British Apples and Pears - Orchard

Source: British Apples and Pears

Data from British Apples & Pears shows the discounter sold just 95 fewer tonnes of British apples in January than its bigger rival

Aldi is on the verge of passing Tesco and retaking its mantle as the biggest supporter of UK-grown apples, new research from British Apples & Pears has revealed.

The discounter sold 4,279 tonnes of British apples in January, just 95 tonnes fewer than Tesco and 1,191 tonnes more than third-placed Sainsbury’s, according to the grower body’s new monthly analysis of the category, which aggregates supermarket ranging data from its membership.

This meant Aldi’s share of the apple market stood at 22.2%, despite having just 9.2% of the total grocery market, the data showed. Aldi also sold more British apples than any other supermarket during the year ending July 2022.

Tesco’s 22.6% share in January was significantly lower than its total share of the grocery market of 27.5%, and down from a 24% share of the apple market in December.

Lidl – which had a 13.5% share of the British apple market – was the fourth-biggest supporter of the sector, despite having just 7.1% share of the grocery market.

Meanwhile, Asda was the supermarket with the biggest disparity between its market share and share of the British apple market, with the retailer representing 14.2% of the grocery sector but selling just 4.4% of the apples sourced via British growers in January.

British Apples & Pears’ analysis of the market follows growing concern that many UK retailers do not offer enough support to British growers.

Research by BAP in December revealed almost half (48%) the apples sold in UK supermarkets were imported between the start of October and mid-November – despite it being the height of what was a bumper British apple season. This followed warnings growers were pulling back on production due to soaring costs last summer.

“British retailers say they want to support British, and this data will reveal those retailers that really are buying British,” said British Apples & Pears executive chair Ali Capper.

“It’s going to be fascinating to see which supermarket comes out on top this season,” she added.

“It’s so important all our supermarkets get behind British farmers and British apples. We know that consumers want British if at all possible. When we have such wonderful fruit available in good quantities, that will store well, there really is no reason to look overseas.”

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