Thorntons has placed extra emphasis on intricately designed chocolate models in this year's Christmas range, in a bid to set itself apart from Cadbury, Nestlé and Mars.

The 20-strong range ­contains five new products that "more effectively showcase its chocolate craftsmanship" than last year's. The range comprises a Snowy Winterland Selection Box (rsp: £3.99), Mini Reindeer Model (rsp: £1.49), Milk or White Chocolate Lolly Penguins (rsp: 69p), Decorate your own Tree (rsp: £5.99) and a Children's Advent Calendar (rsp: £2.99).

"We are trying to set ­ourselves apart from rivals who introduce intricate ­designs on foil rather than chocolate," said Helen Bradshaw, head of customer marketing. "We learnt from the success of our ­intricately designed Easter range, which recorded strong sales."