Last year saw VLAM, Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board, continuing its wide-ranging efforts to promote Flandria-branded products to Belgian consumers of all ages, utilising television spots (“Something for everyone with Flandria”), in-store taste tests and online competitions to educate, inform and tempt.
Social media has become a crucial tool for spreading the Flandria message, both in Belgium and abroad, particularly to younger consumers, and offering cooking tips and recipe suggestions using Flandria vegetables.
“In addition, we have also been collaborating on the Green Gault Millau,” Flandria stated in a press release. “This lists restaurants which include lots of vegetables on their menu and offer balanced meals. This is Flandria’s way of introducing the auctions to the (home) cooking public, and using the advertisements to drive home the idea that taste and freshness are crucial, without losing sight of sustainability.”
In the last two years, Flandria has also sought to stress the importance of the service provided in-store by grocers and supermarket operators, not least to the grocers themselves.
“Both growers and auctions are committed to guaranteeing the quality of the products until they leave the auction,” VLAM stated. “After that, it is for the supermarket or specialist shop to sell everything as fresh, and thus as quickly, as possible. Because there are often questions about the best way to handle the vegetables, and because there can be major differences between shops in that connection, ‘De Groentevakman’ has been launched.”
De Groentevakman is a competition aimed at independent supermarket operators and their staff. The shops register online, and the winner is picked out by a jury of “mystery shoppers”.
Interest last year was so great that a follow-up event, Inspiration Sessions, was organised, providing tips and tricks on how to store and where to place fruit and vegetables in the shop in order to maximise the quality and visibility of the produce.
Next month's European Vegetable Strategies conference, which takes place in Brussels on 6-7 May, will feature presentations and in-depth discussions on the most effective ways to market vegetables to consumers. For more information, click here.