Strawberry crop expected to be bigger, better and juicier this year

Cooler weather and slower growth set to reap rewards for this year’s crop, says British Summer Fruits.

The British strawberry season started later this year due to cooler winter and spring weather, which helped strawberry flowering and ripening to occur a little more gradually. As a result, consumers can enjoy larger, juicier, but just as tasty, British strawberries this year, says British Summer Fruits, which represents 95 per cent of British grown berries supplied to UK supermarkets.

Consumer appetite for fresh strawberries shows no sign of slowing down, according to recent research by Kantar. Over the past twelve months, shoppers spent more than £772 million on strawberries – over 10 per cent more than the previous year – with 147,300 tonnes of strawberries purchased. The dedicated  strawberry growers of the UK ensure that the country is self-sufficient in the nation’s favourite fruit for the whole summer season from May to October. Around 70 per cent of all strawberries bought in the UK are now grown by British farmers.

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have the biggest market share of all fruit grown in the UK, making up an impressive 26 per cent. This has pushed the value of the berry industry to an all-time high of £1.69 billion as fresh berries continue to be the most popular fruit item in shoppers’ baskets.

Nick Marston, chairman of British Summer Fruits, said: ”This year strawberries have developed a little more slowly than usual. The recent cooler weather is resulting in tasty but also larger and juicier British strawberries than previous years. We are excited that our continuously advancing growing techniques, such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension, means we can offer shoppers these locally grown fresh berries for more of the year.”

Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits added: ”Strawberries are a great provider of vitamin C and have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles - eating just nine strawberries (108g) can provide all of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. As it’s now British strawberry season, it’s the perfect time to taste naturally sweet berries and reap their potential health benefits.”

To give the British public even more ways to enjoy British strawberries this year, British Summer Fruits has published over 85 recipes featuring fresh strawberries on its Love Fresh Berries website

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