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Will Colorful Carrots Get A Cult Following?

New varieties of colorful carrots have arrived in U.K. supermarkets -- will they wow children, foodies, or both?

colorful carrots

Photo: Chris Willis (Flickr)

Carrots of other colors like yellow and purple fell out of favor as the preference for orange carrots rose -- until foodies recognized an interest in unique varieties of produce.

New multicolor carrots have arrived at supermarkets in the U.K. — could they help finicky children eat more vegetables?

Carrots: The Next Big Thing

Carrots have been at the center of campaigns to get children to eat more veggies. Marketing baby carrots as “trendy” or putting baby carrots in vending machines are examples of this stateside.

U.K. supermarket chain Tesco has introduced carrots in purple, yellow, white, cream and amber in addition to traditional orange.

Tesco vegetable buyer Steve Williams said the carrots would create a “wow factor” with children, but it may be adult foodies who are wowed.

Unique, Nutritious, Marketable

Heirloom plants are increasing in popularity as consumers want produce that isn’t cookie-cutter perfect, or is unique in flavor.

The multicolor carrots aren’t heirloom exactly — they are just carrots of different varieties.

For instance, purple carrots contain anthocyanins, an antioxidant that aids in digestion and causes the deep color and added sweetness.

The colored carrots are varieties nearly forgotten as the preference for orange carrots dominated the market. Now farmers, like Ontario-based Carron Farms owner Jason Verkaik, expect their small purple carrot patch to grow.

“Sales are increasing each year. A few years ago, there was no money in growing and selling purple carrots, but now it’s definitely viable and you can certainly make money from it,” he said.

Read More:

  • Forget orange, doc: Antioxidant-rich purple carrots hit the big time (Globe and Mail)
  • Will novelty carrots take root? (The Guardian)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • John

    Sadly these colors have been tried several times before in the UK, so unless there is a powerful PR campaign they are doomed to fail.

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