This year’s crop of pumpkins has arrived in supermarkets such as Tesco, and they are looking bigger and plumper than in typical run-ups to Halloween.
A rainier summer, especially in July and August, led to a lovely season for growers in the UK. Demand is expected to be strong again, according to the retailer.
“The good news for Halloween fans coming from our main pumpkin growers is that the fruit will be larger than normal in all size variations this year as a result of very good growing conditions across the summer months,” said Lucy Moss, Tesco pumpkin buyer. “This year we have six different sizes and based on last year’s demand, carving variety is still the most popular although. Each of the six different size categories will be larger than usual this year so fans will get value for money.”
Tesco supplier Oakley Farms, based near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, grows nearly five million pumpkins each year and said the warm start to the season also helped.
“We had a pretty good growing season for pumpkins this summer with a really hot June, which helped the plants along,” said Steve Whitworth, Commercial Manager at Oakley Farms. “The rainy July and August may not have been great for sun lovers or BBQ fans but from a growing point of view for pumpkins it was perfect. The weather gave us the right amount of rain with sunny intervals especially compared with the challenging conditions we encountered during last year’s heatwave, which was officially the hottest UK year on record.”
Moss expects that even though there will be increased sales, there likely will be less excess because of clever consumers looking for ways to utilise all of their pumpkins and keep the environment healthy.
“The good news, from a food waste point of view, is that there has been an increase in customers searching for recipes for their delicious versatile pumpkin flesh our website,” she said.
Tesco’s pumpkins come in this range of sizes and prices:
- Carving – standard size – 95p
- Culinary – £1
- Munchkin – £1.10
- Novelty including devil (red) and ghost (white) types – £1.90
- Large – £1.90
- Giant – £3.15