Tenderstem broccoli's backers will search for more domestic growers in 2010

Tenderstem broccoli has beaten the recession by hitting its 2009 UK sales targets and its backers want more domestic growers to take it on.

Its backers also plan to spearhead Tenderstem's way further into the premium fresh produce market with a new marketing campaign this year.

Against a background of challenging factors, including the recession and unfavourable exchange rates, the start of last year was not at all easy, with the first five months delivering sales well below budget.

However, excellent results were achieved in the final seven months of 2009. Sales figures were frequently well in excess of comparable 2008 year-on-year data, particularly in December, when sales figures were "excellent".

Andy Macdonald, brand manager at Coregeo, which markets Tenderstem broccoli in the UK, said: "Initially faced with an extremely difficult and uncertain year, we're very satisfied with the 2009 sales figures and delighted that we have achieved everything we set out to at the beginning of the year."

In 2010, Tenderstem broccoli sales volumes are predicted to grow by around 15 per cent. Delivering this growth relies on a business strategy that aims to increase the number of UK growers to expand the volume of home-grown product.

Coregeo explained that the key to ensuring another successful year was strong marketing activity, which will include above-the-line activity, in-store promotions with major retailers and a hard-hitting PR campaign.

The new public relations campaign for 2010 will lead with the "Year of health for Tenderstem broccoli", demonstrating the vegetable's health properties.

A range of activities will be headlined with chef Jo Pratt continuing her role as brand ambassador. Tenderstem broccoli will also make its debut appearance at the Vitality Show in London on 18-21 March.

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