Grape consumption is falling as production cost increases hit the retail shelf.

Sales of grapes have risen 3% in the past year to £526m, but volumes have fallen 2.7% to 209 million kgs [Kantar Worldpanel, 52w/e 24 January].

Supermarkets had responded to increased growing costs by selling smaller punnets at higher prices, according to one leading supplier. Whereas a typical punnet had cost £2.19 for 750g, they are now being sold at £2.49 for 500g.

"There have been increased production costs and currency fluctuations, and I would expect that to continue," he added.

Despite the drop, grapes remain one of the most popular fresh produce lines, accounting for 11% of all fruit eaten in the UK. Their core market of women over 45, who make up a third of all consumption, have increased the amount they eat over the past year, with children under five also eating more.