Though turkey is the star of the show on December 25th, you’ll want to keep a few store cupboard essentials for any last-minute guests or party emergencies. Our experts at Co-operative Food have rounded up the best things to keep stocked up on this Christmas
The classic Christmas table has centred around the nation’s love of poultry and a wide range of colourful-hued condiments for centuries. A succulent turkey, emerald Brussels sprouts, perfectly floured roast potatoes, delectable stuffing, ruby red cranberries and unctuous gravy all combine to deliver the most hotly anticipated meal of the year.
While you may be raring to go with the festive finale, Christmas is more than just a big roast dinner – there are always a few little things that might creep up and surprise you. Don’t be a plum pudding this year: keep your wits about you by grabbing a few little luxuries to ensure the Christmas magic keeps going.
Quality is key
According to Co-operative Food’s MINTEL research into Christmas shopping habits in December 2013, the British public is going posh with its party offerings. Buying special premium quality food and drink is important to just over a third (or 33.4%) of seasonal shoppers according to our survey, so reeling out the same stuffed vol au vents just won’t do.
If you want to wow friends and family this year, plate up something from the Co-operative Truly Irresistible range. With Laksa Coconut Skewers, Melting Middle Salmon Fishcakes and a Chicken Satay Party Pack, there’s a cornucopia of fantastic flavours – all ready in moments.
Indulge in festive favourites
At this time of year, you’ll want to treat yourself with indulgent, specialist foods no matter what the price. In fact, just under a quarter of shoppers we surveyed (19%) will readily ‘trade up’ and buy better quality food and drink over the Christmas break than they do in their regular weekly shops, so now’s the time to pamper yourself.
Try the Co-op’s exclusive cheese range, encompassing Rich & Creamy Blue Stilton, Baking Camembert with Pancetta and Truly Irresistible Manchego to make an impressive cheeseboard. Serve with Co-op’s award winning Truly Irresistible Biscuits for Cheese: so versatile, you can also use them for quick canapés smothered with your choice of pâté.
Avoid the rush
A stunning 25.6% of festive food shoppers went to a range of different stores during Christmas 2013 to secure the products they really covet, but with the big stores so packed at this time of year, convenience can be handy during the festive season.
With more local stores than any other large supermarket, a quick trip to the Co-op won’t clock up any extra mileage – and it’s great for the little essentials that might slip your mind. Forgotten the AA batteries to make the kids’ toys work on Boxing Day or need some foil to keep the turkey fresh after you’ve finished the feast? Most stores are open every day over the festive season apart from Christmas Day itself. Plus we have late opening hours in many of our stores. Check the Co-op website or your local store for their opening hours.
Think outside the box
Some little extras can have a multitude of uses, which is especially handy over Christmas when you’re looking to use up leftovers, or want your goods to go further in the kitchen. Crème fraiche can be used to make a rich and creamy turkey curry, or mix it with brandy for an instant side to share with Christmas pudding.
And why not break with tradition this year and substitute your turkey for the new Loved by Us British Traditional Spiced Honey and Treacle Gammon Joint or the new Truly Irresistible Christmas Spiced Salmon Side with Honey and Maple Glaze.
(All figures from a base of 2,000 internet users aged 16 plus)
Visit Co-op’s website for Christmas food inspiration.
For more insider information and expert tips from the Co-operative Food, visit the hub page.