T&M have claimed 24 per cent rise in seed sales through September to end of November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. T&M horticultural director Paul Hansord said after veg seed sales peaked at £60m in 2009, when industry wide sales of vegetable seeds peaked at an historic £60million for the year "if vegetable seed sales continue to perform at current levels then the firm will be reporting its best ever year [Sptember-September] for the category".
Tomato seeds sales have jumped 51 per cent in the three month period. Much of this growth has been generated by sales of Thompson & Morgan's Vegetable of the Year for 2016 – Tomato Mountain Magic, a "fully blight resistant variety". Akron and Sweet Aperitif are also in T&M's top three tomatoes.
Brassica seed sales have risen 52 per cent, while onion seeds have seen growth of 67 per cent. T&M says the loss of show bench favourite Onion Kelsae from other retailer's 2016 catalogues (the Italian seed crop was destroyed by a hail storm and will not be available again until at least 2017) has driven growers towards other large varieties including Onion Bunton's Showstopper. Pea and Bean sales have risen 82 per cent, with Runner Bean Firestorm – the 2016 Thompson and Morgan Seed Catalogue cover star – alone seeing a 75 per cent rise in sales.
Thompson & Morgan's Chilli and Pepper range has seen the biggest growth, with sales rising 111 per cent. Each variety has been given a 1-10 heat rating.
T&M say the Tomtato has sold one million sold worldwide since launch in 2013. A similar plant 'Egg & Chips' is now available, producing aubergines (better known as egg plants in the US and Europe) and potatoes on the same plant. Both are bred by Beekenkamp. Egg & Chips is known as GineTato outside the UK.