2011 is another exceptional season for sales of Berries in the UK, with double digit sales growth leading to berries topping the sales value league for all British fruit sales*.
Berries have outperformed all other grocery sectors with six consecutive months of expenditure and volume growth in 2011. It’s the first year that the berry category has been the largest category in the fruit sector. This vindicates the ongoing efforts of businesses such as Berry Gardens in creating a well organised growers’ community which works effectively with the retail outlets.
Key to the development of the berries sector has been the establishment of a strong growers’ supply chain to maintain the well structured retail offering now available to the consumer throughout the season.
Continued consumer preference for UK grown berries has provided the platform for the substantial expansion in British farms increasing the growing area available for berries. Covered planting has assisted in extending the growing season while investment in research and development has increased the quality, volume and appearance of the crops grown.
Professor David Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Food Marketing at Imperial College London stated “Even in recessionary times berries are an affordable treat for most families and unlike many other fruits are easy to handle and eat by adults and children. Add to this the context of the consumers increased understanding of the benefits of berries in a healthy diet and the excellent in-store position that retailers offer and this has established over time a very strong market presence for berries which is shown in the excellent sales growth over the past few years.”
Managing director of Berry Gardens, Nick Marston, commented “The current excellent market position for berries has been achieved through hard work, cooperation, investment across the supply chain and listening to the consumer. As the Kantar data demonstrates working together has achieved 92 percent sales growth in seven years with UK sales for 2011 estimated at £764 million*.”
Berries have for the first time toppled Apples and Bananas from the top fruit spot in sales value and have achieved 18.4 percent market share of the £4,160 million UK fruit market.