End-consumers have provided the inspiration for Top Seeds International’s new umbrella brand, Ikygai.

Unveiled by the seed specialist at Fruit Logistica in Berlin on Wednesday (5 February), Ikygai is the product of a series of focus groups, workshops and consumer testings involving perspective and traditional vegetable shoppers, along with a panel of experts.

The results of this market research, conducted over the course of 2019, revealed an increasing demand for a brand that not only encompasses fresh products but one that is synonymous with health, beauty, taste and inspiration.

“This culminated in the launch of Ikygai, now being presented to the market with a campaign which ­– through recipes, leaflets and storytelling on websites and social media platforms dedicated to health and wellbeing – is based on attention to food and food quality,” Top Seeds International said in a media release.

Another clear demand voiced by consumers during the testing stage related to packaging. Consequently, the packaging for Ikygai-branded products is made from recycled clear plastic, meeting consumers’ desire for “simplicity, stylishness and transparency”, according to Top Seeds International.

Ikygai will also act as a platform to showcase innovations in breeding, with new product lines – including peppers, cucumbers, melons, watermelons and onions – to be added to the range every two years.

Yuka – a mini plum tomato with elegant, uniform clusters of bright orange fruit – was the first product to be unveiled under the Ikygai line at Fruit Logistica.

“Delivering a unique taste experience, it has a good shelf-life with firm, slightly crunchy fruits and a high Brix level, Yuka boasts an excellent range of resistance, and the open-habit, high-vigour plants are very productive,” the release added.

“Surveys conducted on sample consumer groups in the Netherlands during 2019 recorded enthusiastic appreciation: the mini plum was considered ‘sweet and fruity in flavour’, which precisely meets expectations based on the product’s appearance. The brightness of its colour was another aspect that drew highly positive reviews.”