New segments drive consumer demand

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Maura Maxwell

BY MAURA MAXWELL

@maurafruitnet

New segments drive consumer demand

Enza Zaden is shaking up the pepper and tomato categories with its innovative product offerings

New segments drive consumer demand

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The distinctive conical shape and fiery colouring of Enza Zaden’s Tribelli peppers have helped make them them an eye-catching addition to supermarket shelves across Europe.

“Tribelli responds to consumer needs to buy into a whole experience rather than just a product,” explains Enza’s Mari Carmen Majón. “When they purchase them they have in mind a specific situation or recipe.”

Murcia’s Fruca Marketing has doubled its production of Tribelli XL for 2016/17 and will be offering all three colours for the first time this season. Commercial director José Cánovas says the pepper is receiving strong interest from its retail customers in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands and other markets are starting to follow suit.

“The pepper category in Europe is dominated by the California or Lamuyo varieties and until now conical peppers have traditionally been regarded as having a somewhat insipid taste,” he explains. “Tribelli has changed that, introducing a whole new element to the consumer and bringing a new dynamism to the sector that is helping to boost grower returns.”

Meanwhile, sales of Enza Zaden’s TomAzur vine tomatoes have risen sharply in the past year as its appealing appearance and sweet taste continues to attract new customers. Spanish organic producer BioSabor introduced the variety to its line-up in 2014 and production is set to top 1,000 tonnes in the coming season – about one-tenth of the company’s total vine tomato volume.

President Francisco Belmonte says the response from his customers has been overwhelmingly positive. “At 6o, TomAzur delivers a higher average brix than other cooking tomatoes and packs more of a punch in terms of flavour,” he says.

With a diameter of 45-50mm, the variety is bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a normal vine tomato and the fact that it falls between the two categories somewhat reduces its segment of consumption. Nevertheless, Belmonte is convinced that TomAzur’s superior taste guarantees it a bright future. “We think sales could really take off in the next two or three years and our aim is to gradually convert our production of vine tomatoes with TomAzur as market demand grows,” he says.

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