UK retailer Waitrose has announced that it will start selling British plums two weeks early this year, following an unusually warm summer.
The retailer says that this is the earliest that British plums have ever been sold by a supermarket, thanks to recent 'near-perfect growing conditions'.
"British berries and cherries may be the pin-up fruits at this time of year, but plums should get more love," said Waitrose fruit buyer Tim Stevens.
"Seeing a crop arrive two weeks early is a huge deal and shows just how good the weather has been for plums. You'd normally see changes of only a few days each season for any fruit, so two weeks is like two years in fruit farming," said Stevens.
The earliest plum variety to arrive each year is the purple-skinned Herman, but Waitrose will stock an additional seven British varieties later in the summer.
The retailer says that the popularity of plums is growing every year, and last year saw a 137% increase in sales, when British varieties came into season. Waitrose is expecting demand to rise this year, and it has already noted an increase in recipe searches on its website for plum desserts.
The first Waitrose British plums have launched in five of the supermarket's branches and will be in all stores by 20 July.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.