The first crop of UK beetroot was harvested last week as the recent warm weather across the country helped push the crop forward, although a lack of rain has meant that extensive irrigation was required to boost yields.
The warm weather has followed on from a cold spring that hampered growth of the main UK open baby crop, leaving producers relying on imports to satisfy demand for the vegetable.
"We are currently experiencing massive demand for beetroot products across the board," said Graham Forber, manager director of G's Fresh Beetroot. "In the prepared beetroot sector this last week alone, we have seen volume sales up 24 per cent on last year.
"That is in part due to the warm weather, but we cannot deny that increased publicity surrounding the health benefits is contributing to boost sales," he added. "It is also in fashion at the moment – in every magazine you pick up, you'll find a mention of beetroot."