One of Britain’s most expensive vegetables – asparagus – is to be sold in Morrisons for just £1 (for 180g) this season, making it the cheapest on the market.
From 22 April customers will be able to buy this luxury item for less, due to some of the crop growing ‘wonky’ this spring.
Asparagus is normally sold for £1.75 for a bundle (250g)[ii] and is prized for its perfect upright spear. It is most often bought by food lovers who can afford its price tag from late April until the summer solstice.
But this year a warm early spring has encouraged asparagus shoots to push up early. As shoots track the sun round the sky – and early spring sun levels are low – it has caused some of the crop to grow into a ‘wonky’ shape. A combination of changeable hot and cold spring temperatures has also resulted in shorter and longer spears.
Morrisons Wonky Asparagus – will become part of a fourteen-strong Wonky fruit and vegetable range – and will go on sale for the first time from 22 April. The product will be sold at just £1 for a 180g bag, making it the cheapest asparagus on the market. Though wonky, the asparagus will have tender spears which will taste sweet and fresh.
The British supermarket has also created the new wonky line to help growers to sell the crop through. In previous years farmers may have sent a wonky crop to be processed into other food products or may not even have harvested the crop at all.
Michael Weightman, asparagus buyer at Morrisons, said: “We’ve stepped in to buy the crop as we wanted to help growers and put this normally luxury ingredient into the hands of shoppers for just a pound.”
James Dale from Flamingo Produce said: “The warm early spring and temperature fluctuations has resulted in ten to fifteen per cent of our asparagus crop growing wonky this spring. But it’s only their shape which is different. Growing asparagus takes many years of hard work so we’re grateful that this part of the crop is being sold on to customers and will not be wasted.”
This year Morrisons will sell seven types of asparagus including Wonky Asparagus, an exclusive The Best Emerald Crest Asparagus Spears, along with fresh purple, white and green varieties. Most of the crop will originate from the supermarket’s outdoor growers in the Ross on Wye, Vale of Evesham and Kent, with some local suppliers delivering direct into local Morrisons stores.”
Morrisons asparagus will be sold in traditional ‘naked’ bundles tied with rubber bands, along with a range of packaged varieties. Recipe cards and accompaniments will be sold alongside the vegetable to inspire customers to cook a range of traditional asparagus dishes.