Wimbledon sees strawberry sales take centre court at Sainsbury's

06 July 2017

Sainsbury’s expects strawberry sales to increase by 700% during the British season (April to October) with sales peaking during Wimbledon. During summer, the traditional courtside snack are the retailer’s best-selling product for four months, outselling all other products, even milk and bread. 

  • Strawberry sales increase 700% during British strawberry season
  • Wimbledon stores see 1600% spike in sales of single-serve fizz bottles 
  • Strawberries predicted to be best-selling product for four months over summer 

Over the past year, more than 126,000 tonnes of strawberries were sold in the UK (1) and it was recently named the UK’s favourite fruit (2) Alongside a surge in strawberries, sales of sparkling wine increase by 24% (3) during the second week of Wimbledon at local stores. For tennis fans stocking up on their way to Henman Hill, convenience wins; 20cl single-serve bottles jump an impressive 1600% in stores local to the Wimbledon tournament. (4)


Champagne and strawberries may be the most famous combination but last year, over seven times as many customers buying strawberries in the run up to Wimbledon opted to purchase an alternative sparkling wine such as Prosecco(5). Sainsbury’s commissioned research with
flavour expert Professor Barry Smith - founding director of University of London’s Centre for the Study of the Senses – to reveal the best drinks pairings for top strawberry varieties, using scientific methods to pair the flavour components of the different varieties and sparkling wines. One of the most successful pairings is Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Crémant de Loire with the Murano strawberry.


Professor Barry Smith:
“Using the same traditional bottle fermentation method as Champagne, this is a sparkling wine with a sophisticated flavour profile: crisp apple notes with what wine makers call noble bitterness. It is fully satisfying when partnered by the Murano strawberry, whose sweetness, fruitiness and density provides a depth of flavour to match the wine.”


Sainsbury’s strawberry technician Peter Czarnobaj says:
“There’s much more to strawberries than meets the eye and it can take years to develop each variety. What I love about Murano is that it perfectly balances sweetness with acidity as well as having a great shape and depth of colour. We sell more strawberries than any other product for up to 16 weeks so it’s important that our customers can enjoy British-grown strawberries for as long as possible.


The supermarket offers 18 different varieties of British strawberries throughout the season including the Murano, Sonata and Majestic. The best-selling Murano was first developed for Sainsbury’s in 2014 and is noted for its winning
combination of flavour and vibrant colour.


Laurence Olins, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 98% of berries sold in UK supermarkets said: “This season’s strawberry production reflects a robust and expanding soft fruit category that is able to meet the growing consumer demand.”


Strawberry varieties

  • Sainsbury’s British Strawberries 400g, Elsanta, £1.75 - an established Dutch variety, it’s large, firm and glossy and widely available in the UK
  • Sainsbury’s British Strawberries 400g, Sonata, £1.75 - slightly juicier and with a sweeter taste and likely to be heart-shaped
  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference British Strawberries 300g, Majestic, £2 - developed to have strong flavour and colour
  • Sainsbury’s British Strawberries 400g, Murano, £1.75 good depth of flavour and aroma, a more meaty variety


Strawberry facts:

  • Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 200 BC.
  • In medieval times they were regarded as an aphrodisiac and a soup made of strawberries, borage and soured cream was traditionally served to newly-weds at their wedding breakfast
  • In the 16th century strawberries were sold in cone-shaped straw baskets thus becoming one of the earliest packaged foods
  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside! (6)


Footnotes:

  1. British Summer Fruits
  2. Diabetes UK study June 2017
  3. Sainsbury’s sales data
  4. Sainsbury’s sales data
  5. Nectar
  6. British Summer Fruits