The rise in more adventurous foodies and confident home cooks is driving an increase in popularity of artichokes, with Waitrose reporting a surge in demand for fresh artichokes, with sales up 30% compared to last year.
Delicious on their own and the perfect ingredient in a variety of dishes such as dips, pasta, tarts and salads, the rise in popularity of artichokes is also reflected in online searches on Waitrose.com. Searches for ‘artichoke’ and ‘artichokes in oil’ are up 574% and 667% respectively, and views of artichoke recipes have risen in the last month – with views of Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac soup up 133%, Kale salad with anchovy dressing, artichokes and pecorino up 86% and Sea bass with artichoke mash up 21%.
With many people also having to replace this year’s holidays abroad, Mediterranean foods have been popular with Waitrose shoppers. Artichokes are a staple ingredient in mezze and charcuterie boards and shoppers have opted to bring a taste of the Med to their home with sales of antipasti artichokes, including sliced artichoke hearts in oil and Cook’s Ingredients artichoke puree, up by 28%.
Lucy Broughton, Waitrose artichoke buyer, says: “Artichokes have a clean, fresh and earthy taste and as customers become more aware of their versatility, they are in turn becoming more popular. While traditionally seen on plates during the summer, artichokes are perfect in dishes such as soups, tarts and winter salads and we expect our customers will continue to enjoy them throughout the coming months.”
A recent report also revealed that the demand for artichokes is set to continue globally, with the global artichoke market set to reach 1.9m tonnes by the end of 2030 – an increase of 1.7m tonnes in 2018.