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  1. ITV Report

Mince pies and Christmas pudding already in supermarkets three months before the festive season

Christmas chocolate in a Tesco store. Credit: PA

Mince pies, tubs of chocolates and Christmas puddings being sold in supermarkets even though the season being well over three months away.

Shoppers have shared pictures on social media of their amusements at supermarket shelves - which already stocked with the festive treats.

Tesco shoppers have found themselves confronted with banks of Quality Street and Heroes as they enter the supermarkets.

While confused Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons customers have posted pictures of shelves packed with mince pies – despite the festive staple generally needing to be eaten fresh within a few days.

Retailers say the stocking of Christmas supplies in September – well before Halloween on October 31 – is simply down to demand from customers.

Sainsbury's stock of mince pies, Christmas pudding and cakes. Credit: Twitter

Sainsbury's has already produced shelves down their aisles stocked with mince pies, panettone, cakes and Christmas puddings.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s has said: "We start to stock some festive products in advance of the main Christmas period as some customers like to be more organised and help spread the cost."

Some 8.6 million Britons have already started their festive shopping, a survey by American Express found.

Almost half (49%) of people start shopping early to pick up gifts in the sales.

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Year-on-year data reveals more Britons are getting a head start on shopping – since 2016 an extra 1.1 million people have started shopping with 100 days to go, the study shows.

Aisling Cahill has shared pictures on social media of the Christmas sweets and food display in her local Tesco.

She added: "Ho ho ho Christmas is coming!"

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Stephen Steinhardt, from American Express, said: "With so many people starting their shopping early the Christmas countdown is now well and truly under way."

Selfridges, which opened its Christmas shop 145 days before December 25, said the ongoing commercial success of their summer launch translated into year-on-year record sales, driven by both domestic early Christmas shoppers and souvenir-hunting tourists.

Selfridges Christmas and home buyer Eleanor Gregory said: "Our summer Christmas shop launch simply addresses the growing demand for convenience Christmas shopping outside the traditional Christmas season."

Opinium surveyed 2,003 adults online for American Express between August 10-13.