The start of school traditionally marks the unveiling of creations as well as new fashion and design collections. At Gautier Semences, the autumn of 2021 is taking on crimson and garnet colors with the Red Crush, an innovative brand of lettuce, red to the heart.
Red color combined with good agronomic qualities
Unique on the market, the added value of the Red Crush products lies primarily in their visual appeal. “We have identified genetic resources that allow the color red to turn out very pronounced even when light input is limited. Our breeding work has allowed us to combine the fixation of the red color all the way to the heart of the lettuce, with good agronomic qualities, which was the project’s main challenge. We wanted to offer varieties that correspond to market expectations, especially in terms of size and vigor,” explains Jeanne Gautier, brand manager at Gautier Semences.
Additionally, the red lettuce varieties of Red Crush do not require any particular agronomic management. Jeanne Gautier adds that “the salads of the range can be grown in the field or in hydroponics. They behave much like the green varieties which constitutes a real advantage for producers and manufacturers who would like to offer a mix of green and red salads.”
Strong potential for evolution
The cultivation trials finalized in 2021 in the different production basins proved to be conclusive. “Some clients have already conducted very conclusive trials with the Red Crush varieties. The upcoming season will allow us to distribute these varieties on a larger scale and we are confident that customers will be seduced by this innovative concept!”
Another advantage appreciated by the producers: the Red Crush range consists of three typologies: a red sucrine, a red mini romaine and a red multileaf. These products are a true potential to give the category a boost.
In addition to this agronomic innovation comes a commercial innovation, with a range of products that offer distributors a choice between several colored salads and the possibility to mix colors. Gautier Semences now offers the entire sector an opportunity to create some added value by proposing unique products that will seduce consumers.
Lettuce that meets consumer expectations
In the lettuce category, consumers look for products that are appealing and easy to consume. The red color guarantees pleasure and appeal on the plate, while the current lettuce typologies such as sucrines, mini-romaine and multileaf, are easy to prepare, therefore meeting contemporary consumption trends.
In terms of taste, the presence of anthocyanins brings some subtleties as well as originality to the consumer. “There is no pronounced difference in taste between the red and the green salads, besides the slight variations due to high concentrations of anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for the red color. Anthocyanins are also recognized for their antioxidant activity, which is a nutritional benefit for consumers.”
Innovations to come, presented at Fruit Attraction
Gautier Semences is targeting the Spanish, French and Northern European markets for its Red Crush varieties. The company will also be present at Fruit Attraction in order to present the Red Crush brand, with all its novelties for the season to come, including two other brands that will be revealed there.