge puddings and sauces including Chocolate, Sticky Toffee, Saucy Lemon and Zingy Ginger Sponge.
LillyPuds’ range is available from Amazon, independent retailers nationwide, and online at www.lillypuds.co.uk