Rijk Zwaan has clearly dedicated a lot of time and energy to the pepper category. Why is it such a crucial area for the company?
Rudy van den Berg: The pepper category is one of the biggest for Rijk Zwaan and therefore it's an important product within our assortment. It's popular all over the world, and definitely in Europe, it's a big product within the vegetable category and is very suitable for various preparations – in salads, grilled, as a snack etc.
What are your most recent developments in the category?
RvdB: In the blocky pepper market, we are always looking for better-performing varieties, more profitability on performance for the grower, but at the same time creating, keeping or improving on value for the whole chain. Every year we try to introduce new and better performing varieties in this main segment.
Meanwhile, having introduced Sweet Palermo in 2015, we feel there is an amazing chance for this sweet pointed pepper, because there is definitely a market for it. We should and want to tell the story of Sweet Palermo, together with our growers, to the markets.
Since its launch in 2015, how has the market reacted to Sweet Palermo?
RvdB: The reactions have been very positive, both from the consumer and the grower sides of things. Growers see the importance of telling the story of Sweet Palermo, about its taste, versatility and convenience for consumers, and consumers themselves react very enthusiastically.
There is further room for growth within this segment, so we will definitely expand in the coming years.
The full article will be included in the upcoming September issue of Eurofruit Magazine