A range of new festive bakery products have been launched using branded alcohol from culinary alcohol supplier, Thomas Lowndes – part of Beam Global Spirits and Wine. Tesco are now using Courvoisier VS Cognac for the first time in its Finest Mince Pie range, including its Tesco Finest 12 Mini Mince Pies and Tesco Finest 6 Standard Mince Pies, which also contain sultanas, walnuts, lemon and orange peel and almonds. Asda’s Extra Special Christmas Cake range, manufactured by Finsbury Food Group, now also features Courvoisier VS Cognac. “The addition of a well-known brand like Courvoisier gives the product something special that consumers have come to expect at Christmas,” said Ellie Procter, seasonal cake buyer at Asda. “Tradition is still a huge part of Christmas cake purchase and a cake without alcohol is just not the same.” Grand Marnier has been added to McVities’ Christmas Cranberry, Orange and Grand Marnier cake and Marks & Spencer has also used it in its Mini Christmas Puddings. Other new products include a new Christmas Melt in the Middle, from the Serious Food Company, with Courvoisier VS Cognac and a Mincemeat & Grand Marnier Topped Orange Sponge Pudding from Waitrose.Mark Riley, sales director, Beam Global Spirits and Wine, remarked that the general feeling is that consumers will still spend on luxury items this Christmas, despite the economic downturn.