Waitrose presents pineberries, not April Fools joke

21st April 2010, Comments 0 comments

British supermarket Waitrose's 31 March launch of new fruit product 'pineberries' -- a strawberry with characteristics of a pineapple -- has led some cynical people to believe the fruit is a hoax.

On 31 March Waitrose launched pineberries – an 'Alice in Wonderland-style' fruit.

With British summer time officially here Waitrose believes this new berry, which displays characteristics of both strawberries and pineapples, will fly off the shelves.

Despite their extraordinary smell and taste similar to a pineapple, pineberries are still strawberries.

The tiny berries, which are white and covered in red pips, have the same genetic make-up as the common strawberry.

It is their fresh, juicy, sweet and acid flavour with a highly aromatic smell – more akin to a pineapple – that inspired the name ‘pineberries’.

Waitrose is the first supermarket to sell pineberries in the UK. They will be available in 45 stores nationwide for five weeks while they are in season.

Originating in South America, the pineberry started life as a wild variety of strawberry. It was threatened with extinction until seven years ago when Dutch farmers began growing it on a commercial level.

Each pineberry is smaller than a common strawberry measuring between 15 to 23 mm. They are grown in glasshouses, growing on coir like other strawberries.

They begin life as green berries, then become slightly white. By the time its deep laying seeds turn dark red this white fruit is ripe.

Each pineberry punnet will weigh 125g and will retail for GBP 3.99.

Nicki Baggott, fruit buyer for Waitrose, says: “Pineberries offer our customers the chance to add a new fruit into their diet and the berries bright appearance can add an unusual decoration to sweet dishes.

"As the summer unfolds we won't be surprised to hear that our customers are inviting their friends over for pineberry pavlovas, punch or serving them up with yoghurt for a lighter alternative."

Waitrose’s announcement of the new fruit on 31 March has led some of the more cynical members of the public to believe the announcement a hoax, and generate doubt as to the fruit’s existence.

However, Waitrose representatives have tried to assure the public of the authenticity of their new product, confirming that pineberries ‘are available in 46 of our branches and IS NOT an April Fools joke.’

This is not the first time Waitrose has launched a new berry into the UK market. In 2008 Waitrose launched the successful Strasberry, which will also land in stores for a third time this spring.

The strasberry resembles a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry and is reputed to have a sweet and unique flavour. Strasberries, on sale from 7 April in 125g punnets, will retail for GBP 3.99.


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