Asda has claimed victory in the race to stock this year’s crop of British Cox apples, with the first Cox going into Asda stores on Sunday (4 September).

The supermarket said Cox apples had arrived a week earlier than usual because of the combination of warm weather in early spring and cooler than usual temperatures in August.

Helen Lear of Asda’s fresh produce team said she was thrilled Asda was able to bring Cox to shoppers “before any other supermarket”. She added that the quality of this year’s Cox crop was high – “full of flavour and perfectly crunchy”.

But Morrisons said it too had got British Cox apples into its stores early, on 5 September. It said it expected to sell more than 27m of the apples – or 3,500 tonnes – this season.

James Judd, produce trading manager at Morrisons, said: “We know our customers love to buy British produce where possible so we are pleased to be able to get the British Cox apples through so early.”

Asda expects to sell about 25 million British Cox apples over the apple season this year.