A new vegetable product 10 years in the making is being rolled out at Marks & Spencers (M&S) in the UK this week, the kale and brussels sprout cross called 'Flower Sprout'.
Developed by Tozer Seeds, the Flower sprout is described as having a brussels sprout-like plant habit with a tall stem and rosettes, but with a milder and sweeter taste than a brussels sprout and with a good texture.
Trial breeding of kale/sprout crossovers has been taking place since 1995, according to Tozer, and development has led to a number of different coloured varieties that could also be made available shortly.
"Most breeding is done to improve existing varieties, Tozer's independence means we have more flexibility in our breeding programmes, we can be more imaginative," said Tozer's Dr Jamie Claxton. "We've become known for our ability to produce new, exciting, novel vegetables and Flower Sprout is no exception.
"Breeding a new variety can take over 10 years so it's a real sense of achievement when your product hits the market, I'm really excied about seeing Flowe Sprout on the shelves," he added.
Several select growers are producing the new vegetable, including Gloucestershire (western England)-based grower W.R. Haines Ltd. "W are very excited to be producing this brand new vegetable, it tastes fantastic and we've had great reports from everyone who has tried it," said the group's Martin Haines.
Flower Sprout is supplied exclusively to Marks & Spencer via Manor Fresh Ltd.