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Sales of fruit and products labelled 'free from' boom in UK

By Josie Clarke

Fresh fruit and 'free from' products are the year's fastest-growing grocery items, figures show. Shoppers in the UK spent £175.6m more on fresh fruit this year than they did last year, while sales of 'free from' products increased by £122.9m or 18.9%, according to Nielsen's annual analysis of supermarket till sales.

Shoppers in the UK spent £175.6m more on fresh fruit this year than they did last year, while sales of 'free from' products increased by £122.9m or 18.9%, according to Nielsen's annual analysis of supermarket till sales.

The growth of 'free from' means it is now worth £772.2m a year - and has become a bigger category than tea.

Sparkling wine is the only other category to see sales rise by more than £100m this year, at £101.9m or 15.5%.

Bottled water was the fourth fastest-growing category, seeing a sales increase of £81.9m to take it past the £1bn mark.

Britons spent nearly £50m more on avocados this year, making it the single fastest-growing food or drink item.

Mike Watkins from Nielsen said: "It's gone from being the preserve of medical condition purchasing, on its own small shelf space, to a lifestyle or general health choice."

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