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British berry sales soar as liquidiser revolution whirls on

Blueberries and raspberries sales are up as newer, robuster varieties bring greater yields and liquidisers such as Nutribullet fly off the shelves, according to this article from The Guardian.

It is the liquidiser revolution that is changing what we eat: sales of blueberries and raspberries are soaring as health-conscious shoppers embrace smoothies as a short cut to consuming one of their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Demand for blueberries is up by nearly a third this year, while raspberry sales are ahead by 20%. Their popularity has been supported by the engineering of robust new varieties that survive the trip from field to fridge in a better condition.

Laurence Olins, of growers’ trade body British Summer Fruits, said: “Berries used to be a luxury item, like strawberries and cream and Wimbledon. Now they are are omnipotent.” The organisation calculates that sales of British strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries will top £1bn this year, compared with about £300m in 2004.

Sales of liquidisers like the £90 Nutribullet have risen nearly 300% in the last year, according to market research firm GfK. John Lewis says it is selling one Nutribullet every four minutes as people seek new ways of consuming their recommended daily portions of fruit.

Sales of strawberries are up by just 0.6% year on year, according to data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel, although some British farmers say sales of UK breeds are up by 20% after a good summer crop.

There have long been claims about the health benefits of berries, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, with blueberries described by some nutritionists as a “superfood”. This year, berries were named as the only fruit in the Mind diet, which is designed to help slow cognitive decline and the reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, although the NHS says that evidence for the health claims about blueberries is inconclusive.

“For those interested in health, berries fit easily into their lifestyle, adding a touch of sweetness and vibrant flavour to homemade smoothies, juices or blends by only adding a small amount to a more ‘basic’ or traditional fruit,” said food trends expert Imogen Birt at consultancy Dragon Rouge.

British farmers are expected to produce 14,000 tonnes of raspberries this year compared with less than 12,000 tonnes last year, according to British Summer Fruits. New varieties give better yields – by as much as 50% compared with a few years ago – and farmers are expanding the amount of land they devote to the fruit. Another reason for the rise in UK production is the wider deployment of equipment such as polytunnels….

The Guardian: Read the full article

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