Room for growth in fruit-tree market, HTA reveals

There is considerable room for growth in the fruit-tree market, according to new research from the HTA that reveals keen consumers are being put off by the perceived challenges.

The poll of 2,000 people found 62 per cent eager to grow fruit trees and berries, but only 36 per cent actually doing it. This, according to figures from the Plant For Life campaign, is because 39 per cent of people lack sufficient space and 23 per cent do not know what to grow.

The research also revealed a lack of knowledge among the public, with 41 per cent incorrectly believing that fruit trees and berries are best planted in spring.

The news follows last week's HW report that sales of fruit trees for some growers had risen by as much as 50 per cent.

HTA business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "There is still room for growth in the market. The issue is that people need to have a bit more confidence and information on (fruit trees).

"There are still people who are not (growing them) because they are nervous. Hopefully, as they get more used to grow-your-own, it will be the next step."

To combat the perception that fruit trees are challenging, the HTA has teamed up with TV plantsman Chris Collins. He has issued a series of simple tips on the subject which can be downloaded at www.plantforlife.info/fruit.

The research also revealed a significant increase in the popularity of grow-your-own, with 54 per cent of those polled now following the trend, compared with 22 per cent in 2007.


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