While the discounters have emerged as the big winners over Christmas, fine food businesses also had plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Leading fine food distributor RH Amar told The Grocer its like-for-like sales for December were up 5.6% as shoppers sought premium ingredients and treats.

“Shoppers are keen to continue treating themselves, even during less auspicious economic times,” said RH Amar MD Rob Amar. “Our sales also continued to show consistently impressive growth throughout the rest of the year. While many shoppers may be looking to cut back on big ticket items such as TVs, holidays and going out, clearly they still want to eat well at home.”

In-house ingredients brand Cooks&Co was the overall bestseller, with products including stuffed olives and flavoured olive oils. Goose and duck fat, a ‘secret ingredient’ for perfect roast potatoes, also sold well.

Other popular goods this Christmas were luxury biscuits and speciality vinegars, while sauces and dressings from The Great British Bake-Off’s Mary Berry also proved successful.