What you missed at Global Berry Congress 2015

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News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

What you missed at Global Berry Congress 2015

This year's international meeting of the world's leading berry marketers delivered information, insight and ideas to all who attended.

What you missed at Global Berry Congress 2015

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What you missed at Global Berry Congress 2015…
  1. What did we learn at Global Berry Congress 2015? Quite a lot, actually! For those of you that missed it, here's a convenient collection of snack-sized news snippets from this year's event…

  2. The Chileans clearly see huge potential for their blueberries worldwide. To celebrate the quality of their fruit, they invited Masterchef winner Bart van Berkel to come up with some tasty treats during the official GBC2015 welcome reception.
  3. This year's conference was hosted by Chris White, managing director of Eurofruit.
  4. Robert Verloop of Naturipe Farms (US) told delegates that berry suppliers need to target millennials, who apparently boast US$2trillion worth of buying power.
  5. Robert Verloop, Naturipe: "People say the berry category is oversupplied - I say that it is 'under-demanded'..." #GBC2015
  6. Eurofruit editor Mike Knowles revealed the results of the first ever annual survey of professionals working in the European berry business. Key findings: quality, consistency, new varieties and margin pressure seen as biggest challenges; growth potential perceived to be highest for blueberries and raspberries in northern Europe; emerging markets like Romania and China hold great promise; opinion divided on whether supply will meet or exceed demand for fresh berries; and the majority see brands as key to growing that demand.
  7. Interesting look at berry industry, production & consumption now and in 10 years! #opportunity #gbc2015 #nuffieldag pic.twitter.com/L7pLcHWz6D
  8. The event's opening conference session focused on ways to maximise the berry category's potential and boost sales through retail channels.
  9. Susanne Hounsgaard of Dansk Supermarked said retailers in Denmark were rapidly recruiting customers to the berry category. However, she noted that retailers still had a lot to do when it came to presentation in stores.
  10. Berries are now the biggest category in Denmark, with high rates of penetration, says Susanne Hounsgaard #gbc2015
  11. Dansk Supermarked planning to cross-promote berries and make-up products this coming autumn, according to Susanne Hounsgaard. #gbc2014
  12. Wyard Stomp of Driscoll’s suggested market penetration rates for soft fruit in the US were still under-developed, representing a “huge opportunity”. He also argued that more work needed to be done on category management. “We have a lack of focus – that sounds like pointing fingers, but there’s so much to develop, so much to learn,” he said.
  13. Laurence Olins, chairman of campaign body British Summer Fruits, said organisations like BSF were "the mood music that helps the industry go forward". Olins was also in combative mood as far as promoting berries within the entire fresh produce business, stating: “Shelf space is the most important thing for a category. We make no bones about it – our competition is other fruits.”
  14. Laurence Olins, chairman of @britishberries, explains how berry sales have boomed in Britain in 10 years. #gbc2015 http://t.co/BVICSlRzVm
    Laurence Olins, chairman of @britishberries, explains how berry sales have boomed in Britain in 10 years. #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/BVICSlRzVm
  15. Increase consumption berries & currants in uk over last 10 yrs #gbc2015 http://t.co/fY9v6bihwW
    Increase consumption berries & currants in uk over last 10 yrs #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/fY9v6bihwW
  16. Olins also offered one of the most ear-catching comments of the Global Berry Congress 2015, when he told delegates: “Our message is about health, it’s about beauty, it’s about sex, and berries tick those boxes in so many ways.”
  17. Technological developments and their potential to help the berry business featured prominently at this year's conference.
  18. Andres Armstrong of the Chilean Blueberry Committee told a packed conference room that without a quality product, there simply would not be the demand for the fruit.
  19. Michael Roos, founder of industry service provider Roos, noted that new technology would be needed to promote berries to 13-29 year-olds in the marketing-savvy Generation Y. He pointed to his company’s recipe and shopping app Kochmamsell, which was being used for that precise purpose and at the same time bringing Chilean blueberries to those consumers’ attention.
  20. Carlos Stabile of the Argentinean Blueberry Commission noted that it was important for Argentina to add value to its berry offer by investing in organics and new product development, in the face of rising competition especially from Peru.
  21. Technology featured prominently in a session about boosting consumer interest in berries.
  22. "Technology can help reverse the drop in consumption" says Unitec's Raffaele Benedetti. #gbc2015 http://t.co/jqisXzzj5d
    "Technology can help reverse the drop in consumption" says Unitec's Raffaele Benedetti. #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/jqisXzzj5d
  23. Mauro Stipa, ILIP: Berries are like top fashion models who require fashionable clothes. That's where we come in. #gbc2015
  24. Berries look great but great packaging helps to market them much more effectively, says Ilip's Mauro Stipa. #gbc2015 http://t.co/hB037VdGvh
    Berries look great but great packaging helps to market them much more effectively, says Ilip's Mauro Stipa. #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/hB037VdGvh
  25. Branding and marketing were helping to push sales of berries and create stronger demand, especially in mainland Europe, said a number of speakers.
  26. Marieke Appel of @driscollsberry introduces "Kate", it's archetypal consumer. "She wants more berries" #gbc2015 http://t.co/VmA8Momvdh
    Marieke Appel of @driscollsberry introduces "Kate", it's archetypal consumer. "She wants more berries" #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/VmA8Momvdh
  27. Marieke Appel, Driscoll’s: We believe consumers are ready for more berries. But we have to innovate & meet consumer demand #gbc2015
  28. Lambrecht: Year-round availability of berries has been developed; and finally pricing has become more accessible for the consumer. #gbc2015
  29. More than 350 delegates from 32 countries around the world attended this year's Global Berry Congress, which took place at the Mainport Hotel in central Rotterdam.
  30. Once again, PLANASA was at @berrycongress. Thanks to the event organizers. See you next year! #gbc2015 http://t.co/BEyLAjkLu3
    Once again, PLANASA was at @berrycongress. Thanks to the event organizers. See you next year! #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/BEyLAjkLu3
  31. An exhibition area featured 18 companies, offering an extra dimension to this year's Global Berry Congress networking breaks.
  32. Among the exhibitors, Dutch substrate firm Legro said it had seen a surge in interest for its products from blueberry growers.
  33. JX Nippon paraded its BerryCool product, which it is aiming at European berry growers who might reap the benefits of its high photosynthetic efficiencies.
  34. Special Fruit showed off a new variety, currently referred to only as FF1201, which has been developed by Fruit Forward and is being trialled right now in Spain.
  35. Fresh Forward's new strawberry variety FF1201, now being tested in Spain with partner Special Fruit #gbc2015 http://t.co/4x3OGIpRui
    Fresh Forward's new strawberry variety FF1201, now being tested in Spain with partner Special Fruit #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/4x3OGIpRui
  36. Dutch berry business SunBerry confirmed plans to move away from solely selling the product of its grower-members, instead looking to build and better its year-round supply of soft fruit.
  37. New Zealand-based machinery firm BBC Technologies revealed it was looking to sell more of its blueberry packing lines in the south and east of Europe during 2015.
  38. Italian packaging firm Infia exhibited with local partner Linpac, reinforcing its strong position in the international berry market with a range of punnets and containers.
  39. Product sealing giants Proseal and its Dutch partner company Sismatec said they were both aiming to grow this year, bolstering their 80 per cent share of the soft fruit market in the process.
  40. California-based Weco, an equipment provider to the blueberry industry, revealed that it is looking to expand into the UK with its optical sorting machines.
  41. On the second full day of GBC2015, around 80 delegates took part in two tours that visited Bleiswijk-based strawberry grower Koolhaas, a number of different supermarkets and the glorious Market Hall.
  42. @berrycongress, short greenhouse tour @UniWageningen, micro-algae, new cultivation system,strawberry trial with LEDs pic.twitter.com/LlFt2KCFGl
  43. Chocolate with fresh strawberries and pineapples
    Chocolate with fresh strawberries and pineapples
  44. True Blue: a large 500g snack pack
    True Blue: a large 500g snack pack
  45. Moroccan blueberries selling at €4 for 300g
    Moroccan blueberries selling at €4 for 300g
  46. Finished Global Berry Congress tour at new look market place - amazing design & produce #nuffieldag #gbc2015 pic.twitter.com/vNnT4LK1ma
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