Consumer demand for soft fruit which tastes more intense and is also endowed with distinct flavours could be a new route to develop sales in the future, according to Harry Swartz, director of Five Acres Breeding, which is supported by the university of Maryland in the US.

Looking to future trends, Swartz has recently developed a cinnamon-flavoured strawberry and a banana-flavoured golden raspberry.

While these are still to become commercial, he told growers at the Fruit Focus show in Kent: "Aromatic flavours will come to the fore and could add a new dimension to sales."

FAB is part of a joint ventures programme with UK counterpart Edward Vinson Plants and BerryWorld Plus begun in 2003.

The company is already introducing several new varieties of more conventional strawberries and raspberries to the industry, and it has promised that there will be more to come by 2008.