Nearly 180 million Brussels sprouts photographed for Tesco in run up to Christmas

Tesco is using high technology to help it win the battle of the annual Christmas sprout sales war.

This involves state-of-the-art optical grading machines, capable of taking hundreds of 360 degree sprout photographs per second, in order to select the best ones and get them onto supermarket shelves quicker than ever.

Between now and Christmas, the machines will photograph about 180 million sprouts which will go on sale on the supermarket’s produce aisles. 

Even better news for sprout lovers is that the overall quality in the run up to Christmas is very good, with ideal growing conditions this autumn thanks to good amounts of autumn sunshine and colder weather now. 

Tesco sprout expert Rob Hooper explains: 

“Thanks to the latest technology our customers will be able to buy the very best tasting and freshest sprouts available on British high streets.

“Most importantly for customers though is that these machines speed up the grading procedure which drastically cuts the time by which we can get sprouts from farm to fork. So however you do Christmas, we’ve got your dinner covered.”

The latest Tesco grower to invest in an optical grading machine is TH Clements, based near Boston, in Lincolnshire.  

They are one of the UK’s largest growers of brassica and it means that 97 per cent of all sprouts sold by the supermarket are now photographed.


Note to editors:

Some Fantastic Sprout Facts

  1. Two-thirds of our total sprout consumption occurs outside the festive season in the UK and Britons eat more Brussels sprouts than anyone else in Europe.
  1. Around 25 per cent of the annual consumption of Brussels sprouts is in the two weeks leading up to Christmas.
  1. It won its name after becoming popular in the Belgian capital in the 16th Century, but the Brussels sprout is ­originally thought to have come from Iran and Afghanistan.
  1. Around 5,000 years ago sprouts were prescribed by Chinese physicians as a medication for bowel problems.
  1. As you’re letting out your waistband feasting on turkey, roast potatoes and cranberry sauce, remember that a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains only about 60 calories.
  1. 1587 is the first recorded date of Brussels sprouts being used in cooking.
  1. Sprouts contain high levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibre, and can help protect against colon and stomach cancer.
  1. An 80g serving of sprouts contains four times more vitamin C than an orange.
  1. There are more than 110 different varieties of sprouts.
  1. The area covered by Brussels sprout fields in the UK is the equivalent of 3,240 football pitches.
  1. In 2015 a team of scientists and local schoolchildren used the energy from 1,000 Brussels sprouts to light a Christmas tree on London's Southbank.
  1. In August, adventurer Stuart Kettell, 49, rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Mt. Snowdon using only his nose, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support.
  1. Sprout fan Linus Urbanec from Sweden holds the current world record for the most Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute. He swallowed 31 on November 26, 2008.
  1. The heaviest ever sprout was grown in 1992 and weighed 8.3kg (18lb/3oz).
  1. The sprout industry is now worth £650,000,000.
  1. Santacon is a global gathering of people dressed as Father Christmas in cities around the world and traditionally, part of the fun is pelting other Santas (and anyone who turns up as an Elf) with Brussels sprouts.
  1. There are more than 9,000 ways to cook a sprout. Some examples: Dijon-braised, balsamic-roasted, cherry-glazed, sweet and sour ... and Brussels-sprout-with-grapes bake.
  1. Famous sprout fans include former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and TV presenter Esther Rantzen, who attempted to break the world record for eating the most sprouts – but only managed five

As part of Tesco’s Festive 5 seasonal vegetables promotion, Redmere Farms Unpeeled Sprouts 500g are now 29p. Tesco’s Festive 5 also includes:

  • Tesco Cauliflower
  • Redmere Farms White Potato 2.5kg
  • Redmere Farms Carrots 1kg
  • Redmere Farms Parsnips 500g

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