Strawberries remain the UK's best-selling fresh berries, but shoppers bought 12,759 tonnes of blueberries in 2010, 11.4% more than in 2009, while volume sales of raspberries fell 12.9% to 12,315 tonnes [Kantar 52w/e 26 December 2010].
Raspberries remained slightly ahead of blueberries in spend, with sales of £124.5m (down 3.9%) compared with £123.5m for blueberries (up 7.9%).
Blueberries had been able to take advantage of unfavourable weather in key farming regions for other berries, which led to a drop in available volumes for competing berries, said Kantar consumer insight director Sapna Sejpal. Intense promotional activity by the major multiples had also played a role, added Mintel analyst Amy Lloyd.
"Whenever you go into the supermarkets, you will usually find blueberries on promotion somewhere," she said, adding that the berries' reputation as a 'superfood' had ensured they remained top of mind for health-conscious shoppers.
Considerable increases were also seen in sales of fresh cranberries, which saw volume sales rise 10.7% to 392 tonnes and value sales increase 8.3% to £2.5m. Blackberries saw the category's biggest decline, down a respective 13% and 18% in volume and value.
Strawberries experienced a small decline in sales, of 3.6% in volume to 91,114 tonnes and 0.3% in value to £405.8m.
The total UK market for fresh berries and currants was worth £683.8m in 2010, down 0.2% year-on-year, with volume sales of 119,939 tonnes, down 3.4%.
In contrast to fresh, the much smaller frozen berry market had a slightly more positive 2010, with growth reported in both value and volume to £19.1m and 4,424 tonnes respectively. The bestselling frozen berries were raspberries, with a 14.4% rise to £9m and a 17.2% increase in volume sales to 1,766 tonnes.