Supermarket Watch August 2011 Print

Bringing you the latest news on British products in the supermarkets and other major items of interest about British food; here is our round-up for August.

  • British bacon producers will be forced to rename their products if they contain more than 5 per cent of water. Under tough new EU rules, rashers with a more than 5 per cent water content must no longer be sold as ‘bacon’ but ‘bacon with added water’. This new EU law means many producers will change their production to more expensive methods meaning the retail price will rise. The new law is due to be signed off this autumn with the new labelling rule enforced within 4 years.

  • British Hen Welfare Trust has revealed nearly ¾ million people own a chicken coop, a rise of 80 per cent in 3 years. The fun of keeping hens and the prospect of freshly-laid eggs for breakfast after a short stroll to the end of the garden has become more appealing!

  • Tesco has launched a new ‘All You Want To Know About Fruit’ book featuring recipes and buying tips in the hope to nudge people to eat more fruit and boost its fresh produce sales. Shoppers will get a free copy if they spend £5 or more on standard or organic fruit, or they can purchase it direct for £7.99.

  • EBLEX has launched a new blog, ‘Beef and Lamb Matters’, to keep the industry abreast of the latest legislative and political developments. See http://www.eblex.org.uk/news/eblex-blog.aspx

  • The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reports that the number of drinkers trying real ale for the first time has increased by 40 per cent in the past few years, while 200 new breweries have opened giving a total of 800 breweries in the UK.

  • British Egg Week has launched a new website (www.britisheggweek.co.uk) which hosts a range of recipes using British Eggs. Recipe examples include Marcus Wareing's custard tart and Atul Kochhar’s fennel bread and butter pudding!

  • Musgrave is hoping to boost British meat sales at Budgens stores by emphasising provenance and preparation by a team of trained butchers. The 9 stores taking part in the trial are displaying ‘meet our butchers’ PoS with signs explaining Budgens meat is 90% British and prepared and packed by hand.

  • Swalethorpe Growers, a group of 40 Yorkshire pea farmers looking to bring provenance to frozen veg, has won its first major supermarket contract with Tesco. The peas will be available across north and east of England stores.

  • Mackerel sales have soared in supermarkets since the launch of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's ‘Mission Mackerel’. Sales were reported to have increased by 10 per cent to 5,797kg from January to June!

  • FARMA's latest figures reveal farm shops are opening at their fastest ever rate, with soaring profits to match. There are now over 4,000 farm shops in the UK turning over a combined profit of £1.5 billion a year!

  • Beef and Pork sales have defied the gloomy retail outlook to show strong growth! June/July sales of fresh and frozen pork rose 14.8 per cent compared to last year, with fresh and frozen beef rising by 13.1 per cent. Unusually, sales have predominately been from roast and stewing cuts rather than more traditional summer barbecue cuts.   

  • Sainsbury's has begun stocking British melons! Grown in small volumes in Kent, the orange-fleshed melons will be available in 100 Sainsbury's stores throughout August.

  • Morrisons opened its first M convenience store in Ilkley, Bradford last month as part of three trial outlets. The M local stores will have more than 100 lines of fresh foods including strong fish, meat and bread offers and a salad bar.

  • Yellow and Pink Oyster Mushrooms grown in Lancashire have hit Tesco stores. Originated in India, this exotic mushroom is now being grown in the UK and is said to have a mild creamy flavour and a velvety texture.

Seasonal foods at their best to look out for in the supermarkets this month
Vegetables: artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, chillies, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, French beans, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces and salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, onions, pak choi, peas, peppers, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, runner beans, spinach, spring onions, sweetcorn, turnips, watercress and wild nettles.
Fruit: apples,bilberries, blackberries, blueberries, damsons, gooseberries, greengages, loganberries, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, strawberries, tomatoes and whitecurrants.
Herbs: basil, chives, coriander, mint, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), oregano, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sage, sorrel, tarragon and thyme. 
Meat: beef, chicken, grouse, hare, lamb, pork, rabbit, venison and wood pigeon.
Fish: brill,cockles, cod, coley, conger eel, crab, dab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, hake, halibut, herring, john dory, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, monkfish, pilchard, plaice, pollack, prawns, salmon, sardines, scallops, sea bass, sea bream, sea trout, shrimp, squid, turbot and whelks.
See at the touch of a button all the British produce currently available in the supermarkets - [search Want to Buy British by product or by supermarket].