Premier Foods has spiced up Mr Kipling mince pies and placed a sugar polar bear on top of an oversized Big French Fancy for the Christmas season.

Britain's biggest food manufacturer is introducing its seasonal line-up to stores from next week and expects to increase its 7% market share of last season's festive ambient grocery sales.

The recipe for Mr Kipling Mince Pies has been improved with "less crumbly pastry and slightly spicier filling", said Premier.

New cakes include Mr Kipling's Big Frosty Fancy with a sugar bear a seasonal update of its Big French Fancy as well as Cadbury Snow Star Cakes and Merry Mini Rolls.

Packaging across Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes had been revamped this year to give it a more "obvious Christmas theme," said Carine San-Juan, head of category at Premier.

The flavour of Bisto Best gravy had been updated with "improved meat juices" and its limited-edition Red Onion & Cranberry Pickle will return, she added. "It is a critical time of year for us," she said. "Christmas is not a time to mess around with the favourites or introduce NPD for NPD's sake."

The website for Premier's Great Little Ideas concept will be updated with festive recipes from next week. "Christmas dinner is the most daunting meal of the year for many consumers and the recipes they watch on cookery shows are often too complex to put into practice," said San-Juan.