Berry Gardens News

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2016 - A Moving Feast

26th July 2016

“This season has certainly kept up on our toes with the mild winter, colder than normal spring and unpredictable weather patterns. However, whilst volumes are not yet in line with our forecasts, eating quality has been exceptional”, says Nick Marston, Managing Director of Berry Gardens at Fruit Focus. Nick continues “fortunately the good weather was a little more consistent over the Wimbledon period which has helped us during the traditional peak of the strawberry season.”


This year Berry Gardens has increased the supply of the premium Driscoll’s® Elizabeth™ June bearer to compliment the Driscoll’s® Jubilee™ everbearer under the Jubilee Selections banner, increasing and extending availability of ‘top tier’ for customers.


Alastair Brooks, Chairman of Berry Gardens Growers adds “Driscoll’s® Elizabeth™ has the perfect balance of sweetness and as a Driscoll’s variety offers great appearance and consistent quality. As a June bearer it helps us to extend the early production of British premium strawberries. For the first time this year we took a stand at the Taste London Festival and sampled approx. 20,000 members – our stand was so popular it was often five people deep wanting to try a free strawberry. It just goes to show that strawberries really loved by the British public!”


The latest Kantar1 data shows that the overall berry market is worth over a billion pounds at £1,135million representing 17.7% growth in value year on year. Strawberries as a category are valued at £568million (+11.8% year on year) and raspberries at £227million (+23.2% year on year). Berry Gardens share of UK production up to the first week of July has increased from 32% last year to 35% this year.


Even though the strawberry market is relatively mature penetration and frequency of purchase have increased from 76.7% to 78.8% year on year and 12.1 times to 13.5 times a year respectively. Raspberries have also enjoyed growth with penetration up just under 2% to 39.5% and frequency of purchase from 8 times to 9.2 times a year. The raspberry market continues to offer significant room for growth and the quality of varieties such as Driscoll’s® Maravilla™ and Driscoll’s® Riveria™ are driving the market.


“Convenience and snacking continue to be on the top of customers shopping lists and we have introduced larger pack formats to satisfy snacking for the whole family during the day, says Nick. Our mixed pack format continues to be popular with sales doubled this year – the pack is an effective tool of introducing customers to different berry types at an attractive price”.


Alastair adds “as a company we regularly invest in primary consumer research to explore new opportunities – one of our findings last year confirmed to us that buying soft fruit is often an impulse purchase. As a result we have successfully trialed a chilled secondary instore siting, called a Coolio unit which has proved very effective and we expect to develop next year”.


Nick concludes “although the 2016 season has had its challenges Berry Gardens continues to supply our customers with consistently high quality varieties and continue working with our strategic partner Driscoll’s to introduce new varieties targeting the shoulders of the UK season”.


-ENDS-

For media enquiries and images please contact – Janine Hatfield, Communications Manager, Berry Gardens Ltd. Tel: 01892 838800.   Email: jhatfield@berrygardens.co.uk

Notes
1 Kantar Worldpanel market share data for 52 weeks prior to week ending 19th June 2016

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