Sales of fruit and vegetable 'superfoods' will continue to grow even if they cannot be called superfoods any more, according to suppliers.

The EU health and nutrition claims regulation, which comes into force on

1 July, will make it harder to publish health claims about food and spell the end for terms like 'superfood'. However, suppliers insisted that this would not affect the sector's strong growth.

In recent years, sales of fruit and vegetables described as a superfood has grown exponentially. Eight, including tomatoes, blueberries and spinach, notched up 11% sales growth to £1.24bn last year between them, according to exclusive Nielsen data.

Blueberry sales alone grew 39% to £95m last year and tomato sales rose 13% to £625m. Spinach sales grew 21% to £42m and pumpkin sales grew 15% to £4.7m.

Some suggested that sales might even grow more strongly if the term 'superfood' was ditched.

"There are so many superfoods now I think the idea is suffering fatigue," said David Bowman, Europe's biggest pumpkin producer.

"One week broccoli is especially good for you and the next week it's not. People get brassed off with it," he added.

The public and producers would benefit from the new rules, he argued. "We need some sort of standard that can be laid down and set in stone. That way, food that is genuinely better for you would benefit," he said.

David Trehane of the Dorset Blueberry Company blamed the press for hyping up superfoods. "The message with blueberries is so widespread now that word of mouth performs a large part of promoting the product to new customers."

Tomatoes have been widely described as a superfood, but never actually labelled as such. The British Tomato Growers' Association said it was because their antioxidant levels varied too much.