We’ve always been proud of the quality of our tomatoes. But just because something’s great, it doesn’t mean there’s no point in trying to make it just a little bit greater. Which is why, back in 2006, we began a search for a brand new tomato to add to our existing range. The result is Sugardrop, and it’s the result of an awful lot of tomato-tasting.
Fruit company Gomez got on board to help us on our quest, and we gave them a wish-list of characteristics that the dream tomato should possess, as defined by Tesco shoppers. In response, they began a massive 2,000-variety, three-year growing trial. This was done in conjunction with Paloma, a specialist tomato grower based in Murcia on Spain’s south east coast – ideal tomato-growing territory.
‘Tesco shoppers were clear about what they wanted,’ says Luke Stockdale at Gomez. ‘They asked for a tomato that was very sweet, with a great, fleshy texture and plenty of juice.’ Led by Tesco’s technical manager, the 2,000 varieties were then narrowed down to 80 contenders, all of which were tasted individually. But when it came to Sugardrop, we knew we’d found exactly what our customers had told us they wanted in a tomato – it was head and shoulders above the rest.
Deep red in colour, with a distinctive teardrop shape, it has an intense tomato flavour and exceptional sweetness, coupled with a very juicy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The three years of tomato-tasting has definitely paid off – since going on sale in Tesco in November 2009, demand for Sugardrop* has been constantly high, and Paloma are now increasing their number of plants in order to keep Tesco shoppers happy.
Try this delicious recipe for Tomato, aubergine and mozzarella salad
*Sugardrop Tomatoes on the Vine, 250g. Selected UK stores. Subject to availability.