Homegrown rainbow carrot bunches to go on sale across the UK

3 Oct 2011

Stunning looking rainbow carrots – in purple, orange, tangerine, white, yellow, cream and amber – are to go on sale across the UK tomorrow (Tuesday Oct 4). The carrot bunches, which will be sold exclusively across the UK by Tesco, are naturally grown in Norfolk.

Stunning looking rainbow carrots – in purple, orange, tangerine, white, yellow, cream and amber – are to go on sale across the UK tomorrow (Tuesday Oct 4). The carrot bunches, which will be sold exclusively across the UK by Tesco, are naturally grown in Norfolk.

They are all old varieties which had no longer been grown commercially because orange has been the dominant carrot colour for hundreds of years.

Tesco vegetable buyer Steve Williams said: “These stunning looking carrot bunches will not only help brighten up the dinner table, they should also create an instant ‘wow’ factor with kids and will hopefully help encourage them to eat their five-a-day.  Our sales show that unusually coloured fruit and veg are popular with shoppers and feedback reveals that parents find them helpful in their battle to get youngsters to eat healthily.  Some people that have tried them have said that the white and yellow ones are slightly sweeter than the orange variety and are also crunchier.”

The carrot bunches have been grown in Swaffham, Norfolk, for Tesco by Bartletts, one of the UK’s biggest growers of root vegetables who wanted to bring some innovation to the carrot world and looked at available seed varieties.

Bartlett’s technical manager Steve Warwick said: “We know that different coloured varieties of produce are popular with shoppers and we worked with Tesco on developing a range of carrots using seeds from uncommon types. Apart from the colour innovation the carrots will also benefit from the latest harvesting machinery. Our new machinery can pull the carrots out of the ground, wash them and bag them all within one minute. We can then have the carrots in stores inside 12 hours which shaves a good 12 hours off existing field-to-store times and ensures freshness for shoppers.”

The carrot bunches, which all have their foliage still attached, will be sold as a mixed selection and will cost £1 a bag.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Until the 16th century carrots were generally purple or yellow although it was not uncommon to find other colour variations caused by natural mutations.

Carrots are one of the most nutritionally beneficial vegetables one can eat as they are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin A, a good source of potassium, and contain vitamins C & B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium.