Strawberry growers have predicted a bumper crop this year, following “perfect” growing conditions.
The British crop is set to reach 70,364 tonnes this season, up 6% from last year, despite arriving on shelves a week later.
The cool, dry winter and recent warm weather had provided ideal conditions for the berries, which were now in supermarkets “in abundance”, said trade body British Summer Fruits. The extra strawberries would help cater to growing demand in the UK, it added.
Berry consumption has grown by 132% during the past 10 years, compared with a 49% rise in fruit consumption. More than 126,000 tonnes were sold in the UK in the past year [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 23 April 2017].
“This season’s strawberry production reflects a robust and expanding soft fruit category that is able to meet the growing consumer demand,” said Laurence Olins, chairman of British Summer Fruits.
“More and more people understand the fantastic health benefits of snacking on a punnet of berries, and fortunately we have been able to match this growing demand with innovation in the industry, to ensure consumers can look forward to good quality British berries on their supermarket shelves.”