For the first time, UK berry sales have broken the £1bn barrier, overtaking snacking fruits including apples and bananas, The Telegraph reports.
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The increase in total berry sales, of around 20pc over the past four years, is largely contributed to millions of health-conscious Brits piling strawberries, blueberries and raspberries into their blenders as part of their daily routine.
In 2012 total sales were £789, 138 compared to £1.97 billion in 2016, Kantar Worldpanel data shows.
Berry sales now equate to a fifth of total fruit consumption in the UK, overtaking apples and bananas, and establishing berries as the largest fresh fruit category.
Strawberries, by far the most popular berry, accounted for more than half of all sales with £564, 382m worth bought in the UK.
Blueberries were the second most popular berry with sales reaching £282,962m for the year, closely followed by raspberries which saw sales of £220, 336m.
Sales of blenders are also booming with retailer John Lewis claiming to sell one Nutribullet every four minutes.
According to British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents berries sold in UK supermarkets, there are four main reasons for the growth in the category: increased consumer demand due to berries’ renowned health benefits and superfood status, more acres of berries are being grown than ever before, the development of new varieties and innovative growing methods that have extended the British season.
Laurence Olins, chairman of British Summer Fruits, said: "Berries used to be a luxury item. "But now they are a delicious staple, consumed as part of a healthy diet for many people.
"The sales figures reveal a robust and expanding soft fruit category that is meeting growing consumer demand. The berry industry as a whole will continue to expand and as the season begins, consumers can look forward to good quality British berries on supermarket shelves." ■
Persistent cold northwest cyclonic flow over the Great Lakes region will continue to produce areas of heavy lake effect snowfall downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario going through tonight and early Wednesday.