Carving pumpkins have been a staple item for UK shoppers and their families during the month of October.
But a new trend, largely fueled by the vegan crowd, has led to big demand for the cooking, edible variety of pumpkins.
In fact, during the past two years, Tesco says sales are up 150%. Because of that interest, it says its grower, Oakley Farms, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, has planted a record number of sweet pumpkins this year.
“Pumpkins are no longer a novelty fruit only bought by parents for their kids as an essential Halloween decoration," says Tesco pumpkin buyer David Tavernor. "Thanks to the plant-based food revolution they’ve become really popular with vegans, even taking pride of place as a Christmas centrepiece for the festive feast."
Oakley Farms says it grows an incredible five million pumpkins in total each year.
“Britain is becoming more like America in that pumpkins are not only bought to carve but also to eat ,and their sweet flesh is delicious in soups and pies," Steve Whitworth of Oakley Farms said. "As a result of this growing popularity we’ve planted 100,000 Sweet Cooking pumpkins this year.”
Tesco reports it is selling four types of pumpkins – Novelty including devil (red) and ghost (white) types, Carving in standard, large and giant sizes, Sweet Cooking, and Munchkin.