Blueberries could replace raspberries as the UK's second-favourite berry if current strong growth continues, growers are predicting.

Some 1,139 tonnes of British blueberries were sold this summer, 305% up on 2008, British Summer Fruits reported this week.

New varieties with larger fruit have been credited with helping boost sales.

Most blueberries have traditionally been imported from France, South Africa and South America, but UK growers increasingly see the fruit as a value-added crop and are planting more.

Although sales are still lagging well behind raspberries, whose volumes rose 3% to 7,001 tonnes this season, producers are increasingly favouring blueberries as raspberries are said to be more delicate and less profitable than other crops, as well as difficult to grow.

Strawberry sales rebounded from a difficult 2008 with 17% growth to 48,770 tonnes this summer.