Recent findings indicate a significant increase in the size of strawberries over the past 12 years. Data from S&A Group, the UK's leading independent supplier, reveals that strawberries have grown from an average weight of 13.6g in 2011 to 21.5g in 2023.
Additionally, the average diameter of these berries has expanded from 23mm-25mm in 2011 to 27mm-41mm in 2023.
This growth trend isn't limited to strawberries. Raspberries and blueberries have also seen substantial size increases, with raspberries doubling and blueberries tripling in size over the same timeframe.
Industry experts attribute these changes to the cultivation of more desirable berry varieties by agronomists, as reported by the British Berry Growers association.
Interestingly, while larger berries might seem more appealing, they don't necessarily guarantee better flavour.
Peter Judge, the group managing director of S&A Group, commented on this, noting that while many retailers believe bigger berries are what consumers desire, size doesn't always equate to taste. For instance, the Lady Isla strawberry variety, despite being smaller, is touted as one of the best-flavoured strawberries.
The push for larger fruit sizes is driven by UK consumer preferences, which differ from those on the European continent.
However, supermarkets have set a limit, requesting suppliers not to pack strawberries exceeding 45mm in diameter to ensure customers get value for their money.
Nick Marston, the chairman of British Berry Growers, emphasized that the move towards bigger fruit sizes aims to reduce waste during fruit preparation and offer visually appealing products to consumers.