The Top 10 Festive Innovations From Christmas 2017

A run-down of the new products that sparked our imaginations this Christmas to get the bauble rolling for 2018’s festive innovations.


Pickering’s Gin Baubles

different coloured glass baubles with gin in, with cardboard brown box

Image source: Pinterest 

Baubles were good before, but now some genius (God bless ‘em) has filled them with gin. Tapping into the seemingly endless gin revival (UK sales are up 12% in the year from June ’16-’17, with total sales at 43 million bottles), and the time-honoured tradition of edibles for the tree, Pickering’s have got us all wondering how we ever lived without gin filling our Christmas decorations. What else could benefit from a boozy twist…candy canes swirled with candied rum?


Alternative Advent Calendars

Cheese advent calendar and naked marshmallow advent calendarImage source: So Wrong it’s Nom / Naked Mallow Co 

Long the realm of the garish designs and cheap chocolate, advent was overdue some innovation and this Christmas there’s an advent calendar for everyone!

Food blogger Annem Hobson of So Wrong It’s Nom, working with Ilchester and Asda, created the world’s first cheese advent calendar and a festive frenzy ensued. Despite a lull in the last 2 years, the Brits are a nation of cheese lovers. Spending is up £29m over 2017 to a total of just under £2.8bn.

The Naked Marshmallow company are capitalising on the fluffy treat’s current wave of popularity with their advent offering. The nostalgic little sweet has been given the artisan treatment – the Naked Marshmallow company only use natural flavourings and colourings and high-quality ingredients. What other childhood favourites are due for an artisan renaissance? Will we see a Ye Olde Sweetshop or a retro sweets advent calendar next year?


red whiskey advent calendar and miniature whisky bottles, blue liberty of London advent calendar with beauty products and benefit cosmetics advent calendar with beauty productsImage source: Liberty /  Really Ree / Drinks by the Dram

We’ve also been delighted by Drinks by the Dram’s boozy calendars and seriously tempted by the plethora of beauty calendars on the market, from Benefit to Liberty.


blue background with star wars lego advent calendar with scene depicted on box. blue harry potter 12 days of socks advent calendar decorated with character images, wera toolkit advent calendar depicting santa, his sleigh and reindeersImage source: Amazon / Target / Wera 

And if those don’t tickle your fancy, how about the Harry Potter socks calendar from Target, a Star Wars edition by Lego, or the Wera toolkit calendar?


The Snow Globe Sandwich from Sainsbury’s

christmas dinner in a brioche roll in a pack shaped like a snow globe on a grey backgroundImage source: Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s are winning with seasonal structural packaging. Their Christmas dinner in a brioche roll is made even more festive in a fabulously simple but oh-so-effective ‘snow globe’ pack. The sprinkling of edible stars on the top of the bun are just the icing on the cake. The beauty is in the simplicity. A sandwich. In a Snow Globe. Brilliant.

What we want now is a sausage roll in a Christmas cracker. Crisps in a stocking…


The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Ugly Sweater Treat Kit For Dogs

home bake treat kit for dogs with cookies and sprinkles on a cooling rackImage source: Trend Hunter

It’s all about kids at Christmas, but what about those of us whose babies are of the furry variety? Animal charity Blue Cross published results of research in 2015 which revealed that 3 in 10 British couples put off parenthood in favour of getting a pet. The Lazy Dog cookie company is exploiting our love of pets perfectly with this decorate-at-home treat kit for dogs.

Cleverly repositioning a product usually aimed at parents and kids to appeal to pets and their owners could be a winning formula…crackers for cats? Christmas dinner for guinea pigs?


Schmidt’s Holiday Deodorants

3 tubes of roll on deodorant in 3 festive scents - oh christmas tree, snow day and holiday spiceImage source: Schmidt’s 

We can just picture the scene now…”people love festive scented candles, what about festive scented…deodorant?!” and hey presto – Schmidt’s Holiday deodorant. Tapping nicely into the nostalgia trend, Schmidt’s Holiday trio use scents such as spruce, orange and cinnamon to conjure up warm fuzzy feelings of Christmases past. Whether or not Christmas tree is something consumers want to smell of remains to be seen, but the principle is a good one – if it works for car air fresheners, eh? Maybe adding a touch of luxury might be the next step – festive scents like Frankincense, orange, and fir, could all transition nicely from candle to personal fragrance for a brand like Jo Malone or Diptyque.


Christmas Eve Boxes Courtesy of Asda and Matalan

red and blue 'night before Christmas box' decorated with Santa, Mrs Claus and snowflakesImage source: Manchester Evening News 

From our neighbours across the pond comes a tradition that is gathering popularity here in the UK. On Christmas Eve boxes filled with family games, films, treats for Santa, pyjamas and sweets are given to children to spread the anticipation and excitement of the big day.


Matalan web page with an explanation of Christmas Eve boxes and a photo of various boxes with a stuffed toy elf sat on topImage source: Matalan 

Just like Halloween, which 20 years ago was no big deal and is now a multi-million-pound business, Christmas Eve could well become a THING. Some smart retailers have jumped on this festive family ritual and are selling special Christmas Eve boxes ready to be filled. Matalan have even created a guide on how to create a Christmas Eve box. (We already know how valuable adding a ritual can be.)


Aldi’s Innovative Mince Pies

purple and gold decorated box of 6 aldi sloe gin mince tarts. gold and yellow decorated box of 6 aldi salted caramel mince pies on a blue backgroundImage source: The Sun 

Aldi are schooling us all in how to bring new news to old favourites. It seems the masses haven’t yet tired of salted caramel, so why not add it to a mince pie? And mince tarts with sloe gin? Do you even have to ask?

Just add a current favourite to an old classic and you’re onto a winner! Aldi have given us more than a few winners of late, remember the gin and tonic ice lollies back in summer? Looking ahead, could some of the new food trends bring new news for 2018’s Christmas favourites? Popping candy mince pies? Mulled gin?


Paul’s Mince Pie Croissant

Several mince pie croissants on a black background dusted with sugar. slogan saying The Mince Pie Croissant is here!Image source: Paul’s bakery 

Riding the food mash-up tradition kicked off by Dominque Ansel’s Cronut in 2013, Paul’s bakery has developed the Mince Pie Croissant for your festive delectation in 2017. Engaging peoples’ love of novelty and marrying two old favourites, the possibilities for innovation are endless…Stollen waffles? Christmas pudding muffins?