Blueberries Coming of Age and New Kid on the Block
“UK Blueberries are forecast to have the longest season ever this year, thanks to significant investment in production by Berry Gardens’ growers”, according to Nicholas Marston, Managing Director of Berry Gardens.
Mr Marston continues “Several of our growers have developed their knowledge of growing blueberries over the last few years and we are enjoying the benefits as the bushes are maturing well and producing good yields. Blueberries continue to be the super fruit in the eyes of the UK consumer and we have launched new pack formats this year including mix berry packs and a Blueberry Snack Pack which contains 4 x 80g portions of blueberries, each 80g representing one of the suggested five a day. The pack has been successfully listed in main estate and convenience stores.
The category continues to enjoy robust growth with the latest Kantar1 data showing value growth by +9.96%, with the discounters, Aldi & Lidl experiencing the highest retailer growth at +25.45%”.
Regarding the British blackberry market Alastair Brooks, Berry Gardens Chairman adds “as the UK’s leading berry and cherry supplier we have successfully introduced Sweet Eating and tangy Blackberries to retailers with varieties such as Karaka Black™ and Driscoll’s® King George™, and Carmel™. In contrast to the more traditional, acidic blackberries the Sweet Eating varieties can be enjoyed on their own. Over the next few years we will be developing our offer to retailers as the “Sweet Eating” category continues to grow and new sweet varieties such as Driscoll’s® Victoria™ come into production.”
“We have also enjoyed the earliest cherry season ever, Mr Brooks continues, with BRIX levels above average at a minimum of 16 and indeed 18/20 have not been unusual due to the high levels of sunlight we have enjoyed, this together with our varietal mix will deliver a robust programme of approximately 950 tonnes of UK cherries to retailers. Berry Gardens growers scooped 15 awards at the recent National Cherry & Soft Fruit show including several firsts and best basket of late black cherries”.
For media enquiries and images please contact – Janine Hatfield - PR, Media and Communications Officer, Berry Gardens Ltd. Tel: 01892 838800.
1. Kantar Worldpanel blueberry market share for the 4 weeks prior to week ending 22nd June 2014.