Sainsbury's Taste the Difference brand selling at a premium to Caribbean Sainsbury is trialling Canary Isles bananas under its Taste the Difference brand. Results are encouraging said Mike Attwood, produce manager, who added that the variety is smaller and sweeter because it takes longer to mature. The chain is sourcing the fruit in the north of Tenerife. It is ripened and pre-packed in the UK. The price of £1.60/kg is a premium over Caribbean bananas. While fruit is far more marked on the skin, Sainsbury believes the taste will sell it, although careful handling is vital. The crop is grown extensively throughout the archipelago which supports a 400,000 tonne industry to meet Spanish mainland demand. This traditional Dwarf Cavendish variety was exported in substantial volumes to the UK more than 50 years ago, until the development of Caribbean fruit which was less fragile and could be grown more cheaply. Canary growers are still often small in scale, but in recent years co-operative groups have developed which are able to handle sizeable shipping programmes. Some 18 months ago several Canary producers began to explore the opportunity of rebuilding a niche UK market. The largest, Coplaca, which accounts for a third of the crop, believed there was the opportunity to develop a quality market in northern Europe. Another organisation, Platania, is also discussing strategy. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}