Around 25 million Christmas puddings are eaten each year in around 70% of all UK households. In addition, some 15 million puddings are eaten in catering establishments “and that amounts to an awful lot of puddings” says Senior Sales Manager, Mark Jackson of Cole’s the Saffron Walden based artisan pudding maker.
The Christmas pudding tradition originated in the 14th century as a meat-based dish. By the 17th century it had gradually developed into a plum pudding and by Queen Victoria’s time into the same basic pudding that is sold today.
“However,” says Mark, “while the basic ingredients remain the same there are no end of variations on a theme with new and different types of pudding being introduced each year. For example, Cole’s has a range of at least a dozen Christmas puddings from traditional best sellers such as Classic, (beer based) and Brandy based varieties, to more Speciality puddings such as Rum and Double Cream and Gluten Free, to more topical puddings such as Stollen. Add to that all year round puddings such as Triple Chocolate and Cranberry and Orange, which also sell well at Christmas and you can see that from fairly basic beginnings our customers are almost spoiled for choice.”
The pace of change will certainly continue as Mark says “We are constantly on the lookout for new products such as the Black Forest and Plum Christmas pudding we are introducing this year. Also, we are always amenable to try new flavours and mixes on behalf of our customers, as they look for opportunities and advantages in the market.”
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