The Co-operative Group says its sales of English tomatoes have boomed over the past two months following its introduction of Elegance, an on-the-vine variety.
Since stocking Elegance, English tomato sales volumes at The Co-operative Group have increased by 7%. And in the past four weeks the variety has become the retailer’s biggest single tomato line in terms of value.
Salad buyer Carla Fletcher said: “Sales grow with customer satisfaction. While there is a place for promotions to entice shoppers to try something different, the key is for them to enjoy the eating experience so that they come back for repeat purchases.”
The Co-operative Group’s English Elegance tomatoes are grown by Evesham Vale Growers. A spokesman said: “By prioritising the yield, uniform size and shape and long shelf life over the past decade, the flavour has suffered, but the focus is now changing.”
He added that the English season for Elegance had now come to a close, but continuity of supply would be provided until next summer by importing from Italy and Sicily. Supplies would switch back to home-grown in April.