UK superfood sales soar

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Sales of superfoods like beans, blueberries, broccoli, spinach,
tea, tomatoes, and walnuts are soaring in the UK as consumers
continue to seek the health benefits linked to the foods.

According to market analyst AC Neilsen, sales of blueberries have rocked by £55 million (€81 million) in two years, from £40 million (€59 million) in May 2005 to around £95 million (€140 million) in the same month of this year. Other big winners appear to be salmon, spinach and tomato, said the market analysts, as consumers appear to be increasingly aware of positive publicity from dieticians and scientists concerning the foods. "Because these are fairly ordinary foods, experts believe it is easy for people to benefit from their goodness and with retailers such as Tesco highlighting on the benefits of these superfoods as part of their Healthy Living drive, sales of many have increased dramatically over the past 2 years,"​ said Jonathan Banks, business insight director at market analyst AC Neilsen. In addition to the 132 per cent increase in blueberry sales, spinach sales are reported to have grown by 26 per cent in the same period, with the market currently valued at £42 million (€62 million). Tomato sales have also increased by 16 per cent, said AC Neilsen, with estimated putting the market at £625 million (€921 million). "In the case of tomatoes, our data is showing that people are willing to spend more here. There are a lot of varieties available and consumers are willing to 'trade up' to more expensive varieties such as 'on the vine' which is pushing sales values up,"​ said Banks. Riding on the crest of the omega-3 wave, salmon sales have grown by 31 per cent in the past two years to about £450 million (€663 million) per year. "This growth rate does not surprise me,"​ said Banks. "Salmon is a rich natural source of omega 3 which helps heart health and joints - it is also believed that omega 3 can increase brain development in children."​ In addition to these, sales of shelled walnuts have grown over 30 per cent, fresh beans by 13 per cent, green tea by 45 per cent, and non-dairy soy drinks by 50 per cent putting the market at over £70 million (€103 million). Oat cereals have also shown significant growth, said AC Neilsen. "Oats have been named as a superfood because they can contribute to lowering cholesterol, maintain healthy hearts and are high in fibre and protein,"​ said Banks. "Manufacturers have recognised that consumers understand the benefits of a healthy breakfast and have innovated in oat cereals with the development of a number of ready to eat options such as Oatibix and Nestle's Oats & More."

Related topics: Suppliers

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