Brussels sprouts tea, anyone? Mince-pie in a Yorkshire pudding? 

 

 

This year has seen a deluge of Christmas food and drink across the on- and off-trade from the fantastical to the downright bizarre.

Barely a day has gone by that I haven't heard about a new ingredient or dish, which a chef or manufacturer has claimed is the 'ultimate' festive treat. Some look very tasty, some...less so.

I'm certainly not a party pooper, but at first I couldn't help but feel some of these gimmicky items are a bit of a waste of money for both the maker and the eater – and, well, a missed opportunity to instead spend the effort creating tasty new products for festive pub menus. I don't know about you, but all I want for Christmas is a cracking pint of ale and a tasty roast dinner.

Then, I saw the light.

Yes, of course, there is always a place for a beautiful Christmas pudding or roast turkey on your menu. But, in this media saturated age, where competition for innovation between pubs, casual dining restaurants and the off-trade is brutal, making a product stand out is crucial for publicans.

Take Farmhouse Inns' mince pie in a Yorkshire Pudding and Greene King's 'cows in quilts', both of which Inapub have covered in the past week.

When you see the amount of interest the products have received online and in the press, it clearly makes sense to create something that can be shared on social media, and creates a bit of attention for your pub.

This doesn't mean making a product from scratch. Chances are you already have something on the menu which is unique to your pub. Whether it is giant pork scratchings or a special type of pie, simply 'festive-ify' the dish with Christmas-y spices, herbs or other ingredients, and you are surely on to a hit with the locals. But whatever you do, make sure to promote it.

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some of the festive grub in my local pub, and hoping to find at least one giant mince pie to chow down on. After all, Christmas is the best time to be indulgent - so why not?