The British strawberry season has started later this year after a cooler winter and spring helped strawberry flowering and ripening to occur a little more gradually.
That means people can enjoy larger, juicier, but just as tasty British strawberries this year.
After just a little longer to wait, the good news is that Britain’s favourite fruit is now available to buy in supermarkets across the UK.
The appetite for fresh strawberries shows no sign of slowing down. Over the past 12 months, shoppers spent over £772 million on strawberries, over 10 per cent more than the previous year, with 147,300 tonnes of strawberries purchased in a year.
Dedicated UK strawberry growers ensure that we are 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.
Berries (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, the industry body that represents 95 per cent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets, 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, explained: “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.”