A group of Scottish family-run fruit growers has got together to launch the first branded strawberry, called AVA, named after the woman who originally grew 120,000 seedlings from which the new variety was selected.
The strawberries are unique because they are the only kind to hold their petals, but most importantly, they are have a mouth-watering aroma and a rounded flavour reminiscent of strawberries of times gone by.
Perhaps surprising to those who consider the English to be at the forefront of strawberry production, the fruit is grown with the greatest of care in Tayside & Fife in Scotland by Angus Soft Fruits who own the special AVA variety that only they produce.
The season runs until October and the strawberries are sold from the premium fruit sections of Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco plus the Co-op.
Angus Soft Fruits conducted consumer research at the weekend at the Taste of London show in Regent’s Park that had 24,000 visitors. John Gray, Commercial Manager for Angus Soft Fruits admitted to being totally bowled over by the feedback.
Typical comments were, “They taste like strawberries used to taste” and “They remind me of the berries I ate from my grandmother’s garden as a child.” A number of people said they were the best strawberries they had ever tasted.
John Gray said, “This is our first season of full national distribution and we wanted to gauge people’s reaction. Several leading figures with discerning palates in the restaurant world have expressed their strong support for AVA strawberries, so we might very well need to find a wholesale partner.
“We expect to produce 1,500 tonnes of AVA this season, equivalent to 6.5 million 227 g (half pound) punnets of strawberries and it is challenge for us to deal with the demand, but it is a nice problem to have.”
Angus Soft Fruits is the largest independent soft fruit marketing company in Scotland and is acknowledged as a leader in technical excellence.
Angus Soft Fruits Ltd, East Seaton, Arbroath, Angus DD11 5SD
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John Gray, Commercial Manager for Angus Soft Fruits is available for interview on 07739 642 779.
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