Consumers are fed up with mince pies at Christmas, according to United Biscuits UK. The company is launching McVitie’s Amaretto Bars, Black Forest Yule Logs and Cranberry, Orange & Grand Marnier Cake to provide exciting alternatives to the festive favourite.

Last Christmas sales of seasonal cakes, excluding mince pies, grew 9% [Nielsen 16w/e 29 December 2007]. UB said this showed consumers were being tempted away from traditional offerings by more innovative cake bars and slices.

McVitie’s Black Forest Yule Logs will tap into the 22% growth in seasonal mini rolls last Christmas. UB is also bringing back McVitie’s Irish Cream Bars and Mint Digestive Slices after strong sales last year.

The new products were unveiled this week as UB announced its Christmas plans across its portfolio of cracker, biscuit, nut and crisp brands. McCoy’s, Hula Hoops and KP Nuts are all getting new festive variants, including a limited edition Winter Warmers range of McCoy’s crisps in Lamb & Mint and Steak & Ale Pie flavours. Seasonal savoury snacks grew 6% to £664m last year, which commercial manager Nick Stuart says was down to consumer enthusiasm for sharing formats. For the first time, mini versions of Jaffa Cakes, chocolate digestives and the new Mallows will be available in sharing tubs. Other new products include Frosted Vanilla & Cinnamon KP Nuts in pouches and McVitie’s Shortbread Bites.

The company has also updated the pack designs for its Family Circle and Tea Time biscuits.