Turkey and Christmas pudding may have to compete with more exotic festive cuisine in the future, according to market analyst Mintel's Christmas Foods UK report.

Its research indicates that non-traditional food offers considerable potential. The reports says: "There may be an opportunity to dovetail with the rise in foreign foods and developing Continental Christmas foods or foods typical to Christmas in Africa, Latin America and Australia."

Overall sales of Christmas foods amounted to £2.5bn last year, up 14% since 2003, with growth accelerating. Chocolate confectionery, biscuits and cakes are the top sellers, scooping 85% of Christmas sales.

Mintel predicts that the focus for Christmas NPD will be on the same areas.

It added that demand for indulgent and premium products looked set to continue, with healthy eating unlikely to impact massively on Christmas eating habits.

Another growth area highlighted was convenience, with ready-to-cook turkey joints, prepared vegetables and buffet food proving popular last Christmas.