The US is set for a record cranberry crop this year in spite of lacklustre growing conditions.

With small increases in growing area over the past four years, estimates indicate that the crop will be some 6% larger than in 2005 and set to reach 6.64 million barrels, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The barrel is quoted as the traditional measure weighing 100lb.

Wisconsin, which accounts for half the crop, is marginally up to 3.7 million barrels, Massachusetts has reported a major increase of 23% to 1.75 million barrels. The other three states,

New Jersey, Oregon and Washington, will contribute an additional

1 million barrels.

Apart from processed products and juice, there is a strong demand for the fresh fruit. The fruit is gaining in popularity both in the US and in Western Europe as it is classed as a healthy "superfruit" with one of the highest levels of antioxidants.