The Co-operative is reintroducing its heritage apple juice, made from 1,000 varieties of rare apples, and quadrupling production after selling out last year.
An extra 28,635 litres of The Co-operative Farms’ Truly Irresistible Tillington 1,000 Pressed Apple Juice have been produced following high demand for the fresh juice last year, which sold out within weeks of hitting the shelves.
This year 38,000 one-litre bottles, compared to 9,365 in 2011, will be available at 608 selected Co-operative Food stores across the country, priced at £2.29 each, from today (9 February 2012).
The 1,000 varieties of apple tree, used to create Tillington 1,000 pressed apple juice, had faced being taken out of commercial production before The Co-operative Farms bought one of three identical collections for its fruit farm at Tillington in Herefordshire in 2008, the retailer said.
The other two parts of the collection were bought by the Prince of Wales and a private Scottish collector, but The Co-operative’s collection is the only one being put to a commercial use.
David Gardner, head of fruit operations at Co-operative Farms, said: “Thanks to an even greater apple yield from our maturing orchard we are in a position to meet the high demand for this fresh apple juice.
“These apples offer a real taste of British history, and were in real danger of disappearing forever. To be able to turn them into a delicious and popular drink is extremely exciting and is an example of what The Co-operative, as a major food retailer and the UK’s largest farming business, can achieve.”
The collection of heritage trees includes Isaac Newton’s tree, which is identical to and originated from the apple tree in the garden of Newton’s home, which helped him discover gravity. Other rare varieties grown at Tillington, and included in the heritage apple drink, include Great Expectations, Fairie Queen, Northern Spy, Forty Shilling, Dick’s Bill and Bloody Ploughman.