Curd is having a revival. It may still be the smallest sector in jams, spreads & honey, accounting for just 1.5% of the category’s £439.9m sales, but it’s growing at a blistering rate. Value has surged 13.8% on volumes up 5.8% in the past year [Kantar].
A certain septuagenarian domestic goddess has certainly played an important part, says Clippy’s Jams founder Clippy McKenna. When the Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry baked with lemon curd in the BBC programme, demand surged, she says.
“GBBO has a lot to do with consumers realising the potential of this wonderful product,” says McKenna, who will be launching a limoncello curd later this year to tap the trend (see below). “It’s hugely versatile and can be used in anything from cakes to scones.”
Just as Berry isn’t the only TV chef singing the praises of curd (everyone from the Hairy Bikers to Rachel Khoo have used it in recent recipes), McKenna isn’t alone in launching - or relaunching - the retro spread. “We’re set to reinstate lemon curd in 2014,” says Richard Duerr, marketing director at Duerr’s.
And not all the new products are made with lemons. Fraser Doherty, founder of SuperJam, is preparing to launch a new curd brand dubbed Joyberry, in strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant varieties, in April. “It’s a modern, fun brand,” he says. “Curd can be more than just lemon!”
As Rowse Honey proved at The Grocer’s 2013 Own-Label Awards when the orange curd it makes for Tesco Finest scooped the top award in the jams & spreads category, own label remains the driving force in the curd subcategory, with retailer offerings growing 11.1% to £4.7m on volumes up 5.1% in the past year, while brands are up 21.2% to £1.9m on volumes up 9.7%.
However, with so many branded launches on the cards, the balance could soon shift towards brands.