It may only be July, but Northern Foods' boss Stefan Barden was looking forward to the festive season this week. When asked which Northern Foods product he was most excited about, Barden was quick to respond.

"We have created the definitive Christmas pudding," he boasted. "It is something very special."

The new product contained 13 ingredients - the traditional number that represents Jesus and his 12 disciples, he said.

Northern Foods, which supplies Christmas puddings to the major supermarket chains, as well as to Harrods and the Duchy Originals brand, has a 60% share of the Christmas pudding category.