Berry Gardens News

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Sweet Blackberries and Blueberries

“Sweet blackberries as a category didn’t really exist a few years ago and although blackberries overall remain the smallest category in soft fruit we have seen sales of Driscolls® Victoria™ sweet blackberries have already more than doubled this year compared to 2015 (99 tons compared to 45 tons)”.

“Several Berry Gardens members are investing significantly in the variety and retailers appetite for the Driscoll’s® Victoria™ continue to drive the market”, adds Alastair Brooks. “The next stage is to educate consumers that the sweeter varieties are available and blackberries are not just for cooking. Again at the London Taste Festival this year we sampled Driscoll’s® Victoria™ and everybody was amazed by the natural sweetness”.

Latest Kantar data1 values the blackberry category overall at £30million +8.6% year on year, with penetration up to 12.5% from 10.7% and frequency of purchase static at 4.3 compared to 4.5 times last year.

Blueberries, the original superfood, continue to enjoy the highest growth at 26.7% over the last 52 weeks to a value of £295million1. Both penetration and frequency of purchase have also increased from 42.3% to 46.3% and 9.6 times to 11.1 times per year respectively.

“Several of our growers have increased their plantings in line with continued demand, says Nick. We also have the advantage of a broad geographic base with growers from the south east stretching over to Herefordshire and then up to Scotland ensuring consistent supply from May to September”.

Alastair adds “We see no signs of the demand for blueberries declining, particularly with the ongoing trend for smoothies and juicing, retailers continue to offer a small and large pack with several customers looking at new pack options this year. The development of the Driscoll’s varieties, Sweet Jane™ and Barbara Ann™ continues and we should have commercial volumes of new, great tasting blueberries available next year”.

1 Kantar Worldpanel market share data for 52 weeks prior to week ending 19th June 2016