5 years ago

The Partnership no. 7

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Tomatoes
  • Varieties
  • Consumers
  • Breeding
  • Products
  • Cultivation

New growth markets In

New growth markets In the meantime sweet peppers have become so common in Western countries that the market can be said to be reasonably saturated. But Verwegen sees plenty of growth potential in Asia and South and Central America. “In Asia, Japan took the lead for a long time,” he explains. “The country started to import sweet peppers from the Netherlands in the early 1990s to meet its growing demand. Korea soon took up the gauntlet and has been exporting to Japan for quite some time now, whereas its own population initially consumed very few sweet peppers. But things are changing rapidly there too, which goes to show that the steep growth curves that characterised consumption in Europe are far from exceptional. Domestic consumption is also increasing in Mexico, which exports large quantities of blocky peppers to the United States and Canada.” Product and concept innovation While the growth in the rest of the world concerns mostly pepper types and varieties that have already more than proven their worth, further growth in relatively saturated markets will have to be boosted by product and concept innovation. With its rich history and experience in pepper breeding, Enza Zaden is in the frontlines in this field, too, as also underlined by recent successes such as Baby Bells, Cherry Peppers and the versatile Tribelli® concept. And with Cornelio® (see the box), Enza Zaden now also has an innovative concept for Italy, the cradle of the modern European market. PartnershipThe success of new concepts is very much dependent on the chain partners you choose,” says Verwegen. “The days in which new varieties almost automatically found their way to growers, retailers and consumers are far behind us. Shops are now lavishly stocked and everything’s got to be perfect: a distinctive product, sound cultivation methods, excellent product quality, appealing packaging and the use of the right stories to entice consumers. First of all you need pioneers who are capable of introducing and testing new concepts. If a concept catches on, you need partners who will be able to facilitate fast growth in production and market penetration in a reliable way. Enza Zaden makes efforts to bring the right partners together step by step, in every phase.” This winter season Cornelio® will have to prove its worth as a product that offers Italian growers and consumers added value. Expectations run high, especially those of Andrea Campus, Crop Business Manager for Fruity Vegetables at Enza Zaden Italia. “Cornelio® is a really distinctive variety that can be seen as a modern variant of traditional local varieties such as Corno,” he explains. “Italians are accustomed to fairly large, thick-walled conical fruits that are mostly stuffed and then grilled or baked in the oven. Cornelio is also very suitable for raw consumption.” Distinctive product Cornelio® differs from traditional Italian varieties in its modest size and small placentas that can be easily removed. Campus: “Cornelio® has the thick wall of the traditional Italian varieties, but is a little smaller and can be used in more ways. The fruits have an attractive external quality and grow to a length of at most 20 cm at a weight of 150 to 200 grams, so ideal for today’s smaller households. Traditional varieties produce distinctly longer, heavier fruits.” Andrea Campus: “Cornelio is a really distinctive variety that was developed in a breeding programme using traditional local varieties.” Italy pulls out all the stops for Cornelio The attractive fruits can be excellently used in hot dishes for this remarkable pepper variety,” adds Campus. “To offer or eaten raw in salads. The variety is also very appealing consumers information on the product’s origin, how it can be for growers: it’s highly productive, very resistant and prepared and when it is available.” can be grown all the year round. “It could easily be grown all over the world, but for the time being it will remain an exclusively Italian product,” says the Crop Business Manager. He is also very enthusiastic about the high concentrations of antioxidants, including vitamin C. “Because of the strict regulations we can’t make any health claims, but you can take my word for it that Cornelio® is extremely good for you.” Partners in marketing Enza Zaden opted for exclusive cooperation with Valfrutta, by far the largest growers’ cooperative in Italy, in the hope of turning the variety into a major success for Enza Zaden, growers and retailers alike. “Valfrutta is a strong partner with a lot of marketing experience and a very broad product portfolio,” explains Andrea. That makes it possible to introduce Cornelio® widely, with effective marketing support. Consumers are invited to taste the product at displays at the many retail outlets. Raw sweet pepper will be a new experience for many of them. “In the near future we are also going to launch a special website Made in Italy In the 2014-2015 winter season cultivation is still limited to an acreage of sixty hectares of plastic film greenhouses in Sicily. In spring the variety will be planted in northern Italy too. “Together we’ll get the acreage to expand slowly, in response to the demand, which we will of course actively promote,” says Campus. “It’s still too early to predict how successful it will be, but the first signs are very positive. Valfrutta is now selling Cornelio® in other countries, too, but its cultivation will for the time being remain limited to Italy, as part of the total concept’s unique selling proposition.” 28 | The Partnership The Partnership | 29

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