Retailers are finally responding to consumer demand for more tastier, premium varieties of strawberry , according to Nick Marston, the MD of berry supplier Berry Gardens.

Retailer focus had moved away from 'discount' strawberry lines, Marston told attendees at last week's Fruit Focus event at East Malling Research, Kent.

"This year there has been a real resurgence in sales of premium-line strawberries," he said.

Berry Gardens' Driscoll Jubilee variety had established itself as the top premium strawberry with 90% of the market in that category, Marston claimed. He predicted that Berry Gardens would increase its sales of Driscoll Jubilee by about 35% this season compared with 2009.

Sales had received excellent support this year from the retail sector through strong television, newspaper and magazine advertisements, said Marston.