The posh supermarket sparked frenzied demand in 2010 with its first Heston from Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas pudding. This year’s version comes with a layer of chocolate sauce in the middle. Meanwhile Heston-design canapés include a mini fish pie cradled in a spinach pastry case and a mini prawn cocktail.

In non-Blumenthal lines, it will be stocking a deboned easy-carve turkey (£19.99/kg); a pork, sage and onion stuffed turkey, ready to roast in a bag (£8.99/kg); a Christmas owl cake (£13); and a series of own-brand frozen entremets, with flavours including Chocolate Praline and Orange & Grand Marnier (£5.99 each).

Shoppers will also have the chance to make their own gift hampers, in £10 and £15 sizes.

Elsewhere, Waitrose continues its push into plants and gardening with a range of festive flowers (the super ultimate Christmas bouquet retails at £42), while stores will sell Christmas trees for the first time. A range of Christmas mini-plants (£3) offers an alternative for the space-challenged.

Star product: Heston’s Hidden Orange Christmas pudding has a neat new twist.

Verdict: A serious bid to delight the foodie crowd again.