As this site is a resource many of you refer to religiously each festive period, I know you expect me to have the answers answers important mince pie based questions. You’re right, I should.
I’ll be honest, there’s very few *important* mince pie questions, but I have been contacted by a number of concerned readers worried that Brexit, covid, HGV driver shortages and food & drink production issues might result in empty shelves down the mince pie aisle come Christmas time. Surely not?
Is the UK facing a mince pie shortage this Xmas?
The only way to get a good steer on this was to go direct to the 8 biggest UK supermarkets, and ask them to provide a mince pie update.
I contacted ASDA, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Aldi, Lidl, Co-op and Morrisons, asking each supermarket if they knew of any issues which might negatively affect the supply of mince pies into their stores.
I received a mixture of responses from boilerplate, to unspecific and a bit of super enthusiasm thrown in for good measure.
Here’s the results:
Not hugely confidence building, their reply states:
“We have not received anything to suggest a shortage of mince pies but would encourage you to keep an eye out both in store and online for availability”
So not clear either way but at least they’re not *expecting* issues…
Similar to ASDA, Tesco couldn’t confirm either way but at least they did acknowledge a general issue with availability for some products. Their response stated:
“We are experiencing some disruption due to an industry-wide shortage of HGV drivers. This has led to temporary low availability on some products but we’re working hard to get shelves fully stocked and overall availability remains good”
I followed up to ask if this applied only across standard items or would be different for seasonal items like mince pies but they couldn’t be anymore specific.
A quietly confident but non committal reply from the upmarket Waitrose, their reply states:
“We have no information that there will be a shortage this year so please do keep an eye in store for our mince pies”
It sounds like this is more to do with hearing nothing negative from the mince pie suppliers, rather than other aspects outside their control such as general delivery.
The reply from Sainsburys was pretty straight to the point:
“We’re not aware of any issues at the moment regarding mince pie stock”
However it’s possible issues could still appear down the line that they’re just not aware of right now.
No real information from Aldi except to confirm they did not in fact have the requested information:
“We can confirm that we don’t have this information”
Not great. But at least it’s not confirmation of a shortage!
Slightly more reassuring from Lidl, making a statement about all products – not just mince pies:
“As with all retailers right now, we’re trying really hard to make sure that disruptions are kept to a minimum. We really hope that this won’t be an issue and are doing everything we can on our end”
I followed up to ask if this applied to seasonal produce too and they confirmed it did.
The winners by a country mile, Co-op’s reply made me really happy not just because it’s a super positive one, but they’ve done really well in recent years – some of the best mince pies I’ve had:
“I have spoken to our buying team and they have told me there will be no shortage of mince pies in our stores this year”
Bravo Co-op 👏 We know where we can go to be guaranteed some mince pie goodness this Christmas at least…
Unfortunately it’s a blank from Morrisons who failed to reply after 48 hours, so not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
So mostly fairly non committal but reasonable upbeat from the major players. You should have plenty of mince pies this Christmas hopefully…now if only you knew which ones to buy 🤔
Look out for the mince pie reviews starting in a few weeks time as per usual (I hope!)…