Sainsbury’s shoppers have shunned mince pies because of the unseasonal warm weather.

Mince pie sales were down year-on-year at the supermarket and the marketplace had been “slower” than usual, said Simon Twigger, director of fresh and frozen foods.

“The weather affects cakes particularly,” he admitted. “We’d expect the growth to come either this week or next but it is coming through slower than expected.”

Speaking on a tour of Sainsbury’s Walthamstow store, commercial director Mike Coupe said seasonal Sainsbury’s shoppers: yet to eat all the mince pies sales were two months out of kilter year-on-year. “We had the fi rst frost this morning,” he said. Last year it was in September. This time last year we had snow.” People had left their Christmas shopping “very, very late”, Coupe added, but because Christmas fell on a Sunday, the pattern of trading had fallen a week later.

The chain expects to sell eight million packs of mince pies this season.