It’s taken some shuffling of fixtures, but stores have made room for a massive 12% year-on-year hike in the number of promotions.

Supermarkets have carried an incredible 11,645 featured space promotions in the four weeks to 18 November, 1,235 more than in the same period a year ago.

The increase is partly a result of splitting space out among a number of brands rather than allowing one brand to block-book - but retailers have also given more space to offers. “Historically, not all gondola ends were used for promotions but they are now,” said Kay Staniland, director of retail analysts Assosia. “Also, every bit of space has been converted - including foyers, till aisles, more back aisles and the use of additional pallets/cages.”

Own label accounted for about 500 of the additional promotions, which were primarily run on fresh lines including produce and meat, fish & poultry.

But the real action was around biscuits as McVitie’s and Fox’s pushed their Christmas biscuit tins. McVitie’s ran almost 100 more deals than in November 2011, while Fox’s more than doubled its number. Both brands, however, cut the depth of deals, with McVitie’s offering an average saving of 30.4% compared with 38.7% a year ago as it reduced half-price and bogof deals for straight money-off promotions. It is a reflection of a wider trend, with money-off deals representing 39.3% of all supermarket deals in the past four weeks, compared with 36.5% a year ago, and the use of bogofs falling from 7.4% of offers to 4.4%.

Cake fans weren’t being neglected, with Mr Kipling increasing its number of deals by a quarter. And, in more news to upset dentists, Coca-Cola almost doubled its offers from the 109 recorded last year.

Confectionery fans, however, will have had to hunt a bit harder this year for promotions. Nestlé and Cadbury are running fewer deals than a year ago as they spread festive activity over a longer period - in line with consumers wanting to spread out their Christmas spend rather than take a big hit to the wallet in one go.