As the Spanish persimon season gets underway, retailers are predicting another bumper year for the fruit - with one supermarket revealing it now outsells mangoes and pineapples in some stores.
Trade body Foods from Spain said 12 million Spanish persimon were sold in the UK last year - a 2,300% increase on the 0.5 million sold in 2009. Persimon is the commercial name for Spanish persimmon and is spelt with a single ‘m’ to differentiate it from fruit from other countries.
Aldi, which rolled the fruit into stores this week, reported sales up 200% last year.
Spanish growers say the crop for this season - which runs from October to January - is 10% larger than last year thanks to good growing conditions and increased plantings.
“Spanish persimon has been one of the UK fresh produce category’s real success stores,” said Rafael Perucho, head of regulatory council Kaki de la Ribera del Xúquer. “We have seen this fruit progress from being virtually unknown to achieving record sales.”
Persimon has been supported by Food from Spain marketing activity that will this year include sampling, social media, advertising and information labels.
Asda was expecting a 35% increase in persimon sales this year.
“They are proving more popular with customers,” added a spokesman. “In some parts of the south of England we now sell more persimons than mangoes, pineapples and kiwis.”
Tesco said it was looking to build on the popularity of persimon with a series of in-store events.