Following the poor brassica season, which has left a shortage of many crops, including Brussels sprouts, supermarket Waitrose has said that it will relax its specification for the vegetable to avoid shortages this Christmas.
The retailer commented: ‘This year we will be selling sprouts of all shapes and sizes to support growers after an extremely wet autumn. We have relaxed size and shape guidelines to make sure as much of the UK crop is available to customers, in turn helping farmers during a particularly difficult time.’
Lucy Broughton, Sprouts Buyer at Waitrose & Partners, told reporters, “Love them or hate them, Brussels have had a tricky time this year, but our farmers have worked incredibly hard to make the best out of a bad spate of weather. Whilst they might not be perfect in appearance, the quality and flavour this year is superb and some of the more rough-around-the edges one will be in our prepared products.”
The smallest acceptable size is now 15mm, while the largest is 60mm in diameter and the retailer will reintroduce its ‘sproutlets’ product first seen in 2018. The retailer says that online searches for Brussels sprouts have increased 78% recently. Some estimates suggest that sprouts have seen a 20 per cent increase in price.
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