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."