The vegetable seeds subsidiary of BASF is introducing new and original types of lettuce and bringing new concepts to supermarket shelves that put an emphasis on the flavour, colour and culinary uses of lettuces
Nunhems®, the vegetable seeds subsidiary of BASF, is holding a new edition of its Lettuce and Spinach Demofield in Cartagena (Murcia) on 10-14 February, where it will be showcasing not only its new and original types of lettuce and spinach but also its commitment to bringing added value to consumers with the launch of new salad leaf concepts. “We want to go one step further and not just rest on our laurels as a producer but also make the whole retail chain aware of the variety and versatility of different types of lettuce, offering another way of presenting and consuming this product,” explained Juan Pedro Pérez, Crop Sales Manager Salads EMEA at BASF Vegetable Seeds.
The novelty in the romaine lettuce segment is Magistral, a variety “with which we’re looking to increase crop profitability,” says Carlos del Espino, the lettuce specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds. Thanks to its smaller size and weight and more uniform shape, Magistral is designed for high-density growing environments, thus increasing yield per hectare.
In the mini-romaine segment the company is introducing Winbee F1 (NUN 6549 F1), a variety recommended for spring growing with high resistance to tip burn. In this respect, Del Espino revealed that they are working to round off the annual cycle with a new variety for winter.
With a view to marketing in the Little Gem segment, the new variety from Nunhems® for the winter is the NUN 6806 F1. With this variety, BASF’s vegetable seeds business is complementing Thicket F1 and Thespian F1, two very hardy and versatile varieties that round off the annual growing cycle and consolidate the breed as a benchmark in this type of lettuce. All of them are resistant to mildew and aphids.
Higher quality Iceberg lettuces
The Iceberg lettuce is one of the company’s hallmarks and its big showpiece in this segment, and this season it is introducing three new varieties: NUN 1212 F1, NUN 1228 F1 and NUN 1232 F1, for autumn, winter and spring respectively. “With these new varieties we are bringing even higher quality in terms of plant formation; these varieties are suitable for mechanized harvesting thanks to their uniform shape and we have even improved the post-harvest performance,” explains Del Espino, adding that they are also resistant to mildew and aphids. Nunhems® is thus offering the sector a range of varieties that will help them to improve their yield per hectare.
These three varieties join Melosa F1, which has shown how well it adapts to summer growing, performing extremely well in terms of bolting and tip burn in extreme conditions, and Goldiva F1, which has performed outstandingly in January harvests thanks to its good plant formation, calibre and resistance in the field, allowing a wide harvesting window.
Concepts for consumers Nunhems® is taking a big step forward in the lettuce market to attract consumers by introducing new concepts that put an emphasis on the clearly differentiating factors of certain varieties. An example of this is Themes F1 and Intred F1, respectively green and red Little Gems, offering retailers the chance to sell these products in twin packs that bring added colour to the traditional salad range. Meanwhile, NUN 06193 F1 and NUN 06567 F1 are two varieties that stand out for their sweeter flavour, while with Agros, Nunhems® has demonstrated its support for producers and other agents in the chain in terms of the growing need for harvest mechanization.
But the most revolutionary concept, without a doubt, is the Chef’s Lettuce, designed for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry. With Greenglace and Rubyglace, among others, Nunhems® is introducing different types of leaves for different sandwich formats. Meanwhile, the wrap is a lettuce whose leaves form a kind of spoon shape and can be used as a base for different cold or hot toppings. Crispol F1 is one of the varieties that falls within this concept. “We have the products, and now we want to offer ideas and suggestions about how to use them in the kitchen,” says Juan Pedro Pérez.
Spinach Nunhems® is one of the market leaders in this crop and continues to make great strides in its cultivation. The result of the company’s work is the wide range featured in its catalogue, including such well-established varieties as Hydrus F1 and Alcor F1 which allow year-round spinach production. Some of the new varieties include Formax F1, Sculptur F1 and Crater F1, all of which stand out for their high quality. From an agricultural point of view, all of them are resistant to mildew (1-17) and have a high tolerance to leaf spot. Nunhems® is thus underlining its commitment to the sector and continues to work hand-in-hand with producers to jointly develop solutions to the key challenges facing this flourishing segment.
About BASF At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2018, our division generated sales of €6.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.