Young men are being encouraged to eat asparagus in a bid to broaden the vegetable's appeal.

Men aged 25-40 are being targeted for the first time because they are the fastest-growing group in terms of home cooking, said organisers of the £35,000 2008 asparagus campaign, which kicks off in early April.

The British Asparagus Growers Association push will use a revamped website with recipe, diet and nutrition sections, as well as a page encouraging young men to cook with asparagus because it is ideal for impressing a date.

Volume sales rose almost 25% last year and are up 60% in the past three years. "We are focusing on young men, with a fun and frisky campaign, to chime sales with a consumer sector we have not specifically targeted before," said spokesman James Hallett.

He said the campaign would build upon the record 14.3% market penetration achieved last year during the British season.