Patrick Rückert, Viva Veggies:

"We must ensure that consumers are more familiar with specialities"

Coeur de Boeuf, Cocktail, San Marzano and pink tomatoes; these are just part of the range grown at Tuinderij Koolen. The Viva Veggies range is thus quite extensive this year. On a new website, the company provides details about the products.

Corporate identity 
On 3.5 hectares, Tuinderij Koolen grows more than ten kinds of tomatoes. The company is devoted to the production of specialities under the Viva Veggies brand. To provide information to the customers, a new website with a new corporate identity was launched. "We're looking to make an online connection with the consumer, not only with the intermediaries," says Patrick Rückert. On the site, in addition to recipes and news, there is also background information about the products. And that is necessary, because inside Tuinderij Koolen's greenhouse grow special tomatoes. We cultivate mini plum lemon tomatoes, Coeur de boeufs, San Marzano, Pink and Zebra plum tomatoes, among others.

Variety of tomato specialities, also available in small packaging

The wide range entails a significant growth compared to last year, when the greenhouses only contained ToV, plum and Milanino snack tomatoes. The tomatoes are marketed both in small packages and in boxes. For example, there are combinations made ​​of many small varieties. The company also sells Inca mixes: a mix of Coeur de Boeuf, cocktail tomatoes and pink tomatoes. More specific mix packs can be made on demand. "With our large variety of products and packages we aim to meet all customer needs and requirements," explains Rückert. The company handles sales by itself. "We are not tied to a sales organisation, which allows us more flexibility and the ability to respond quickly to the needs of the customer." 

Besides its own specialities, Tuinderij Koolen also supplies snack peppers and cucumbers. Additionally, they grow ToV tomatoes, which are also distributed under the Viva Veggie label.

Various mixed packs. Up left, the ToV tomatoes with the new image

The acreage for specialities has increased significantly this year, and Tuinderij Koolen felt the effects. "In the beginning, it was difficult because our range consists mostly of relatively unknown products," says Rückert. "Then you have to work hard to establish a good position. We must ensure that the products and brand become more familiar. We now notice increased demand for our specialities." Customer loyalty is also important. "We want consumers to ask for the Viva Veggie brand. We currently notice that hospitality businesses and vegetable wholesalers are choosing our brand and remaining faithful. Our wide range, focus on quality and unique packaging has brought us to the higher segment, staying away from bulk production, where price is the only thing that matters."

For next year, Rückert expects a further expansion of the range. "We specialise in snack tomatoes and specialities of all sorts, sizes and colours. Some customers tell us what kind of products they could market and we also look for products we can be excited about," said Rückert. "If it is distinctive in colour, shape and taste, we certainly find it interesting."

Visit the new website here.

For more information:
Gerard Koolen
Fairly Fresh
Meijelseweg 19
5725 BA Asten-Heusden, The Netherlands
Tel: 0493-670675
Mob: +31 (0)6-54335201

Contact for sales:
Patrick Rückert
Mob: 06-45664705

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