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Sales of fruit plants overtake veg in B&Q

For the first time ever sales of fruit plants are growing at a faster rate than sales of veg plants, according to new data from B&Q, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer.

Sales of fruit plants and trees have hit record levels as more Brits than ever take to growing their own this summer. Concerns over the credit-crunch and food quality have led to a 26% year-on-year jump in sales of edible fruit plants across Britain.

The most popular fruit plants are grapes, which are up by 66%, followed by strawberries, up 26% and then raspberries, with an increase of 21%.

Fruit trees are also proving a hit with the plum fruit tree being the most popular with green-fingered Brits, up 32% year on year, while cherry trees are up 17%. Gooseberry and climbing berries are also proving to be popular. B&Q introduced a new range of Patio Fruit Trees, a smaller variety for small spaces, which sold out in a week.

The trend has also been inspired by celebrity gardeners and chefs like Alan Titchmarsh and Jamie Oliver.

Joclyn Silezin, Buyer for Horticulture at B&Q says:

“Sales of fruit plants and fruit trees have increased significantly. Rising fruit prices do seem to be a factor lately as growing your own fruit usually works out cheaper, but the healthy organic eating and green agendas have also helped. We are also getting a lot more customers asking us about how to grow their own fruit. We think it’s great that our customers can have easier access to fresh fruit because it’s all about freshness, the shorter the journey to the plate, the better."

Nearly half of the population (45 %) now grow their own food and if they don’t it’s because they don’t have a garden according to research by YouGov questioning over 2,000 homeowners for B&Q.

Not only are more of us growing our own than ever before but 37% of those that are embracing the good life are set to grow more than half their own this year according to additional research by OnePoll for B&Q.

More than half of those polled will spend time in the garden every week, with 16% gardening every day in the summer. And, on each occasion the average person spends 3 hours and 14 minutes in the garden.

Source : Kitchen Garden

09 August 2011
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