Simon Conway at the Wight Salads Group said the large cocktail variety, sold on the vine in Tesco’s Finest range, was so popular with shoppers that his company was struggling to keep up with demand.
“It’s only the second year of selling them but we have had to ramp up production to a much larger scale - more than two hectares compared with half a hectare last year.
“We’re supplying Tesco with 12 tonnes of Temptation tomatoes a week, but the crop will bulk up in May and June and we’ll be sending them about 20 tonnes a week.” Conway said the tomatoes, a deep red in colour, delivered an exceptional flavour but were very difficult to grow. “British tomatoes have to taste good if they are going to sit in the Finest range. We’re not aware of anyone else in the UK growing them.”
Wight Salads produces the tomatoes under glass on the Isle of Wight in a season that runs from the last week of February to late October. Last year, the tomatoes were sold by Tesco in a triangular pack, but this year they come in a standard rectangular tray of at least five fruit (rsp: £1.79).