Whether in a smoothie for ‘on the go’, snack tomatoes in a business meeting or an 80/20 meal at a top-class restaurant... Bauke van Lenteren, Manager Convenience at vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan, has noticed that fresh vegetables are becoming an increasingly important ingredient in the growing foodservice market.
Fresh vegetables continue to gain ground in foodservice market
Knox™ keeps Crunchy Caesar Salads extra fresh
Nowadays, every fast-food chain and company canteen has a choice of salads on the menu, often with tempting names such as Veggie Delight, Thai Chicken Salad or Crunchy Caesar Salad. One indispensable ingredient is cos lettuce or iceberg lettuce. A unique innovation that ensures fresh-cut lettuce stays fresh for longer has recently opened up new opportunities for the foodservice market.
Enthusiastic reactions to new Sweet Palermo colours
Chain partners have reacted enthusiastically to the new Sweet Palermo® colours. Orange and chocolate-coloured variants are now available in addition to red and yellow ones within Rijk Zwaan’s brand of sweet pointed peppers. “We plan to introduce the trio of red, orange and yellow across the whole of Europe,” says Jesús Villegas from Unica Fresh.
New downy mildew resistance could give organic lettuce growers more certainty
For organic lettuce growers, it is essential to be certain of a good harvest. Rijk Zwaan offers them a choice of around 60 organic varieties with extensive resistances against diseases and pests, all of which respond well to organic fertilisers. A new, horizontal resistance to downy mildew could now represent an important next step. Johan Schut, Breeding Manager Lettuce, provides an overview of this and other breeding developments for organic lettuce.
The cocktail tomato with all the right traits
The cocktail tomato has gained a firm foothold in the tomato category in numerous markets over the years. Consumers rely on this tasty truss tomato with an excellent price-quality ratio as the ‘best deal’ for all types of salads. Rijk Zwaan has secured a good position in the cocktail segment thanks to Brioso RZ, because the variety offers precisely what growers and retailers are looking for, explains Marketing Specialist Johan Vis.
Snacking varieties on the rise at Rijk Zwaan
In its quest to service the retail chain and connect to the retailers’ format, uniformity is one of Rijk Zwaan’s focal points; the ability to deliver homogenous bunches and equal fruits, explained marketing tomato & cucumber specialist Johan Vis during an open day at the Rijk Zwaan demo greenhouse. He keeps in close contact with retailers to know what is needed, and in tomatoes taste is very important at the moment. “Retailers are aiming to strengthen the format by bringing taste into the tomato assortment,” Vis said.
Rijk Zwaan has sensational innovations
Innovation transforms the lettuce landscape
Nothing beats the freshness of fresh lettuce, and fresh-cut bagged lettuce has gained considerable ground in recent years. However, the pinking on the edges poses a problem. In response to this, the breeders at Rijk Zwaan – who are continually working on innovations and improvements to existing products – set out in search of a nature-based solution. They developed a research method and tested the extent of discolouration in hundreds of lettuce heads. And then they had a breakthrough: the researchers found a plant with no discolouration even after three days.
Rijk Zwaan: focus on chain cooperation
“There is no better way of getting a fresh product to the right shop and on the consumers’ plates every day than by chain cooperation,” affirms Rijk Zwaan. Jan Doldersum, manager of marketing and business development. He explains, “We offer a very cooperative model for chain collaboration and strive to develop long term relationships with our customers. We work with chain managers to achieve this goal. “Rijk Zwaan is a Dutch-based company that develops vegetable varieties and sells the seeds produced from them. The final products are sold to the trade, retail and processing industry.