Aronia berries set for launch at M&S

Scottish soft fruit company Thomson Blairgowrie is helping Marks & Spencer (M&S) bring the aronia "wonder-berry" to UK shelves for the first time.

Peter Thompson, whose great-great-grandfather set up the soft fruit enterprise more than a century ago, has spent six years bringing the crop to fruition for the retailer.

The damp, mild weather at the Perthshire farm is particularly suited to growing the black fruit - which originates from North America and is similar in shape and size to a blueberry.

The aronia berry has three times as many antioxidants as the blueberry and is believed to contain more than any other berry.

M&S decided to sell the berry following increasing demand from customers for health-boosting fruits. Blueberry sales at M&S have risen 40 per cent in the past year.

M&S berries specialist Emmett Lunny said: "We are proud to bring one of the healthiest berries to the high street. Blueberries and raspberries are proving extremely popular as more and more people opt for fruit as a snack or pudding - but our research shows they are always on the lookout for something new.

"Aronia berries have a delicious, distinctive flavour as a sauce or in fruit pie."

The berry, which tastes tart when eaten raw, is expected to be a big hit with Britain's growing Polish population, as aronia juice is very popular in Poland.

It has a sharp taste and is mostly used in sauces for summer puddings, French style coulis sauces, cheesecake and juice.


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