Brits are expected to create a ‘blackberry boom’ in coming years as new figures indicate the industry’s potential for growth.
- Blackberries bought from supermarkets are bigger, juicier and sweeter than their hedgerow counterparts due to careful breeding.
- The health benefits of blackberries will help boost Brits’ appetites.
- The sector is achieving year-on-year growth, increasing 8% in the last year alone.
The British blackberry season is now in full swing and it is set to be hugely popular as the nation’s ‘blackberry boom’ of recent years is set to continue.
Brits’ appetite for blackberries shows no signs of slowing down. In the past year, a whopping £51 million has been spent on the iconic berry – an increase of 8% on the previous 12 months and the equivalent in weight of 335 London double decker busses.
A key reason for this rise in popularity is the amazing new varieties of blackberries that have been bred in recent years. These new berries along with advanced growing techniques have combined to extend the blackberry season and guarantee fruit quality. The blackberries on shelf in supermarkets now are almost unrecognisable from their hedgerow counterparts. They are much larger, juicier and sweeter.
What’s more, there is a growing recognition of the extensive health benefits of blackberries. They are a rich source of vitamin C – an important antioxidant which protects cells from damage and strengthens the immune system1. They are also well known to maintain healthy skin by playing a role in the production of collagen which keeps it smooth and elastic.2 Blackberries have also been linked to reducing inflammation, preventing weight gain, keeping hearts healthy and boosting recovery of muscles after intense exercise3.
Nick Marston, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95 percent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said:?“The blackberry industry has grown 8% this year, looking at our past data and current industry insights we are predicting a boom in blackberry popularity amongst Brits in the coming years. This can be attributed to the huge difference in quality between shop bought vs hedgerow-foraged blackberries – testament to the hard-work, innovation and modernisation of our British growers. The health benefits of blackberries are also becoming better documented – which is helping to boost the berries’ popularity still further. This forecast, if correct, will continue to boost the wider berry industry which is already worth a huge £1.7 billion to the British economy.”
Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Summer Fruits explained: “Blackberries look and taste fantastic this time of year – their gorgeous deep purple colour is caused their high levels of flavonoids, which have the potential to exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They are packed with nutrients and fibre and eating just 10 can contribute towards one of your five-a-day.”
Blackberries are the perfect snack and ingredient for many recipes. Recipes and serving suggestion inspiration can be found on the Love Fresh Berries website.”