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“Crunchy Lettuce” by Rijk Zwaan, a revolucionary concept

For years, Rijk Zwaan has been working closely with partners to market Crunchy Lettuce, a revolucionary concept that seduces produce leaders like JimboFresh.
Thu 01/09/2022 by Pierre Escodo
JimboFresh team on a field of Crunchy Lettuce
Field of Crunchy Lettuce by JimboFresh in Cartajena bay

One partner and big fan of this lettuce type is Miquel Ángel Jiménez Bosque, CEO at JimboFresh International SL. in interview with Eurofresh explains his enthusiasm for this versatile lettuce innovation.

How would you sum up the Snack Lettuce?

The Snack Lettuce is a revolutionary concept, an ideal form of snack consumption that invites you to lead a healthier life and at the same time turns lettuce into a fun experience thanks to so many ways of eating it.

Which solutions does the development of this type of lettuce bring to the category?

It helps to break away from the conventional and very limited use of the classic mini cos lettuce, and supports healthier and more sustainable habits in the daily diet. Snack Lettuce has numerous qualities, such as the shape, texture, colour, freshness, taste… Each head has about 20-25 spoon-shaped leaves that can be peeled away individually, so it is ideal for combining with all kinds of toppings as well as for use in salads. Thanks to its texture, the leaf remains firm and can be used with a variety of hot and cold foods. Unlike the mini cos lettuce, which quickly makes you feel full due to its bitterness, you never tire of the sweetness of Snack Lettuce. Last but not least, the crispy leaf makes it suitable for any type of salad, and especially Caesar salads. This product has nothing but advantages.

Which varieties of the Snack Lettuce range are you producing, and what has been your experience of growing these varieties?

We are growing several Crunchy Lettuce varieties from Rijk Zwaan. It is very important to have a wide range of varieties in order to cover the entire production cycle with the same type of lettuce. The production window in Spain typically runs from October to May, so we need to be able to rely on a variety that grows well in the summer in order to ensure product continuity all year round. The key purpose of this is to establish the Snack Lettuce as a regular snack product in consumers’ shopping baskets – just like nachos, potato chips or suchlike, only much healthier.

What are the target markets for the product and which distribution channels are being used?

The target markets are currently Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK in addition to the national Spanish market. The target channels are mainly supermarket chains. We are aiming to replace the conventional mini cos lettuce in favour of the Snack Lettuce, which is much more appealing due to its crispiness, sweetness, leaf shape and versatility. If we can achieve this shift, it will create a very important niche, since one of the other secrets to this product’s success is the fact that it offers endless possibilities in terms of the eating experience. There is continuous interaction between the consumer and the product.

Which market position could Snack Lettuce achieve, both nationally and in Europe?

It could go through the roof and take over the mini cos segment if the genetics are right.

Which promotional, communication activities are you carrying out to publicise the product in the various markets?

We regularly send samples to customers for tasting, along with information and descriptions of the product. In the same way, we encourage retailers to promote the product by providing support materials such as roll-up banners and advertising stickers. We have created a special flow pack with information and recipes. We have promoted the Snack Lettuce through tasting sessions featuring different toppings at the trade fairs we have attended. We have collaborated with the most relevant social media influencers and chefs. We upload recipes and more tips to our website (snacklettuce.com). When it comes to promotion and marketing, we are doing everything we can in order to boost the product.

How would you describe the partnership with Rijk Zwaan in developing this project?

We have a very close relationship with Rijk Zwaan; we have been jointly developing the Snack Lettuce project for some years now. We are well aligned and share a common goal: to unleash the true value and potential of this fantastic product. Thanks to all the resources that Rijk Zwaan makes available for the project – namely tremendous breeding expertise, research into consumer preferences and buying behaviour, and intense involvement of the marketing and communication department – we are able to reach our target market more and more successfully every day. At Jimbofresh, we feel very supported by the Iberian and European divisions, and the synergies between all of us are evident in the excellent development of this project.

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