After a long wait, this year’s Wimbledon is finally back! But the much-loved tennis tournament will look slightly different this year. COVID restrictions mean the championships, starting on 28th June 2021, will be running at a 50% reduced capacity, causing a quarter of a million tennis fans to miss one of the most British traditions of the summer: enjoying the tennis with some strawberries and cream.
Wimbledon strawberries and cream are the biggest deal. Ever.
Every year, Wimbledon Tennis fans who visit the championships snack their way through a mountain-sized 2 million strawberries and 7000 litres of cream in a fortnight. That’s more than 190,000 portions in 14 days!
Now, with tickets cut in half due to COVID-19, the fate of 1 million British strawberries — weighing a colossal 14,000kg — hangs in the balance. And it’s not just our appetite taking a knock. Wimbledon faces almost a quarter of a million pounds in lost revenue from strawberries and cream sales alone!
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How many strawberries are typically used at Wimbledon, exactly?
We crunched the numbers. This dish is so iconic that one in every three people who attend Wimbledon eats strawberries and cream. In 2019, 191,930 portions were sold at £2.50 each, and to ensure exactly 10 berries are included in each portion, the event requires almost 2 million strawberries to meet public demand.
Think about this for a second. At 28,000kg, the sheer weight of strawberries delivered to Wimbledon each year is ten times heavier than every single Slazenger tennis ball used throughout the entire event, combined. That’s over 54,000 tennis balls!
Such mega volumes of strawberries are served at Wimbledon each year that if you laid them all out flat, they’d smother Centre Court more than 900 times. And if shared between every spectator on Henman Hill at full capacity, each person would be stuck with a towering 548 British strawberries.
Let’s not forget the 7,000 litres of cream that finishes off this iconic dish. Each year, there’s enough to fill the Wimbledon Men’s trophy to the brim more than 538 times.
This long-standing trend is such a quintessential part of British summertime that in one of the most comprehensive surveys ever done around Brits and Wimbledon, around 50% of the nation said strawberries & cream is the first thing they think of in relation to tennis.
In 2019, Google searches for ‘Wimbledon strawberries and cream’ in the UK jumped by 120% in June and July compared to all other months of the year combined, showing just how dedicated the nation is to the strawberries and cream tradition. And thanks to the new vegan cream offering at Wimbledon in 2019, searches for ‘vegan Wimbledon’ also skyrocketed around this time.
Even in 2020 when the event was cancelled, UK interest in ‘Wimbledon strawberries & cream’ increased to 70 times the average interest of the rest of the year.
The Wimbledon strawberries and cream cost has been frozen at £2.50 for over 10 years, but attendees are still paying around two and a half times more than they would be for the same dish at home. One of the giant Wimbledon strawberries costs around 25p compared to the average supermarket price of 10p.
Where will all the unused Wimbledon strawberries end up?
Hugh Lowe Farms in Kent is responsible for growing all of Wimbledon’s iconic strawberries. Last year, all 30,000kg of Wimbledon’s strawberries were distributed for sale in supermarkets, local farm shops and independent stores in the form of jam and even strawberry gin.
Other impacted favourites:
|Sporting event||Status||What we’ll miss||The impact|
|Wimbledon||Reduced to 50% capacity||Pimm’s||Wimbledon is set to lose up to one and a quarter million pounds in Pimm’s alone this year, having sold 276,291 glasses in 2019 at £8.50 each!|
|Royal Ascot||Redced to roughly 10% capacity||Tea & Champagne||Racegoers pop 56,000 bottles of champagne over the five-day race, and drink 80,000 cups of tea. At 10% capacity, this means just 5,600 bottles of champagne and 8,000 cups of tea will be enjoyed this year.|
Save the strawberry! Binge on Wimbledon Strawberries & Cream at Home
Even if you’re not one of the fortunate few to attend the event this year, you can still enjoy this classic British dish at home.
3 Cups (750 mL) Strawberries
2 Cups (500 mL) Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Teaspoons (10 mL) Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) Granulated White Sugar
Cut the strawberries in half.
Whisk the cream until it thickens.
Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract when the cream starts to stiffen.
Spoon strawberries in the cream into a serving bowl in alternating layers.
Impress your new roommates with your strawberries & cream recipe
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