the case of grape tomato Joyello F1 (ex Joy) by SAIS Sementi

Benchmarketing as a research tool

The rising demand of small sized tomato with high added-value, was confirmed also by short term outlook for EU Agricultural Markets, issued in Summer 2020. The European Commission expected a general decrease for the EU production of tomato driven by a decline of Spanish production while for the other EU countries the forecast was over all stable, because a greater production of small-sized and high-value added tomatoes should be balanced out by extension of the cycle of the winter production. 

On the right: Joyello F1 with Yuppy! brand 

In 2018 in Germany, the largest market of EU, the share of smaller-sized tomatoes in household consumption was almost 60% in value. More or less same share registered in UK in the same year.

The increase in the demand for small sized tomatoes particularly affects the segment of "datterino" and colored tomatoes.

Surely high taste is the main reason for rising demand of small sized tomatoes, that are recognized as high value-added product.

In order to ensure the positive trend of this segment, it would be appropriate to launch onto the market only varieties with high taste, so the consumer doesn't lose interest in it. 

SAIS R&D accepted this challenge when began the breeding program for the new "datterino" tomatoes that led to Joyello variety (ex Joy) in 2019.

The first agronomic trials were immediately supported by a benchmarketing research to verify whether Joyello could stand out in the market as well as in the field, matching the high taste expectations of the consumer. 

The study of benchmarketing has been entrusted to SATA Srl.

SATA Srl is an Italian Company, present nationwide, able to offer services to supply chains of vegs.

Alongside with its own laboratory named Cadib lab srl, the company provides integrated services of consultancy, controls and analysis, from farm to fork.

Among all services offered by the company, the benchmarking service stands out.

The goal of this type of service is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a product compared to its competitors.

As Dr. Thais Mendes da Silva, SATA technical manager of this service, said: "The market is confronted every day with a demanding consumer for whom the sensory quality becomes a toll for choice. Under this context, the benchmarking is an essential tool for all the companies that aim to offer a higher product's quality, and to understand where the product should be addressed, thus identifying the right strategy for its promotion."

She continues: "The advantage of this service with respect to a simply quality test, is the possibility to have a more reliable view on the product's quality. The benchmarking combines different approaches to assess quality, which leads to a more informative analytic service. Its assessment's plan includes analytic, sensorial and organoleptic parameters, which are assessed with more reliable analytical methods and are interpreted by using proper statistical analysis. With this approach, the service is able to consider the natural heterogeneity of the samples, which is the most critical point concerning the fresh product, such as fruit and vegs, and could invalidate the result if mishandled"

Dr. Thais Mendes da Silva said: "Integration between analysis and consultancy allows the validation of differences that are found between the tested products, producing a robust and stable method to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your product compared to the competitors and to recognize the areas of improvement."

"It means that benchmarking can give the closest picture to the consumer perception of the product. A picture very useful if you would like to deal with small sized tomatoes as "datterino" tomato. For this reason SAIS's request to carry out a benchmarking service on Joyello (ex Joy), while the agronomic trials were still in progress, did not surprise us at all". 

"Our daily collaboration with producers and players in the agri-food chain, allowed us to have very clear view of the market: the grape tomato market was filling the quality gap left by the cherry tomato segment in the last 10 years. We therefore decided to include sensory analysis as a tool for choosing varieties from the very first step of the "datterino" tomato breeding program," says Simona Toloni, Product Manager of SAIS Seed.

"The first sensorial analysis pointed out the high quality of variety Joyello so we organized a benchmarketing trial where it was compared to a similar variety in terms of cycle, transplanting period and resistances. Indeed Joyello is a variety suited for long cycle that works well in South Mediterranean Area with resistances (IR) to TYLCV and Nematodes."

SAIS Trial Station - Joy transplanted on 31st of August 2019

The trial was in 2019, with a transplant at the end of August, in our Trial Station in Vittoria (Ragusa). The structure is on soil, with water having an average conductivity of 1700 µS / cm. Non-grafted plant with single branch. The harvesting season began in early December and ended at the end of May."

The analysis and commodity evaluation of the products was carried out in accordance with specific marketing legislation n.543 of 2011 and with methods recognized for organoleptic, physical-chemical parameters on 20 units samples for each product compared.

T1, T2 and T3 indicate the dates of analysis at +2 days, +7 days and +10 days from the harvest.

All the data were subjected to statistical processing. The Student T test (or non-parametric in the absence of data normality) was used for the comparison of the parameters taken individually while Multivariate Analysis (Multiple Factor Analysis), for the placement and comparison of the samples on the basis of all the parameters that resulted significant in the comparison along the shelf life of the samples.

The parameters valuated on four samples along their shelf life were: 

■ Commodity: % defects, fruit weight, uniformity of calibre, number of seeds, hardness of the pulp and weight loss.

■ Physical-chemical : brix, acidity, brix/acidity, skin hardness.

■ Colour: brilliance, vivacity, tendency of red, total difference of color.

Physical-chemical Profile (click here to enlarge)  

Colorimetric Profile (click here to enlarge

The sensorial profile was on February sample and the valuated parameters were:

■ Tomato smell
■ Hardness
■ Crispness
■ Sweetness
■ Acidity
■ Sapidity
■ Herbal aroma
■ Tomato aroma

Sensorial Profile (click here to enlarge)

"The results get from the test confirmed what had been glimpsed in the first sensory analysis. Joyello was superior to the comparison variety. Commodity profile outlined less defect in 3 harvest out of 4 , less weight loss in one harvest out of 4 and same level for the others three, similar values of hardness of pulp. We get good result into physical-chemical profile and colorimetric profile," Simona Toloni continues.

"The benchmarketing integrated the agronomic trials settled in May 2019. Both results confirmed that Joyello tomato could be launched in the market of high add-value of "datterino" tomato.

Summary table (click here to enlarge

On the right: Joyello transplanted in Siracusa Sept. 2020

The agronomic trials verified the high performance of the plant in terms of yield, tolerance to the cold and tolerance to fruit cracking. The trials verified also that Joyello could be cultivated both for short and long cycle cultivation depending by the greenhouse. The resistances to TYLCV and Nematodes allow counter season transplanting in South Mediterranean Area."

For any further information on variety Joyello, please visit our web site to:

Or contact our staff:

Foreign Dept. +39 0547 384250
Lorenzo Pelliconi

R&D Dept.: +39 0542 384250
Simona Toloni

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