According to a new Kantar report, there was an 8% increase in the volume of sales of strawberries in the Irish retail market over the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

Commenting on the news, Michal Slawski, Horticulture Division, Bord Bia, said that it’s interesting to look at how the growth in sales has changed over time.Traditionally, older consumers would have been the major purchasers of strawberries, while blueberries were a novelty purchase.

Now, the value of sales of strawberries and blueberries to the over 65s is the same, and all the growth in sales of strawberries is taking place with younger consumers. While the proportion of younger consumers is growing, the biggest purchasers of berries, including strawberries, are consumers aged 45 and above, who account for 2/3 of purchases.

He said the report shows this is a reflection of greater disposable income, and more interest in the health-giving properties of strawberries, which have a higher concentration of vitamin C than oranges. The figures also show that people who buy strawberries have made them a regular part of their diet, with a 9% increase in the frequency of purchase. Strawberries are also popular because of their convenience factor, requiring very little preparation before eating.

Bord Bia’s recent survey, What Ireland Ate Last Night, shows that 19% of adults and 11% of children have a fruit salad as a dessert after dinner. Berries are still mainly used in desserts, although the rising popularity of smoothies means they are also commonly used at breakfast, in addition to being used with breakfast cereals and porridges.     Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 13.50.40