United Biscuits has launched a McVitie's Christmas cake range, claiming that consumer appetite for traditional festive cakes like mince pies is on the wane.

The range includes amaretto individually wrapped bars, black forest yule logs with a cherry jam filling and a cranberry, orange and Grand Marnier cake.

McVitie's decision to introduce the range was built on the strength of the company's offerings last year, United Biscuits said today (30 September).

Seasonal cakes excluding mince pies, showed the strongest growth in 2007, with sales up 9% year-on-year, the company added. 

Graham Parry, sales director for McVitie's Cake Company, said: "The whole range is strikingly packaged to ensure strong stand-out on-shelf that will help generate incremental sales and profit opportunities for 2008."

In addition to the cakes, McVitie's has introduced shortbread bites, mini tubs for digestives, jaffa cakes, cookies and new mini mallows, and Jestivals - a selection of ten different milk chocolate biscuits - to its biscuit portfolio.

In the snack sector, the company has introduced McCoy's Winter Warmers in limited edition packs of Lamb & Mint and Steak & Ale Pie.

Also in the range are Hula Hoops Stars & Hoops Sharing Drum, KP Nuts Pouches in Maple Syrup and Vanilla & Cinnamon flavours, and KP Baked & Seasoned in Caramelised Onion, Balsamic Vinegar & Herb flavours.