Sourdough is now so popular with British shoppers that it has become the UK's fastest growing bread variety – with demand for the hard-crusted, rustic styled bread soaring by nearly 40 per cent in the last year at Tesco.

Tesco now sells around 100,000 sourdough loaves a week and has just launched its first ever sourdough baguette in order to offer customers more choice at lunchtime.

In the last five years, Tesco has almost quadrupled its sourdough range to bring customers new varieties and meet demand.

Among the reasons for the strong growth are the rising popularity of speciality loaves and trendy brunch treats like avocado on sourdough.

Tesco bakery buyer Alice McConnell explains:

“Interest in this wonderfully tangy and chewy bread has grown spectacularly in the last few years and for those that still have not tried it there is nothing quite like hot, toasted sourdough and butter.

“As customer demand has grown, we now have 10 sourdough bread products on offer, including a baguette, roll, pitta bread and gluten free varieties.

“Instead of seeing bread as just something to toast or make a sandwich with, more people are beginning to appreciate it as a food to savour, and one that can have many different flavours and complex tastes.”