Adverse weather conditions have seriously affected the harvest in le Puy-en-Velay region of central France, resulting in a reduced crop of Puy lentils.
In a bid to address this issue, Leathams has been researching alternative ingredients, including the possibility of adding Lentille Verte du Berry's to its Merchant Gourmet brand.
"Lentille Verte du Berry is an authentic lentil that has accredited Protected Geographical Indication," says Sanjay Davda, head of grocery, Leathams.
"This lentil is identified and checked from the fields to packaging by the accreditor 'Label Rouge', which is the highest French sign of quality. As a result, this is a fantastic alternative to Puy as the flavours are very similar. If we are going to bring in a new line, it is essential for us to introduce an end product that tastes, looks and behaves in a similar way as Puy."
Davda said the introduction of Lentille Verte du Berry should not be misinterpreted as an end to Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils. He said: "We believe that taking this practical action to ensure that our customers continue to enjoy the quality ingredients that they have become accustomed to is essential."