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Tom Joyce



Potential for frozen, says Deprez

As the perception of frozen produce improves, Belgian giant Greenyard sees potential for the sector, with advantages in freshness and convenience

Potential for frozen, says Deprez

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Fresh produce giant Greenyard is a global market leader in fresh, frozen and prepared fruit and vegetables, in addition to flowers, plants and growing media. However, it is the developments at Greenyard Frozen, the company’s pioneering frozen division, that are the focus here, for as sales of fresh fruit and vegetables continue to wane in Europe, those of frozen products are heading in the opposite direction.

In May, King Philippe of Belgium visited the company’s frozen facility in Westrozebeke in West Flanders to recognise the company’s efforts in providing a link between school and business through various internship courses, workshops and dual learning. The message was clear: frozen is regarded as an important and growing sector for jobs in the Flanders area.

For Greenyard, health remains the dominant driver behind its efforts. “Our main aim is to help consumers to eat more healthy food,” says Charles-Henri Deprez, managing director of Greenyard’s Long Fresh segment, to which the Frozen and Prepared divisions belong, and son of CEO Hein Deprez.

“In the coming years, there is potential for frozen," he says, "which allows consumers to save on preparation time and means they always have something available. We want to get closer to the retailer and provide added value for all – consumer, retailer and grower.”

According to Deprez, one of the major developments in recent years has been the change in consumer attitudes toward frozen food.

“We position our frozen range as simply a way of keeping fresh food fresh,” he says. “The lack of additives is quickly changing the perception of frozen food. More and more people are getting used to frozen, even in places like Brazil, where frozen food is not generally a part of the culture. This is changing.”

This is an excerpt. Read the full article in the July/August issue of Eurofruit

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