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Strawberries revealed as Britain's favourite fruit, but two-thirds are storing them incorrectly

20th Jul 2022

One in four Brits believe berries are the tastiest kind of fruit

A new survey has unveiled strawberries as the nation’s favourite fruit, pipping raspberries and mango to take the top spot.

The iconic soft fruit received twice as many votes as raspberries and mangoes, making it the undisputed favourite. The accolade comes as no surprise as Brits are set to eat over 90,000 tonnes of home-grown strawberries this year.

Yet, two-thirds of Brits are storing strawberries incorrectly according to the poll of 2,000 Brits – with 64% opting to store them loose in the kitchen rather than in the fridge.

The study has been commissioned by Love Fresh Berries to celebrate National Berry Month, a month-long celebration of the seasonality, versatility and value of British berries.

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers, the industry body for British soft fruit who fund Love Fresh Berries said: “This year National Berry Month is all about celebrating the value and versatility of British berries. We’ll be sharing top tips and new recipes to help Brits get the most out of their punnets. 

Love Fresh Berries’ top strawberry hacks:

  • For longer lasting strawberries - Help berries last longer by storing them in glass mason jars or airtight containers in the fridge 
  • For better tasting strawberries - Allow berries to warm up to room temperature before eating to release natural flavours and sugars
  • For fresher strawberries - Lay strawberries on a paper towel when storing to absorb moisture – often a cause of berries spoiling quicker – for extra freshness

The survey highlighted that Brits were more likely to put strawberry jam on their scones before cream, with 62% putting it on before and just 23% putting it on after. With a third saying scones are best eaten with fresh strawberries.   

It also revealed that half of Britain’s top ten favourite desserts typically contain berries, with one in five agreeing puddings with berries tasted best. 

Strawberry cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding claimed a sweet top place as Britain’s joint favourite pudding – followed by lemon meringue pie and blackberry and apple crumble.

Over half of Brits say that they buy berries weekly, with the nation eating more than 107,000 tonnes of British berries last year – the equivalent in weight of 7,900 London double decker buses.  

While 18 to 24-year-olds are the nation’s biggest berry consumers with seven in ten purchasing a punnet at least once a week – compared to just four in ten of those aged 55 to 64.  

Miguel Barclay, chef, presenter, and best-selling author who is backing National Berry Month said: ‘’British strawberries are one of the healthiest ingredients around and the perfect ingredient to cook with. Versatile, fresh and delicious, they can be used in so many dishes to add a delicious dimension.”

Yet, despite being tasty and versatile there are some things Brits refuse to do – with the research revealing that only 7% saying they would put strawberries on pizza instead of pineapple.

Nick Marston continued: “British strawberries are a superstar of UK horticulture and a real success story. The UK is totally self-sufficient in strawberries for the entire summer season, which now runs from May to October as farms continue to advance growing techniques. This allows us to offer shoppers locally grown, fresh berries for longer.”

National Berry Month is back!

1st Jul 2022

Celebrate the versatility of British berries this budget-busting 
recipes from chef Miguel Barclay

National Berry Month is back for the second year running and this year, the summer campaign is championing the versatility British berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries). 

Berries are big business worth over £1.68 billion[1] in year round retail sales value, with new research finding that one in four Brits consider berries to be the tastiest fruit as strawberries top the charts as the nation’s favourite[2].

Launched in 2021, National Berry Month is a whole month dedicated to British berries, celebrating seasonality and showcasing their benefits at a time when British berries are filling supermarket shelves.

This year, Love Fresh Berries has teamed up frugal foodie expert Miguel Barclay to create a host of brand-new, simple recipes that showcase the versatility of British berries. 

On the menu is Sausage, Parsnip, Carrot & Blackberry Tray Bake, a Raspberry & Brie Puff Pastry WreathBlueberry Studded French Toast and a Strawberry Mille-Feuille. All four budget-busting recipes can be found at www.lovefreshberries.co.uk/recipes.

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers, the industry body that represents 95 percent of home-grown berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: ‘’We’re excited to be once again celebrating National Berry Month. British berries are a superstar of UK horticulture and a real success story with the volume of British-grown berries our growers produce increasing by over 36% in just a decade. Not only is our industry boosting the health of the economy but the health of the nation too.

“The 2022 campaign showcases the versatility, health benefits and diversity of British berries, and we hope the campaign will encourage Brits to pick up a punnet when they’re next in store and enjoy their many benefits.”

Miguel Barclay, chef, presenter, and best-selling author said: ‘’British berries are some of the healthiest foods around and the perfect ingredient to cook with. Versatile, fresh and delicious, they can be used for so much more than desserts and add another dimension to dishes. I’m really looking forward to showing people just how resourceful and budget-friendly cooking with British berries can be.”

 


[1] Kantar data from w/e 17 April 2022

[2] Based on 2,000 respondents in a survey conducted by OnePoll in June 2022

British raspberries set to be bigger and sweeter this year thanks to a warmer spring

17th Jun 2022

Last year Brits bought over 12,500 tonnes of British-grown raspberries

British raspberry season is underway with Brits set to enjoy bigger and sweeter raspberries thanks to a warmer and settled spring. 

Growers are predicting strong availability to kick off the season, with 65% more British raspberries set to be filling supermarket shelves compared to the same period last year, when we had poorer weather.

This spring was the fifth warmest on record for the UK, thanks largely to record-breaking overnight temperatures[1]and while Brits enjoyed the balmy weather, so did British raspberries.

The ambient temperatures throughout the month have provided optimal raspberry-growing conditions meaning that the fruit can ripen to perfection, resulting in maximum taste and size. 

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers, the industry body for the British berry industry said: "Raspberries are such a versatile and delicious British staple and the upcoming season looks great for consumers. The warmer, earlier start to spring was ideal for the young raspberry plants and the recent weather is just right to produce excellent crop. 

“The British raspberry industry has seen substantial growth in recent years thanks to the hard work and expertise of British growers. The introduction of substrate growing systems and the development of new varieties are excellent examples of this, and the results of that innovation can now be enjoyed by Brits.”

The leading raspberry varieties now grown in the UK can fruit for up to five months, compared to traditional types that typically produced fruit for just four to six weeks. The extended fruiting period means everyone can now enjoy wonderful British-grown raspberries from the start of June right through to the end of October.

British raspberries are full of nutrients, vitamins and high in antioxidant strength[2] making them a perfect fruity addition to the diet. Not only that, but they can also help support healthy bones, while studies have shown that eating raspberries can also help prevent diabetes[3].

 


[1] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/press-office/news/weather-and-climate/2022/warm-may-continues-the-theme-of-spring

[2] https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-raspberries

[3] Xiao D et al. (2019) Attenuation of Postmeal Metabolic Indices with Red Raspberries in Individuals at Risk for Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity (Silver Spring) 27(4):542-550.

British Summer Fruits becomes British Berry Growers

7th Jun 2022

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This June, British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95% of all the UK’s commercial soft fruit growers, is relaunching and rebranding to become British Berry Growers.

Since 1992, the UK’s crop association for the soft fruit industry has supported UK growers to build a billion-pound industry and the largest within UK horticulture.

British Berry Growers’ ambition is for British seasonal berries to continue to provide 100% of the UK’s needs and for industry exports to be 50% bigger than British sales volumes by 2035. 

The new organisation will have four key effort priorities:

  • To ensure understanding of the British berry industry’s positive contribution to a sustainable rural economy and the nation’s health, and shape government policy to support British Berry Growers’ mission
  • To direct world-leading berry research and development that supports treatment of pest and disease, crop utilisation and drives future efficiencies, including the reduction of the carbon, waste and water footprint of the UK berry industry
  • To grow sales for berries by building UK consumer awareness and advocacy, focusing on British berries first and driving overall consumer demand by covering 52 weeks of the year
  • To identify and tackle the industry’s key risks to ensure its long-term viability and to provide issues support for UK berry growers

Commenting on the launch of British Berry Growers, chair Nick Marston said: “The launch of British Berry Growers marks an exciting moment for the British berry industry. 

“The British berry industry is a true British business success story. Now worth over £1.6 billion year-round, the value of the industry has doubled in just a decade. Our growers sit at the heart of the rural economy and our industry is recognised as a key contributor to UK food self-sufficiency.

“British Berry Growers will champion the tireless work of our berry growers, both big and small, and support them as they adapt to the future challenges of seasonal berry production. We’re here to secure the long-term success of the British berry industry.”

The creation of British Berry Growers brings with it the launch of a new dedicated R&D advisory board. Its purpose will be to enable British Berry Growers to become recognised as one of the best crop associations in the world technically and environmentally.

The evolution of the trade body also sees the appointment of two new non-executive directors to the British Berry Growers organisation. Former MEP Anthea McIntyre CBE joins the organisation to advise and support the organisation on policy matters, while Dr Louise Sutherland brings her years of expertise in agri-tech to scope and set up the newly formed R&D advisory board.

British Berry Growers will continue to fund Love Fresh Berries, the organisation’s all year-round PR and social media campaign to promote strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries and  all berry industry activities.

Brighter weather means sweeter strawberries and 50% more than this time last year

23rd May 2022

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The iconic British fruit will be filling supermarket shelves in mid-May compared to June last year. 

The British strawberry season – synonymous with the start of summer – has arrived early with this year’s crop set to be even sweeter than last year.

Brits have the Spring’s bright weather to thank for the sweeter strawberries – with the UK bathing in approximately 166 hours of sunshine in April, 7% above average for the month[1]

This has resulted in the strawberry crop enjoying an increased level of sunlight which has boosted their natural sugar content.

Rupert Carter, Technical Director of WB Chambers Farms said: “We have enjoyed bright days this Spring coupled with cool nights which allows strawberry plants to rest well and put their energy gained during the day into producing high natural sugars overnight. This process makes the berries sweeter and is one of the main reasons for such good tasting fruit.”

This year, Brits will also enjoy British strawberries sooner than last year. The brighter weather means there are predicted to be 50% more strawberries available next week compared to the same period last year – when the season was delayed by cold weather.  

The news may be particularly sweet for Her Majesty, whose Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday is forecast to be the biggest buying occasion of British strawberries this year with over 5,000 tonnes expected to be purchased that week[2] – the equivalent in weight of 378,000 Corgis.  

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95% of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: “It looks to be another fantastic year for British strawberries. However, rising energy and labour costs are presenting real challenges for UK berry growers. 

“Despite these challenges, British strawberries remain a true success story. The UK is totally self-sufficient in strawberries for the entire summer season which now runs from May to October as farms continue to advance growing techniques, such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension. This allows us to offer shoppers locally grown fresh berries for longer.”

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) are the most popular fruit in Brits shopping baskets with a fruit category market share of 27%[3].

British Summer Fruits is sharing its 90+ delicious recipes which give a nod to true British classics alongside new crowd-pleasers that signal the start of summer https://www.lovefreshberries.co.uk/recipes

 

 


[1] Met Office 2022, April showers dwindled in dry month

 

[2] British Growers published research into forecast strawberry sales tonnage report on 15th March 2022

 

[3] Kantar published research into the fruit market across 52 weeks ending 17th April 2022.

 

Brits ditch prudish mentality on sexual wellness

10th Feb 2022

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41% of Brits have become more open to talking about sex in the last decade.

  • Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings and Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire back the campaign by industry body British Berry Growers as The British Urology Foundation praise its research findings.
  • Over half agree conversations on sex can help reduce taboo around sexual health.
  • Just 12% try foods to boost sexual wellness; with five in six unaware blueberries may benefit.
  • ‘Luberry’, a free limited-edition blueberry flavoured lube, has been launched as part of the campaign to raise awareness of the links between food and sexual wellness.  

Brits are ditching their ‘prudish and stuffy’ mentality and are increasingly happy to discuss sexual wellness with their colleagues – and even their parents.

The new research from Love Fresh Berries – British Berry Growers’ year-round campaign promoting berries – also found that over a quarter of adults enjoy talking freely about all intimate things and feel the days of keeping them a secret are over.

It also emerged that over half believe it is important to openly discuss sex with 41% having become more open to talking about sex in the last decade. Although on average, it’s not until you reach the age of 33 that you become confident talking all things sex.

The research aims to unearth the changing attitudes towards sexual wellness and shine a light on the lesser-known benefits foods, like blueberries, may have on it.

Men are almost three times more likely to try certain foods to improve their sexual wellness than woman. Despite this, the overall proportion of adults trying foods to improve it remains low at just 12%, with only one in six aware that blueberries can have a positive effect.

To raise awareness of the relationship between the fruit and its sexual wellness benefits Love Fresh Berries has launched the aptly named ‘Luberry’ – a free limited-edition blueberry-flavoured lube.

The research also found that six in 10 Brits reckon more open discussion on sexual wellness can only be a good thing. With over half agreeing it could give people the confidence to tackle sexual wellness issues, reduce taboos around sexually transmitted infections and help people improve safer sexual practice.

The Love Fresh Berries survey went on to find a quarter of Brits talk to other people about their sexual wellness on a weekly basis with men almost twice as likely to discuss the topic than woman within this period.

A further 43% of Brits are happy to explore the topic with friends – with one in six even speaking about it with colleagues. 

Almost half believe that talking so freely about the topic would create a more positive and open society – with one in two women feeling this compared to around one in three men. Whilst 55% of Brits say that they felt liberated to be able to talk freely about what goes on in the bedroom.

Jo Hemmings, Behavioural Psychologist, supporting the Love Fresh Berries campaign, commented: “It’s encouraging to see research that shines a light on Brits’ shifting attitudes toward these topics – and the creation of ‘Luberry’ is a fun way to get Brits thinking about the relationship between food and their sexual wellness.

“Further research is needed, but blueberries contain antioxidants which may help to reduce oxidative stress, thought to be a risk factor for male infertility. While their high concentration of flavonoids may benefit anxiety and quality of life for mothers in the postnatal period as well as helping reduce the risk of erectile disfunction in men”

“By normalising the discussion around sex, we can help lift the taboo on important sexual wellness issues that many suffer with in silence when they shouldn’t have to.”

Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire advisor to Love Fresh Berries commented: “Blueberries are a great convenient, refreshing snack that are easy for couples to nibble on throughout the day and there is some evidence that they could aid dopamine release in the brain which may boost libido. What’s more blueberries contain resveratrol – a naturally occurring antioxidant – which could have potential therapeutic effects for men with unexplained fertility, with ongoing research needed.”

Chief Executive of The British Urology Foundation Rebecca Porta expressed her support for the research findings: “It is really encouraging to see a study that explores sexual wellness and results that show an openness towards discussing such an important topic. So many factors can impact sexual wellness, from physical and mental health to emotional issues.

“Good communication, setting aside time to spend with your partner, adopting a healthy lifestyle and making a few changes can all help. Think about eating a well-balanced nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, stopping smoking and avoiding too much alcohol.

“Find ways to relax and manage stress and anxiety – and remember to talk to your GP if you have concerns or worries about your sexual health”.

To obtain a free limited-edition blueberry-flavoured lube, ‘Luberry’ head to the Love Fresh Berries Instagram here.

Blueberries for a Blue Monday? Research shows consuming berries could lift mood.

17th Jan 2022

London, Monday 17th January 2021 – Today is Blue Monday – commonly regarded as the most depressing day of the year – and as the nation looks for ways to stay upbeat, scientific research suggests the answer could be in our diet!  

Healthy eating can play a huge part in our mental wellbeing with recent research1 from 61 studies suggesting that your five-a-day and specific sub-groups of fruits and vegetables, including berries could be beneficial for mental health. 

A review of trials2 showed that blueberries, in particular, could help to improve mood and brain function. This was attributed to blueberries’ rich polyphenol profile.  

One study3, focusing on wild blueberry supplementation (253 mg anthocyanins) in young people with depression (12-17 years), found that after four weeks there were significantly fewer self-reported depression symptoms in the blueberry group compared with the control group. 

Other work4, where children and young adults were given a flavonoid-rich blueberry drink, found that mood was improved two hours later.  

Scientists explained that blueberry flavonoids could help to improve cerebral blood flow, reduce inflammation, and induce anti-oxidative effects, which could potentially contribute to some of these effects. 

Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Berry Growers commented: “These findings are really interesting and very applicable to modern life, especially as many Brits may find themselves talking about their wellbeing over Blue Monday. The science is growing in this field and suggests that eating your five-a-day is hugely beneficial.  

“We already know that berries are great for other aspects of our health, including cardiovascular wellbeing and now evidence that berries can boost mental wellbeing is looking promising. Berries are naturally sweet and tasty, so it is very easy to integrate a handful of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries into our daily diet. They can also be eaten as they come or blended into smoothies if preferred.” 

So, after 77 years we need to double our vit C intake? The answer: eat more berries

9th Nov 2021

Today, scientists have suggested our daily vitamin C intake is doubled after claiming current levels are informed by a “shocking” World War II study by the Sorby Research Institute.  

The World Health Organisation currently advises a daily intake of 45mg and the NHS advises a similar dose of 40mg.    

The University of Washington scientists say these dosages need upgrading – and argue modern scientists and health professionals have failed to comprehensively re-examine the 77-year-old research until now.  

For most Brits, this is an unexpected bombshell they never expected to deal with from World War II. Many are now asking how on earth to double their vitamin C intake – which can already seem a daunting daily challenge. The answer, according to British Berry Growers, is berries. 

A tastier, juicier, and more exciting option than supplements – berries are full of vitamin C and more.   

Snack on Strawberries. 

Strawberries are high in fibre, low in calories and sugar, contain no fat – and they’re delicious.  

The red fleshy part is extremely high in vitamin C. In fact, the iconic soft fruit contains more vitamin C than oranges. Just seven strawberries (80g – a portion) provide the current recommended daily amount of vitamin C.  

Get a boost from Blueberries. 

Bursting with goodness, blueberries are the perfect healthy addition to breakfast cereals, smoothies and deserts. 

They are one of the most nutrient dense berries with fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. They also have one of the highest levels of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins. 

Ramp it up with Raspberries.  

Rammed with vitamin C, Raspberries are the perfect snack to support your immune system. 

The brilliant berry is ranked near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength, they are particularly rich in ellagic acid, quercetin and anthocyanins – all powerful antioxidants which have proven health benefits and help protect the body against disease. 

Blackberries bring the vitamins.  

Blackberries contain a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium as well as fibre and other plant nutrients that have numerous health benefits.  

These include flavonoids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. They also give blackberries their deep purple colour. 

British blackberries are in currently in season and in abundance across British stores.  

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers commented: “Many Brits are understandably wondering how to double their vitamin C consumption following the first re-examination of our recommended daily intake since 1944. The good news is we know British berries to be an effective and tasty way to boost these levels. What’s more, British blackberries look and taste fantastic right now and are a perfect snack to purchase to make this change of habit a little easier to implement”.   

Strawberries could improve markers of cardiovascular and metabolic health in at-risk adults when consumed at a dose of two-and-a-half servings a day.

7th Jul 2021

Take a look at our tips from Dr Emma Derbyshire, registered Public Health Nutritionist on how to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health in at-risk adults. 

 

Whole berries have long been known for their extended health benefits.  This has largely been due to their high fibre and polyphenol profile, as well as their low energy (calorie) contributions to daily diets. 

 

Now, new research from the University of Nevada1 published in Nutrients, reveals that adding strawberries to diets could improve cardiometabolic risk factors in adults, who are obese or have elevated low-density lipoprotein (less favourable) cholesterol. 

 

In the randomised, controlled crossover trial, 33 adults (mean age 53 years) received a daily controlled amount of strawberry powder in 4-week phases – equivalent to one serving, or two-and-a-half servings of strawberries each. Participants were asked to follow their usual lifestyles but refrain from eating any other berries. 

 

It found that the equivalent to two-and-a-half daily servings of strawberries significantly improved cardiometabolic risks in this ‘at risk’ population group when compared to the control group – mainly by improving insulin resistance and lipid particle profiles. 

 

Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Berry Growers commented: “These are really interesting findings.  Around 7.6 million people in the UK are currently living with heart and circulatory diseases.2  We know that healthy living, which includes healthy eating, can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, prevent weight gain and lower diabetes risk.3   

 

“Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is important for health, and this is another indication that eating berries, as part of that, could be a good option for many people. We know that we should be aiming for about five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.  In the UK, a portion of small-sized fresh fruit is equivalent to about seven strawberries.4   

 

“Therefore, adding strawberries as a breakfast topper, eating them as snack in between meals, or serving with natural yoghurt as a dessert could all contribute to daily fruit servings and the health benefits they offer.” 

 

Britain's First National Berry Month This July

21st Jun 2021

Berries boost the physical, mental, and economic health of the nation – and this July there are some ‘berry’ exciting activities planned to create a buzz around berries.   

  • Love Fresh Berries partner with award-winning Chef Jackson Boxer to create brand new recipes 
  • Berries put a B in BBQ as delicious new easy recipes are announced ahead of National BBQ Week  
  • Berries will be served as nature’s pick’n’mix at outdoor cinemas as part of Cinestock partnership.   

 

The first National Berry Month – dedicated to celebrating Britain’s most loved berries – is almost upon us. Over July, British Berry Growers and Love Fresh Berries – the campaign celebrating the seasonality of British soft fruits – will be celebrating the British berry industry, showcasing the versatility of berries and their importance to boosting Britain’s physical, mental, and economic health – not to mention taste buds.   

 

British berries are big business, with the industry now worth more than ever, £1.71 billion1. Brit’s appetite for berries shows no sign of slowing down, over the last 12 months, Brits bought a whopping 239,243 tonnes of berries2, the equivalent in weight to 114 London Eyes. 

 

The month will feature a whole host of recipes, berry tips and health benefits, including four stunning berry-led recipes from award-winning chef, Jackson Boxer. A true champion of British produce, each recipe is packed with explosive natural flavours that show the versatility of each British berry and available for budding at-home chefs to try at home at  https://www.lovefreshberries.co.uk/recipes

 

In anticipation of National BBQ Week (2nd July – 11th July) and long summers days, four fantastic easy-to-make recipes have also been developed – putting an end to the obligatory cremated sausages that have become an all too familiar staple of the British barbie. The delicious creations include Strawberry Cider Can Chicken; Spiced Raspberry Brisket; Fruity Tofu Skewers; and Blueberry Jalapeno Tuna Steaks. The full recipes can be found at https://www.lovefreshberries.co.uk/recipes

 

Britain’s first National Berry Month will end with a bang as Love Fresh Berries partners with outdoor cinema pros Cinestock to provide fresh berries, nature’s pick’n’mix, at selected screenings throughout the summer. Plus, Love Fresh Berries will be sharing delicious berry-inspired twists on classic cinema snacks for berry lovers to try at home with tips on how to create the perfect backyard cinema set up. 

 

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers, the industry body that represents 95 percent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: “The British berry industry is an essential economic pillar in Britain and is now worth £1.71 billion with expenditure increasing almost 10% in the 12 months from March last year. Not only is the industry boosting the health of our economy – but crucially the health of the nation. Berries are a brilliant provider of vitamin C and have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles. National Berry Month is the perfect time to celebrate British berries and reap their many benefits with delicious new recipes and summer events.” 

 

Jackson Boxer Chef Patron of Brunswick House Café, Vauxhall and Orasay, Notting Hill said: Jackson Boxer said: “I’m proud to be partnering with Love Fresh Berries this July to celebrate British berries as part of National Berry Month. British produce and seasonality have always played a key role throughout my cooking, so I’ve really enjoyed creating a host of new recipes. British berries are fun, versatile, fresh and packed with flavour and each year I can’t wait to get my hands on them. 

 

“By buying British berries you’re supporting berry growers across the country while also looking after your health and the environment too. It’s been brilliant using them to create some exciting new recipes which I hope will inspire people at home to give them a try to celebrate National Berry Month”.   

 

-ENDS- 

Cooler weather and slower growth mean strawberries will be bigger, better and juicier than previous years

18th May 2021

British strawberry season has finally arrived! 

  • Brits are buying more strawberries than ever, with expenditure at £772 million over the last twelve months 

  • The British berry industry is now worth £1.69 billion 

  • Britain is now self-sufficient in strawberries from May to October

The British strawberry season has started later this year after a cooler winter and spring have helped strawberry flowering and ripening to occur a little more gradually. That means Brits can enjoy larger, juicier, but just as tasty British strawberries this year. After just a little longer to wait, the good news is that the Brits’ favourite British fruit is now available to buy in supermarkets across the UK. 

Brits’ appetite for fresh strawberries shows no sign of slowing down. Over the past twelve months, shoppers spent over £772 million on strawberries, over 10% more than the previous year, with 147,300 tonnes of strawberries purchased in a year. Our dedicated UK strawberry growers ensure that we are self-sufficient in the nation’s favourite fruit for the whole summer season from May to October. Around 70% of all strawberries bought in the UK are now grown by British farmers.     

There are even more ways to enjoy British strawberries this year too, with over 85 delicious recipes featuring fresh strawberries on the Love Fresh Berries website here.  

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) have the biggest market share of all fruit grown in the UK, making up an impressive 26%. This has pushed the value of the berry industry to an all-time high of £1.69 billion as fresh berries continue to be the most popular fruit item in shoppers’ baskets. 

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Berry Growers, the industry body that represents 95 percent of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: “This year strawberries have developed a little more slowly than usual. The recent cooler weather is resulting in tasty but also larger and juicier British strawberries than previous years. We are excited that our continuously advancing growing techniques, such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension, means we can offer shoppers these locally grown fresh berries for more of the year.” 

Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and adviser to British Berry Growers explained: “Strawberries are a great provider of vitamin C and have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profiles – eating just nine strawberries (108g) can provide all of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.  As it’s now British strawberry season, it’s the perfect time to taste naturally sweet berries and reap their potential health benefits”. 

Berry up this Easter time

5th Mar 2021

Take a look at our tips from Dr Emma Derbyshire, registered Public Health Nutritionist on how to lower sugar intake during Easter - without having to completely sacrifice chocolate!

 

Easter is a time to enjoy the festivities including family meals and chocolate egg hunts.  However, it is also rather easy for sugar intakes to skyrocket during this fun time.  For example, one survey [1] looking at the sugar content of Easter eggs revealed that one medium chocolate egg provides around 23 teaspoons of sugar whilst ‘Extra-large’ Easter eggs with supplementary chocolate bars provide about 73 teaspoons.  Smaller chocolate bunnies provide anything between 13 and 28 teaspoons.

 Government advice [2] is that younger children aged 4 to 6 years should have no more than 19 grams (about 5 teaspoons) of sugar daily.  Older children aged 7 to 10 years should have no more than 24 grams daily (around 6 teaspoons) and adults no more than 30 grams daily (approx. 7 teaspoons).  So it is very easy to see how sugar benchmarks can be exceeded several fold during Easter.

 Bearing this in mind here are a few tips from Dr Emma Derbyshire, registered Public Health Nutritionist on how to lower sugar intake during Easter - without having to completely sacrifice chocolate!

Tip 1 – Leave off sugary decorations.  When baking Easter cakes think about using berries or Easter chicks to decorate instead of adding extra lashings of chocolate or sugary sprinkles.

 Tip 2 – Save a bit.  Break eggs up and give these to children over the course of a week rather than having a whole egg in a single day. 

 Tip 3 – Mix it up.  Mix chocolate up with fruits such as blueberries, blackberries or strawberries.  That way chocolate and fruits are put on these same level playing field.  Colourful, naturally sweet berries can be a great Easter treat too!

 Tip 4 – Do some swaps.  Having a hot chocolate made with cocoa powder and semi-skimmed milk only provides 6.5 grams of sugar compared with 56 grams found in the equivalent amount of milk chocolate (100g)!

 Tip 5 – Give Easter trail mix a go.  This trail mix can be put into small jars or cardboard boxes, tied up with ribbons and hidden or placed on meal tables.  Include things like: fresh mixed berries, dried fruits such as raisins, cherries, mango or apricot slices, low sugar popcorn and chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips. 

Berries and Hydration

1st Mar 2021

With Spring round the corner, it's important to ensure that you stay hydrated. New research reveals that worryingly more than half (52%) of consumers are unaware of the recommended amount of water they should be drinking daily; and a third admit that they don’t drink enough on a typical day. Check out our tips to stay hydrated!

Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire states: “People across the country are becoming more conscious about what they are eating. However, many are still overlook what they are drinking - and in some instances energy and sugars can tally up”.

“There are many healthy and delicious ways to beat dehydration. For example, try adding mixed crushed berries to your water. Adding 3-4 mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) could help increase your vitamin C consumption. So, not only does it keep you hydrated, taste great, it also has added health benefits.”

Dr Emma Derbyshire’s top tips for staying hydrated this summer:

· Keep top a water bottle in front of you at all times. Whether it is a glass on your desk, a bottle in your handbag – if you always have water near you you’re more likely to drink it

· Flavour water with natural fruit - frozen fruits work well if you do not like plain water. It not only tastes great it also can have added health benefits. My personal favourite is to add a mixture of berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)

· Being thirsty can actually make you feel hungry, so everytime you find yourself reaching for the cupboard, drink a glass of water to mare you aren’t confusing hunger with dehydration. If you are, you’ll be cutting back the unwanted calories.

·Other drinks like fruit juice also contribute to your fluid allowance, but stick to a 150ml serving to fall in line with guidelines 

· Alcohol can also make you dehydrated so if you’re consuming it, drink a glass of water after each drink to ensure you are not getting dehydrated 

6 reasons why you should eat strawberries and their tops

9th Feb 2021

It’s difficult to resist a perfectly ripe strawberry; in fact they’re one of the most popular berry fruits in the world. But did you know that it’s not just the sweet red part that’s good for us?

Atop each juicy strawberry is a leafy top called the calyx. Each year tonnes of strawberry tops are discarded and considered as food waste. But did you know that this humble leafy crown is also edible and may hold the key to unlocking some exciting health benefits?
Food waste is a serious problem. In fact, three major WRAP studies published in 2013 and 2016 estimated that 85% of the avoidable food waste arises in households and food manufacture. 

In an effort to combat food waste in the home and make the most of our produce, Seasonal Berries has teamed up with top nutritionist, Lily Soutter to suggest how we can get the most of our strawberries.

Here are Lily’s recommendations on why and how to make the most out of your strawberries.

  1. Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants

“Strawberries are a rich and diverse source of antioxidants. However what’s less well known is that strawberry calyx contains antioxidants too.

“One study which looked at the fruits and leaves of blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries concluded that the leaves had a high ORAC value. ORAC value is a measure of the antioxidant capacity of different foods. However it’s important to note that as leaves become older, the ORAC value decreases, so the leaves of fresh strawberries are likely to provide the highest antioxidant value. 

“Regular consumption of antioxidant rich foods may protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Common sources of free radicals include pollution, sunlight, smoke and even prolonged exercise.”
 

 2. Strawberries may support the immune system

“Not only is the whole strawberry rich in plant antioxidants, but the red fleshy part is also extremely rich in the antioxidant vitamin C.

“In fact, eating just 8 strawberries (80g) can provide as much as 115% of your daily vitamin C intake. Many associate oranges with vitamin C, but strawberries are actually a higher source per 100g.

“Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.”

 

3. Strawberries may help with blood sugar regulation

“Research suggests that eating strawberries alongside a carbohydrate-rich meal may help reduce spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

“Improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity can be helpful for preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

“Whilst it’s not clear as to why strawberries may have this blood sugar balancing effect, some studies have suggested that it may be down to their rich content of polyphenols (antioxidants), which may influence carbohydrate digestion and absorption.”
 

4. Strawberries may have antimicrobial effects

“One study analysed the tops and leaves of two hundred strawberry plants, and found that their large and diverse range of polyphenols are defensive against harmful microbes, and may even have benefit to human health.

“While these results are certainly exciting, much more research into strawberry leaf polyphenols in relation to human health is required.”
 

5. Strawberries may improve heart health

“Numerous studies have found an association between strawberry consumption and improved cardiovascular health. It appears their high content of berry anthocyanins may play a role in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, blood pressure and even improving our cholesterol profile.

“In contrast to the fleshy red fruit, the strawberry calyx has been largely overlooked when it comes to health benefits. While it’s too early to state if strawberry calyx can actually lower blood pressure, one promising study showed potential vasodilatory effects. The study used water extracts of the strawberry leaf and showed an improvement in blood flow within isolated animal aortic rings.” 


6. Strawberries can help with weight management

“Strawberries can satisfy any sweet craving, yet are surprisingly low in sugar and calories. With just 6g of sugar and 33 calories per 100g, they can provide the sweet fix we desire whilst keeping our waistlines trim.

“And for an even more indulgent option, try dipping strawberries into antioxidant rich dark chocolate and coconut flakes.”

 Lily’s tips on how to include strawberries and their tops in your diet and reduce wastage:

  1. Add both to smoothies
  2. Strawberry leaf tea. Using the stalks and leaves – leave to brew for a few minutes in boiling water
  3. Vinegar – soak the berries, including the tops, in vinegar (balsamic works especially well) for at least 48hrs, then add to salads.
  4. Add to juices
  5. Infused water - add sliced strawberries and their leaves to water and leave to infuse
  6. Add strawberry compote for puddings or breakfast topping
  7. Make strawberry leaf kombucha tea

 

Love Fresh Berries launches new Eat Well With Berries recipe book

14th Jan 2021

Download PDF

You can download our new book filled with delicious, healthy berry recipes by clicking on the PDF button. 

Here at Love Fresh Berries, one of our great pleasures is sharing wonderful recipes with berry lovers.

Did you know that berries are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and also incredibly versatile, meaning they work perfectly in breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Berries are tasty and loved by all ages, so why not try adding berries to your meals to get an added health boost, whatever time of day. We believe that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring - take a look at our selection of recipes made with berries that will brighten up every-day meal times and help to support a healthy diet.

In this book are some of our favourite nutritious recipes. We hope you love them as much as we do. And if you try them, tell us about it.e....