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Spanish persimon® set for new UK sales record

Growers of Spanish persimon® say they are expecting UK sales of the fruit to outstrip the quantity sold last season, for another successive year. Last season, a record 12.1 million persimon® were sold in the UK, compared with just 0.5m in 2009; and fewer than 100,000 in 2004.

The first persimon® has begun to appear on supermarket shelves, and growers say a combination of factors has set the stage for a robust performance for the four-month 2014/15 season. This includes an increase in crop volume of 10 per cent – to approximately 80,000 tonnes - the result of ideal growing conditions and additional plantings; in addition to ongoing promotion by Foods from Spain to raise awareness of the fruit; and strong support from retailers.

Rafael Perucho, head of the regulatory council, Kaki de la Ribera del Xúquer, which controls the DO certification of Spanish persimon® said: “Spanish persimon® has been one of the UK fresh produce category’s real success stores. In just 10 years in this market, we have seen this fruit progress from being virtually unknown to achieving record sales of more than 12 million last year. This has been the result of ongoing promotion through Foods from Spain each season, coupled with the support of suppliers to the UK and their retailer customers. The arrival of persimon® on the shelves each season has become an important event for supermarkets, the media and consumers alike.”

“We have an excellent crop of persimon® this season, with very good quality and perfect sized fruit for the three-packs that have become so popular in the UK. With this, and the promotional activity we are planning for another year, we are looking forward to seeing further the development of sales during 2014/15.”

Perucho added that while heavy rainfall and hail in southern Spain this year has affected some citrus crops, it has not had a significant impact on volumes and quality of persimon®.

Foods from Spain’s well-established campaign to support DO-protected persimon® focuses on encouraging as many shoppers as possible to try the fruit. Using the strapline ‘Have you tried one yet?’ this will involve activity in retailer stores, in schools and in the media.

The campaign will include public relations activity to encourage discussion of the fruit amongst users of social media, serving suggestions and simple recipes in the food and supermarket press and online, and a competition for schoolchildren, which is running for a second year.

Sampling in stores, meanwhile, will take place to encourage customers to try the fruit, following successful in-store programmes in previous years. This will be supported by information booklets and kids’ stickers, and information labels on three-packs of the fruit.

María José Sevilla, Director of Foods from Spain, said: “I have been really pleased to see Spanish persimon® continue to make an impression on consumers. We have worked hard to support the fruit while it is in supermarkets here in the UK, and we are looking forward to seeing positive results from this year’s campaign to promote the fruit in the season ahead.”

Spanish persimon® will be available from October until the end of January.

For more information:
Dominic Weaver
RED Communications Ltd
Tel: +44 1480 465953
Publication date: