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Co-op has been crowned retailer of the year by British Berry Growers at the crop association’s yearly retailer event in London. 

The annual award is presented to the retailer that has achieved the highest growth in berry sales (volume). Co-op achieved a total increase of 22.1% in volume sales across all berries, ahead of Marks & Spencer with a total increase of 13% and Lidl with an increase of 6.7%.1

Commenting on the achievement, British Berry Growers’ chairman Nick Marston said: “Co-op’s commitment to buying British berries has been growing year on year. With a rise of 22.1% volume sales across all berries, we are delighted to see Co-op ‘over-indexing’ on year-on-year growth. It’s an achievement we hope other retailers will emulate.”

Retailers are enjoying rising sales of berries. Kantar data shows volume sales of berries has soared 7.7% in the past five months (May to October 2023), outpacing growth of just 0.8% across all fruit.2 This has been driven largely by price promotions and premium own-label berry lines which have encouraged shoppers to trade-up.

Value sales are also up 11.4% for all berries, while all fruit has grown 7.8% in value.3 The only berry in decline was raspberries, which British Berry Growers attributed to disproportionally high labour costs forcing growers to scale back production.

Despite the surge in sales, UK berry growers continue to face serious challenges, with input costs increasing by over 30% over the last two years.

“We’re delighted by the growth in sales and Co-op’s commitment to driving penetration in the category. It’s so important all our supermarkets get behind our growers. Buying British over imported berries saves on food miles, and we know consumers want British where possible.”

Mark Cloudy, Co-op Buyer, said: “Co-op are delighted to have received recognition as Retailer of the Year from the British Berry Growers Association – It’s been a fantastic year for the team, from being the first retailer to reveal it was providing 100% British strawberries for the King’s Coronation, to our ongoing support and close working relationships with our British growers and suppliers throughout the season – a partnership approach which has delivered a 22% growth this year on British berries volumes, and provided great taste, quality and value for our Members and customers in communities across the UK.”

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