The Chantenay carrot season is underway and yield and quality are “looking excellent”, according to Freshgro whose growers produce 90 per cent of the UK crop.
With the harvest now two weeks in, the Nottinghamshire cooperative’s MD Martin Evans said: “The growing conditions in 2019 have been excellent. Good light levels and a balance between warm, sunny spells and fairly even rainfall have delivered a very good crop.
“Initial harvesting suggests that we have a good crop of the mainstay orange variety and equally promising outcomes for the purple and white varieties.”
The Chantenay carrot is moving into year two of its current marketing campaign and Evans said that after a few years’ break from marketing the cultivar, the new purple and white varieties “offer a new story to share with shoppers”.
The first year of our campaign was designed to put Chantenay back in the media and consumer spotlight, by taking advantage of the trend for flexitarianism and shoppers’ increased interest in healthy choices. “We will continue to use these themes to promote the crop in 2019 and beyond,” said Evans.
The Chantenay campaign extended its audience in year one of the campaign by promoting Chantenay carrots and Piccolo parsnips to hospitality outlets.
In addition, educational materials were emailed to UK primary schools encouraging teachers to download and use the materials in classes of Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11) in support of the national PSHE curriculum. The material was downloaded over 1,100 times and reached an estimated 34,000 children.
“There is strong growth evident in both economy and premium tiers over the past few years,” said Evans. “Vegetable consumption is up three per cent since 2014 and veg features at 42 per cent of main meals, according to Kantar WorldPanel.
“Chantenay is convenient and naturally nutritious so it is well placed to take advantage of the growing presence of veg at mealtimes. It needs minimal prep and no peeling so there is almost no waste which helps shoppers working to reduce food waste, another hot topic. We’re looking forward to a good season.”