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Battle for Christmas food market kicks off this weekend

11th December 2009 Print

The battle to win this year's high street Christmas food market is being fought on the party snacks front and will officially kick off this weekend.

In a series of high profile TV and newspaper ad campaigns the UK's major retailers have all made super trendy party food a priority with which to attract shoppers.

This weekend sees the beginning of the party food season marked by the X Factor final - the biggest TV event of the year.

Accordingly, on Friday (December 11), Tesco launches a week long round of half price cuts on hundreds of items including king prawns, smoked salmon, pizzas, champagne, wine, stilton, brie and even lobster.

On top of that Tesco has this year doubled its range of both chilled and frozen party foods and lowered prices that will include:

Special Party Platters with up to 75 chilled party snacks for £5
An average price of just 10p per individual frozen snack or enough to feed 20 people five snacks each for an incredible £5.22
Finest Party foods - any two for £7 (normally £4 each)

Said Tesco senior buying manager for convenience foods, Simon Williams: "Party food has become extremely trendy in the last few years and it has been helped no end by the huge popularity of primetime TV shows like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing with people hosting special viewing parties for family and friends.

"This weekend we are expecting party food to be one of the most popular items in our stores with millions of people wanting a fuss free evening in order to settle down on the couch and be glued to the TV for the grand X Factor final.

"But ever exotic party snacks such as Finest Coconut King Prawns with Mango Salsa or Chicken Curry Parcels have really captured shopper's taste buds and have helped party food evolve into a multi-million pound market.

"Demand has rocketed over the last two Christmases which is why we have doubled our range this year."

In the last year demand for party food at Tesco has grown by 42 per cent and has created a UK market worth an estimated £110 million across all retailers.

Other Tesco top frozen party food offers this Christmas include:

£2 deals include 75 sausage rolls, 20 chicken kebabs, 12 melt in middle brownies 14 mini duck spring rolls.

£3 deals include 36 Chinese Selection Pack, King Prawn Ring, Rocky Road Cheesecake, 36 mini Indian selection.

Tesco launched its finger food range in 2004 with 10 items such as potato wedges and prawns in filo pastry. It now has 40 products from different cuisines including oriental, Asian, and Tex-Mex.

It recently launched several new lines including chicken fajitas, BBQ ribs, Hoisin duck rolls, breaded sticks and pops.

However the trend is still in its relative infancy and Tesco food developers are already working on bringing out more lines for next year.

Added Tesco's Simon Williams: "The concept of party food has come a long way since the 70s when all there seemed to be was sausage rolls, cocktail sausages and cheese and pineapple on a stick.

"Now it's become the UK's fastest growing food trend, especially amongst young people and its popularity is down to it being fuss free, easy to prepare and above all delicious."