Tesco is working with growers to plant half a million Evelina and Opal apple trees amid rising demand for alternative varieties.

Growers plan to increase tree numbers from just 13,000 to 500,000 over the next five years. New trees will be planted in Norfolk, Hampshire and Kent, with the extra volumes reaching the supermarket in 2012.

Tesco board director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said the move "demonstrates the importance of product innovation and how we can best work with British suppliers to increase home-grown products in store".

Evelina a cross between Golden Delicious and Clevia is red with a sweet but acidic taste and crisp texture. Opal a Golden Delicious and Topaz cross is yellow with an orange blush, sweet taste and crunchy finish.

Both varieties are stocked in Tesco's Finest range between October and February (rsp: £2.19 for a tray of four).