The use of California Raisins among craft bakers has doubled in the past five years to an average of 11 tonnes per baker, according to UK and Europe marketing director Peter Meadows.

Speaking at the annual National Dried Fruit Trade Association Review, where he was elected to the council for the first time, Meadows attributed the rise in use to strong listings in bakery wholesalers Bako and BFP and strong promotional activity throughout the baking industry.

Meadows told British Baker: "We also devised a national strategy for those with 15-50 shops. We had to wear a 30% price increase overnight last July, but bakers pay more for quality. They also like the fact the raisins are seedless, nutritious and perform very well in bakery. They help attract repeat sales."

He said: "We have worked hard, building relationships with bakery students, the National Association of Master Bakers and Scottish Bakers. And we have given promotional incentives to those previously wedded to sultanas, getting people to test and try the raisins."

He said he was "anticipating a good crop of 310,000 tonnes for the coming year". Efficiency has also improved with the crops now harvested mechanically.