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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

HM Revenue & Customs
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Items benefiting from the relief: what is food?: food packaging: Christmas packaging

Many types of food are traditionally sold in more elaborate packaging than normal during the Christmas season; but where this is merely an enhancement of their seasonal appeal and designed to enhance their sales potential, it is acceptable as normal and necessary and can be zero-rated. Christmas hampers, however, are always regarded as mixed supplies; and VAT must be charged accordingly on the standard-rated elements, which will usually comprise some of the food (confectionery and drinks), as well as the hamper itself.