Growers have hailed the return of the carrot after years of decline.

Hard work on a campaign to raise the carrot's profile has paid off as value sales rose 2% last year, according to the British Carrot Growers Association. More than £300m was spent on carrots in 2006 and volume sales also rose, by 1%.

The BCGA campaign included British Carrots branding, a website, national TV and radio coverage and a BBC Good Food Show stand. Activity this year will focus on children.

Martin Evans, chairman of the BCGA and MD of Freshgro, said: "We're seeing the results of our work to highlight the versatility of the carrot. More people are trying carrots again and are coming back for more."

Sales of baby Chantenay carrots are calculated separately and have doubled to about £15m. Growers are hoping for cold nights this month and next to allow late straw-stored crops to maintain keeping quality.