Celebrity endorsements and 'superfruit' status boost sales of blackcurrants

One of the country's largest growers of blackcurrants for the fresh produce market has seen a 30 per cent increase in sales of the fruit this summer thanks to positive media coverage and increasing consumer awareness of the fruit's health benefits.

For example, blackcurrants contain high levels of anthocyanins, which guard against joint inflammation, eye strain, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and a host of other conditions. Kent-based Winterwood Farms is funding a breeding programme to develop better-tasting blackcurrant varieties for the fresh market. Managing director Stephen Taylor told Grower that the media coverage generated by people's growing awareness of the "superfruit" are to thank for the increase in sales.

In particular, endorsements of blackcurrants by celebrity chefs such as Delia Smith have had a large impact, he added.

This summer her recipe range for Waitrose has included a recipe for vanilla cream terrine with raspberry and blackcurrant coulis and another for blackcurrant ice cream.

Taylor said: "The size of the crop has been a bit down on last year but fresh supermarket sales have been up. There's quite a phenomenal uplift on the back of what Delia says."

Throughout July, Waitrose introduced a range of "dessert blackcurrants - grown in Norfolk by the Walpole family - and was the only supermarket to stock sweeter, larger dessert blackcurrants.

A representative for the supermarket told Grower that it will "definitely be stocking them again next year".

She added: "They have proved to be extremely popular with our customers. Essential Waitrose blackcurrants have also seen a surge in popularity, as the past four weeks' sales are up 120 per cent compared to last year."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

The likely impact on seasonal labour has dominated discussions of the consequences of withdrawal from the EU for UK production horticulture.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon