With less and less time for consumers, supermarkets choose to expand their range of convenience products. What can tomato growers do with this information and how can they serve retailer and buyers? The team with Dutch growers cooperation Prominent shares their insights.
"People want convenience. Nothing wrong with that, but the senses should also be stimulated. Therefore, many supermarkets choose a combination of convenience and experience. By presenting (vine) tomatoes as prepackaged as well as unpackaged, for example. Even though shoppers say they find experience important, the majority ultimately goes for convenience", they explain in their blog.
Convenience products are on the rise
"With convenience, we do not necessarily mean ready-meals, because convenience also applies to prepared, pre-cut vegetables or prepackaged (snacking) tomatoes. These options offer more convenience in the supermarket – the products do not have to be selected one by one, as they are neatly stored in a single package – as well as at home while cooking or even on the go."
Appealing packaging will stimulate sales
"If shoppers initially say experience is important, how can we stimulate their senses and offer convenience? By using appealing packaging for convenience products for example. (Vine) tomatoes wrapped in attractive packaging will be bought more often. But then again, conscious consumers will avoid too much (plastic) packaging. Their preference for sustainable solutions steers them in the direction of unpackaged products."
Convenience and experience in one product
They explain that this is why the team with Prominent keeps on developing smart solutions. "Vine tomatoes with an increased freshness guarantee or more firmness for example, so (smaller) tomatoes do not have to be picked from theshelf one by one but can be lifted by their stalk in one single move. No extra packaging is needed for this. Maybe just a reusable bag which shoppers can bring from home."
"By crossing the best characteristics of several (vine) tomatoes – flavour, colour and firmness – our growers can offer a completely natural solution that combines convenience and experience. Therefore, consumers looking for convenience and those searching for sustainability both have access to great products."