Marks & Spencer

Once a year the nation tucks into Brussels sprouts and M&S is determined to make the most of it. Last year it launched a bottle of Brussels sprout juice and, encouraged by its success, this year it’s launching Brusselsmole, which it describes as a “clever twist on guacamole”. It’s also launching a Brussels sprout sausage and a “seriously good sprout slaw” on its deli counters. 

Sprouts aside, M&S often wins with its party food and it’s launched its biggest-ever range this year, including gorgeous individual pots of Mini Lobster Mac & Cheese, complete with little spoons. 

For the main event the M&S turkey is plump and free-range, hailing from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, where the turkeys are “slowly grown to reach full maturity, resulting in a moist and delicious bird bursting with rich, succulent flavours”.

A full-size chocolate high-heel shoe drew gasps when presented to consumer media. 

Verdict: The M&S food business continues to excite with its innovation, and the Christmas range is no exception, with the party food and puddings obvious highlights. Sprout fans are very well catered for.

Star product: The Gold Melt In The Middle Christmas pudding oozes indulgence. It will be interesting to see it go toe-to-toe with Heston’s Waitrose version.