Potato value share boosted by exclusive varieties; new chioca tuber added San Manzo leading wider Sainsbury produce range Sainsbury is launching both a new and extended range of produce this month, with more plans in the pipeline. The first line, part of an Italian range additionally identified with specially designed packaging and which made its appearance this week, is San Manzo plum tomatoes prepacked in fours and priced at £1.49. The exclusive variety originated in Sicily and southern Italy, and can trace its history back to 1789, according to Dr Theresa Huxley, quality manager. "It ripens evenly, and is very versatile," she said. The new line brings the annual tomato range sold by the chain to 17 different lines. Sainsbury has also launched a special Jubilee new potato called Elizabeth, being grown in Suffolk, which adds to its range of exclusive varieties which already include Anaya, Juliette and Vivaldi. The effect, according to category buyer Alistair Swan, is that it has seen its market share rise in potatoes rise in value terms from 25.8% to 27.7%. Also due shortly will be a new variety of chioca, the New Zealand fleshy tuber trialled last year by Exotic Farm Produce. Sainsbury successfully tested the Cherry Red variety and will now include the darker coloured FireCracker. Senior buyer Chris Evans expects the first arrivals in about a fortnight and availability to last well until November. Because of consumer response which was heightened by wide press coverage, he expects as many as 100 stores to carry the product, twice as many as 2001. The product will be punneted, and continue to carry its own recipe information. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}