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Britain goes mad for native berries

10th August 2010 Print
Blueberry cheesecake

Brits are pushing aside traditional strawberries and raspberries in favour of more home-grown native hedgerow berries this summer. 

Blackcurrants and redcurrants are the ‘currant’ favourites with sales of redcurrants increasing by over 264% since last year and blackcurrants over 120%.  Even gooseberries are getting in on the act, with a greater demand for the plump British berries with an increase of over 15% in the last four weeks at Waitrose.

Waitrose Buyer for soft fruits, Nicki Baggott says, “The increase in sales of forgotten British berries can be put down to a warm summer, meaning more Al Fresco dining, which encourages Brits to create a variety of lighter dishes with fresh berries.  We’ve seen an increase in customer demand for soft fruits, ever since we launched pineberries at Waitrose in April this year.  The customer is looking for the taste of something traditionally British, and of course, summery when the weather is this good.”

Redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries are just as versatile as their more common friends and can be used in a variety of dishes from pies, to puddings and pastries.  Delicious fresh from the punnet or in dishes such as a redcurrant brulee or a  blackcurrant cheesecake.

To meet customer demand for more unusual hedgerow treats, Waitrose is also launching new limited edition yellow raspberries, Amber raspberries and traditional fragrant Rose strawberries over the next few weeks.  Waitrose has also recently launched the new exclusive Dessert Blackcurrant as a sweeter alternative to the regular blackcurrant.

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Blueberry cheesecake