Record mint sales reported
Despite the lack of sunshine, the appetite for summer favourite mint remains strong, as the UK’s leading herb producer, Vitacress, has reported record sales of fresh mint.
Nearly 3.7 million (3,671,242 to be exact) pots and packs of fresh mint have been flying off the supermarket shelves since January, an increase of 15.9 per cent on last year*. For the past 52 weeks that is an increase of 19.9 per cent**. Fresh mint has long been an ingredient in the classic summer drink, but Vitacress also credits its sales success to wider use in other cocktails and cooking. Mint is currently fourth in the nation’s favourite herbs, following coriander, basil and flat leaf parsley (flat leaf parsley has seen the biggest sales increase of all the herbs in the past 52 weeks).
Mint isn’t the only herb experiencing growing popularity, all fresh herb sales are up for the past 52 weeks comparing year on year – coriander by 19 per cent, basil by 17.3 per cent and flat leaf parsley by a whopping 38.1 per cent.
Tony Reid from Vitacress said: “We typically see mint sales increase in the summer months largely due to the classic Pimms cocktail, but this year has been a record. It seems the poor summer weather isn’t putting people off enjoying summer drinks and food. The growing trend for ‘clean eating’ could also be a factor as mint works well in salads and smoothies.”
Leading herb expert and author Jekka McVicar, who created Jamie Oliver’s herb garden added: “Mint has been used in cooking for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks believed that after nights of heavy drinking they could place a wreath of mint on their heads to avoid getting a hangover. Perhaps this is why it has become a common cocktail ingredient, or it could be because it tastes good! If you are not a fan of Mint, or simply want a change, try Basil as it adds a wonderful flavour to cocktails and comes from the same family as mint.”
*Kantar sales data based on a consumer panel, for 1st January to 22nd May 2016
** Kantar sales data based on a consumer panel, for 52 weeks w/e 22 May 2016