Spanish seed specialist Semillas Fitó has come up with an innovative approach to the development of new vegetable varieties that respond to consumer demands with regard to quality, health, new tastes and formats.

Foodture consists of a multidisciplinary team that develops new concepts in vegetable varieties to respond to consumers demands regarding quality, health, new tastes and formats.

“The purpose of Foodture is to introduce new concepts to the vegetable category that bring happiness to the consumer,” business development director Eduard Fitó told delegates at this week’s Global Tomato Congress.

The concept can be broken down into four stages, each of which brings benefits to different parts of the food chain: increased market share for Semillas Fitó; bigger margins for the grower; greater knowledge through the gathering of information in the food chain; and finally, happiness to the consumer.

“To achieve this goal we do it through our values – innovation, excellence, health and sustainability,” Fitó says.

One of the company’s most recent successes is Nippo, a new tomato that recently won the Talent Cambra Award for Food and Drink. The annual prizes, granted by the Welcome Talent Society and Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, celebrate Catalan talent with the aim of improving the Catalonia brand.

Fitó describes Nippo as a thin-skinned tomato that melts in your mouth when you bite into it, releasing all its flavour in one explosive burst.

“Nippo was created in the kitchen in collaboration with other partners including celebrated chef Ferrán Adriá. Then we came up with a whole branding and packaging concept and teamed up with other chefs to create recipes that were fed into social media to engage the community and win new fans,” Fitó explains.

The company is now planning to expand the concept to include more varieties in order to secure high quality all year round. Fitó is also open to developing other concepts that can live in harmony with Nippo and its values and positioning.

“Chocolate, for example, also melts in your mouth and can have a very surprising taste,” he says. “But in order to do this we need other partners – supermarkets that will dare to go that far, or partners who are good at producing chocolate.”