2018 was the year of the berry for Asda customers, with blueberries and raspberries growing in popularity, with blueberries seeing a surge of 53% in sales, overtaking potatoes and broccoli as firm favourites to become the nation’s sixth and seventh-most purchased produce this year.
Whilst staples such as bananas, grapes and clementines still sit in the nation’s top five, Brits are becoming a nation of berry-lovers, with raspberries jumping eight places and blueberries six places in popularity.
The growth in berry popularity – which sees the three varieties breaking the top six favourites – comes following a bumper year for British berries, which flourished thanks to consistent months of sun and warm weather. Other British-grown fruit and veg have also made home in the top ten, including cucumbers (5th), gala apples (8th) and peppers (10th).
Meanwhile, old favourites have tumbled out of the top ten, with broccoli (11th), tomatoes (12th) and mushrooms (13th) making way for sweeter fruit bowl choices.
Nation’s Top 10 Fruit & Veg
1. Bananas (=)2. Red Grapes (↑ 7 places)
3. Strawberries (=)
4. Clementines (↑ 3 places)
5. Cucumbers (↓ 3 places)
6. Raspberries (↑ 8 places)
7. Blueberries (↑ 6 places)
8. Gala Apples (new to list)
9. White Potatoes (↑ 1 place)
10. Green Grapes (new to list)
Ian Harrison, Asda’s Produce Technical Director, comments: “2018 was a renaissance year for berries, which were graced with an incredible growing season thanks to the weather and our British growers making the most of the sunshine to produce quality, sweet fruit.
“As our love for berries continues to grow, we’re working with our growers to develop new varieties that match changing tastes and diets as we vary our produce repertoire.”
With customers becoming more experimental with foods, Asda predicts 2019 will see a resurgence of blue/purple fruit and veg as customers become increasingly aware of the added benefits blue food offer.
Whilst blueberries are already flying off shelves, Asda predicts other blue produce including plums, blackcurrants, blackberries purple carrots and elderberries will become more popular as the nation turn to the hue thanks to its nutritional benefits and growing trend for blue and purple products in the home, fashion and beauty.
2019 will also see hybrid produce become more popular, with the likes of pluots eaten more frequently. A cross between popular stone fruits, the pluot has the sweetness of a plum, mixed with the juiciness of apricot.
Harrison continues: “When it comes to fruit, we’re a nation where the sweeter, the better. We’re investigating a number of delicious new varieties on grapes, stone fruit and berries to deliver the perfect fruit for Brits, who are falling in love with fruit with a bang of sweet flavour.”