An M&S Drinks Developer from Halifax has been getting into the Christmas spirit by trying out unusual festive creations including Jaffa Cake Cocktail, Mince Pie Flavour Cream and Christmas Dry Gin.
Jenny Rea has been at M&S for 20 years and started working as an intern in the Food Team during her placement year at university and returned in 1999
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In an average week Jenny samples up to 100 different drinks including beer, cider, spirits and cocktails.
“The run up to Christmas is our busiest time of year at M&S – from overseeing production and taste testing the new drinks, to distributing them stores across the country," said Jenny.
"In the months leading up to the festive season I’m often out and about researching the other new drinks in the market. We start work on next Christmas’ festive drinks before this Christmas has happened! We live and breathe Christmas every day of the year”.
“Every day is different – one day I might be developing cocktail recipes for Christmas and the next, researching the latest craft beers.
"Seeing a customer pick up and buy one of the drinks that I’ve developed is the really exciting”.
Of course, she doesn’t forget to take a close look at what’s happening at home too and growing up in Yorkshire provided the foundation for Jenny becoming a drinks expert.
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She said: “I’ve always been interested in product development, and it was during my time at university in Yorkshire that this passion grew, and I decided to move into the world of retail with a placement at M&S.”
Jenny started creating this year’s festive drinks over a year ago and, this Christmas, M&S has launched its #MyMarksFave campaign to celebrate the story behind each and every foodie product, encouraging customers to discover their own food and drink favourites.
This year M&S is also celebrating value and more than 100 food products are cheaper than last Christmas, allowing M&S customers to enjoy even more of the festive range, without compromising on fantastic quality.
Jenny said: “My favourite drink from this year’s Christmas range is definitely our Christmas Dry Gin, the flavours of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger are just Christmas in a glass. Its from the Old Curiosity Distillery near Edinburgh.
"I also love our Mince Pie Cream – you can literally taste the buttery pastry, fruity mincemeat and even the icing sugar on top. Great on the rocks, or drizzled over ice cream”