Black grapes could be the new white in five years, according to Capespan.

The South African company is launching a new, larger variety of black seedless grape into the UK this month, which it says could herald a surge in popularity for the relatively niche crop.

"Now we have a good-looking black seedless grape it could emulate red seedless, which has really grown in the past 10 years to rival white," said trading director Martin Dunnett.

Mid-season fruit Sugra 23 is a pitch black grape, the skin and flesh of which contain red pigments that are high in antioxidants, according to Capespan, which is marketing the Sun World-bred variety.

The fruit, which grow up to 27mm in diameter, were first established in South Africa's Hex River Valley in 2007, with a tiny volume sent to the UK last year.

Commercial volumes will be available for the first time this year and will be on shelves from this week.