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Nunhems® continues to innovate in the lettuce segment to meet consumer demands

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. 

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Nunhems® commits to a smaller and tastier Romaine lettuce to encourage consumption

Nunhems® commits to a smaller and tastier Romaine lettuce to encourage consumption

Pieces under 500 grams are especially suitable for high-density cultivation systems that reduce production costs

In the Romaine lettuce market, size is very important. In fact, sales and consumption data confirm that in recent years Spaniards have been eating less and less Romaine lettuce because the commercially available varieties are not really adapted to what the consumer wants. Currently, the Spanish supply of Romaine lettuce is based on pieces weighing more than 600 grams which are not easy to preserve or handle and which have a slightly bitter flavour due to the over-ripening necessary for them to reach the standard commercial size.

Nunhems® has once again decided to go against the tide with the clear aim of revolutionising the Romaine lettuce market. Having analysed the main market trends, BASF’s horticultural seed brand has made a firm commitment to a smaller type of Romaina lettuce as the basis for a new strategy that pursues three main objectives: encourage consumption, reduce production costs and more efficient use of the soil and resources needed to grow crops, while reducing food waste.

Double number of pieces per hectare

With a smaller size, the new Nunhems® Romaine lettuce varieties are ideal for high- density growing systems. Pieces of less than 500 grams can be increased from 50,000 to 92,000 lettuces per hectare and production costs can be significantly reduced. “With the prices before shipping that lettuce has registered over the last ten years, a hectare of Romaine needs at least 70,000 pieces to be profitable”, according to Alfonso Fernández, Sales Specialist Salads of BASF Vegetable Seeds.

An intense, sweet taste is the other quality that defines the new generation of Nunhems® Romaine lettuce. Market research confirms that 56% of European consumers associate quality with taste. For this reason, Romaine lettuce organoleptic qualities and consumption experience are a priority for Nunhems®, which also offers important shape and colour novelties, to achieve product differentiation at the point of sale and consumer loyalty.

The new Romaine lettuce varieties also focus on facilitating production throughout the year, as they can be grown in different areas of Europe to complete production calendar. The same varieties can be produced during autumn and winter in Spain and during the spring-summer cycle in northern Europe, always with a top taste and a very attractive size for the entire continental market.

‘Romaine Revolution’

The details of this new sales strategy to turn Romaine lettuce into a Premium vegetable were announced yesterday in La Palma (Cartagena) during the ‘Romaine Revolution’ event, where the Nunhems® brand shared with the main representatives of the industry, the important advantages that the new Romaine varieties incorporate. “We have worked very hard to differentiate Romaine lettuce for its colour, shape and flavour because from now on we want it to be perceived as a healthy and Premium food”, explained Alfonso Fernández, Sales Specialist Salads of BASF Vegetable Seeds during his speech.

“The market for Romaine lettuce is declining in Spain but is growing steadily in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Therefore, market data confirms that there is a business opportunity to start doing things differently and, thanks to innovation, turn Romaine lettuce into a food capable of satisfying the current needs of the European consumer”, explained Sara Rodriguez, Client Director of Kantar Worldpanel Spain during her intervention yesterday at ‘Romaine Revolution’.

During the event, which was a success in terms of attendance, Nunhems® offered the main agents of the industry a complete report on the advantages of Big Data to improve decision making in any of the links of the food chain. “Big Data already makes the difference between being competitive or not in a global market and its incorporation into business strategies has a great positive impact on the profitability of companies,” said Gonzalo Martin, Director of Hispatec Analytics.

About BASF

BASF produces chemistry for a sustainable future, combining economic success with environmental protection, without forgetting social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees of the BASF Group contribute to customers’ success practically in every sector in almost every country in the world. The portfolio is divided into five sections: chemicals, high-performance products, functional materials and solutions, agricultural solutions, gas and oil. In 2017, BASF recorded sales of 64.500 million euros. BASF’s shares are listed on the Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS) stock exchanges. You can find more 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 a healthy environment. By working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, our role is to help make it happen. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D portfolio and a broad portfolio that includes seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital agriculture. We have teams of experts in laboratories, in the field, in offices and in production, to translate innovative thinking into practical action, to create ideas that work in the real world for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of 5.700 million euros. For more information, visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social networking channels.

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New Nunhems® lettuces conquer consumers with their taste

New Nunhems® lettuces conquer consumers with their taste

They are varieties adapted to high-density cultivation and mechanized harvesting

Since yesterday until next Friday, at the BASF experimental station in the Murcian town of La Palma. Nunhems®, BASF’s horticultural seed brand, is presenting during the field demonstration days the new varieties that are determined to change the rules of the international lettuce market, both for their organoleptic qualities and for their suitability for high-density cultivation and mechanised harvesting.

Nunhems®’s strong commitment to taste is clearly reflected in its new generation of Romaine lettuces. As a novelty for growing table, Magistral is presented for harvesting from the end of February to the beginning of April. MAGISTRAL* is a compact and very heavy variety that includes high resistance to Tip Burn and other agronomic advantages inherited from GLAMORAL, the market-leading variety in winter. Both varieties together with SIDERAL, complete the harvesting calendar from November to July.

In the range of Romaine lettuces, Nunhems® goes further and commits to the tendency to grow smaller and more compact varieties, with the aim of encouraging consumption in Spain, by offering lettuces that are better suited to consumer demands. Smaller Romaine- type lettuces, that weigh around 450 grams per piece, will introduce in the domestic market, a new concept inspired by British consumer habits. “Our market studies confirm that the consumption and market value of romaine lettuce in Spain is decreasing. This is due to the lack of harmony between the current supply of too large and over-ripe romaine lettuce which affects its flavour and consumption experience, and the demand of the current consumer who is more focused on the organoleptic quality of romaine”, explains Alfonso Fernández, lettuce specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

Therefore, more flavour and smaller calibre are the new attributes added to the already complete, range of Nunhems® Romaine.

Romaine’s Industry

Special mention of the novelties in the Romaine typology is required, especially indicated for industrial processing and suitable for mechanised harvesting. This year we present NUN 6193 LTL, with a dark green colour to the taste of consumers in Northern Europe, and NUN 06567 LTL with a lighter colour, in accordance with consumer trends in Southern Europe. Both varieties offer a high yield per square metre and are characterised by their extra-sweet taste. In both cases, their suitability for processing and resisting to oxidation after mechanical cutting is very good.

Mini Romaine

In the Mini-Romaine lettuce category, Basf has presented NUN 06549 LTL, a classic mini-romaine that stands out for its wide harvesting calendar throughout the winter and spring and also because it has an extraordinary resistance to Tip Burn (from mid-February to summer). It is a guarantee of size, formation, flavour and resistance to Tip Burn. In addition to the technical field sessions, Nunhems® will hold next Thursday in La Puebla the event ‘Romaine Revolution’, in which several experts will offer updated information to know in depth the market and consumer trends in Romaine. Representatives of companies such as Hispatec and Kantar Worldpanel Spain will participate.

New trend in Multileaf®

For the first time, Nunhems® develops suitable Multileaf® varieties adapted to mechanised harvesting, with the aim of reducing labour costs and responding to the demand of the processing markets in Northern Europe, where labour availability is beginning to pose a problem. In this line, Multigreen 114* is presented, standing out for its performance and for offering a very complete resistance package. Multigreen 114* incorporates the signs of identity that already defined the Nunhems® Multileaf® range, such as high productivity per hectare and resistance to oxidation after cutting.

Iceberg

In Iceberg lettuce, the Nunhems® varieties are differentiating themselves by demonstrating excellent field performance and quality, which has already earned the trust of producers. This year, Nunhems® introduces new features that allow harvesting calendars to be extended to ensure a continued supply of Iceberg and to deliver the highest quality product throughout the year.

Goldiva* is one of the highlights at Iceberg, with a very long harvesting period and a freshly cut appearance at all times. NUN 216 LTL, with high resistance to Tip Burn is incorporated for the summer cycle.

In the Little Gem category, Nunhems® has introduced Thicket* for the autumn-winter campaign and Thespian* for the summer campaign. Both varieties offer the highest standards of quality and resistance.

Complete Spinach Programs

In the field demonstration that concludes next Friday, you can also learn about two important novelties in spinach. Serpens, with excellent quality and resistance to leaf spot for the autumn and spring cycles, and Regor, with vigour, quality and yield for the winter cycle.

With these two novelties, Nunhems® reinforces a wide range of spinach varieties for the entire sowing calendar. “Our mission is to offer to the whole chain, safe and profitable varieties for any crop cycle, so that complete spinach programmes can be tackled and buyers can be loyal”, according to Carlos del Espino, spinach specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

* Provisional Marketing Approval granted and in process of applying for inclusion in the EC Common Catalogue of Vegetable Varieties.

About BASF

BASF produces chemistry for a sustainable future, combining economic success with environmental protection, without forgetting social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees of the BASF Group contribute to customers success practically in every sector in almost every country in the world. The portfolio is divided into five sections: chemicals, high-performance products, functional materials and solutions, agricultural solutions, gas and oil. In 2017, BASF recorded sales of 64.5 billion euros. BASF’s shares are listed on the Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS) stock exchanges.

You can find more 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 a healthy environment. By working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, our role is to help make it happen. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D portfolio and a broad portfolio that includes seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital agriculture. We have teams of experts in laboratories, in the field, in offices and in production, to translate innovative thinking into practical action, to create ideas that work in the real world for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social networking channels.