Sweetcorn specialist Barfoots is reporting a record growth in the supply of fresh sweetcorn to UK retailers and high street restaurants.
A record early start for the crop together with ideal growing conditions has seen increased volumes becoming available.
Sussex-based Barfoots is Europe's leading grower of the crop.
Commercial manager, James Meers, said: “The growing season has been exceptional in comparison to recent years – which has aided a strong harvest.
"This, coupled with strong promotional activity across all retailers and a growth in listings through popular food outlets such as Nandos and Wahaca, has seen the product move into the mainstream and become a mainstay in the UK’s mealtimes.”
In order to meet demand the company has set about operating on a 24-hour shift pattern. Additional staff have been drafted in and harvesting is continuing late into the evening
Exports to European markets have also been halted as domestic demand soars.
Meers added: “The days of sweetcorn being a niche product have well and truly passed.
"We are finding a younger generation adopting the product, which goes hand in hand with its emergence in restaurant and fast food sector. Its popularity in the USA is spreading over here and its emergence as one of the UK’s favourite vegetables is becoming very evident.”
With increased demand it is likely that the UK season will finish earlier than previous years, with Barfoots reporting that stocks earmarked for mid to late September are already in supply.
Barfoots Of Botley was established in the early 1970s by now chairman Peter Barfoot.
It specialises in the growing of sweetcorn, courgettes, sweet potatoes, legumes, and squashes, among others, and grows crops across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Sussex.