1 year ago

ThePartnership no. 16

  • Text
  • Tomato
  • Vitalis
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Organic
  • Breeding
  • Varieties
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Enza

Martijn van Stee, Crop

Martijn van Stee, Crop Breeding Manager Flavour and post-harvest In addition to the genetic and phytopathological screening, biochemical analyses were also performed in Enkhuizen in order to evaluate the components of the selections that are critical to determining flavour. “Good flavour tomatoes can really make a difference in the finer segment”, according to Di Rosa. “Large quantities of unheated red cherry tomatoes with very little flavour are still being cultivated in Southern Europe and North Africa. Being able to offer a better product allows you to get a toehold in the market.” The value of a variety is also determined in part by its shelf life. The fruits need to maintain their sturdiness and have a good enough shelf life to maintain their integrity and flavour for several weeks after being harvested. This aspect has also been studied in detail by the post-harvest experts at the head office during the selection stage. The crop breeding manager sums it up as follows: “Without good post-harvest characteristics, you can never gain a good shelf impact, no matter how good the tomato tastes.” On the shelf Last year, about three years after the start of the specialty project, we found the first two selections that appeared ripe for the ultimate field trial: a yellow and an orange mini-plum tomato. The selections were tested in Spain, the United States, Canada and – to a limited extent – in the Netherlands. “They passed this test with flying colours”, according to Van Stee. “They had the same crop type and the same resistances as the commercial red varieties, but distinguished themselves positively on colour and flavour. Both varieties are perfect for the unheated cultivation and were recently planted on a reasonable scale by several growers in Spain. I have never seen a faster success story for tomatoes before. We have not even thought of variety names yet.” Attractive concept The Crop Breeding Manager and the Senior Breeder are convinced that the newly introduced duo will soon be joined by others. “We currently have several numbers in the pipeline for which we have high expectations”, explains Di Rosa. “These include varieties for heated cultivation. One of them is a delicious yellow cherry tomato, which will become available for both growing systems this year.” Van Stee: “Our marketing people are working on a programme to market these different varieties in an attractive and successful manner. An example of this is the use of different shapes and colours in one packaging concept. You could compare it to the Tribelli® concept, which allowed us to create a unique proposition for our mini pointed sweet peppers. Such an attractive overall concept, based partly on varieties that are closely matched in cultivation and production, allow us to create a high added value for producers and retailers, particularly in the growing snack segment.” “Good flavour tomatoes can really make a difference in the finer segment” Gianplacido di Rosa Experience taste during House Fair Spain Enza Zaden is working on expanding its portfolio of small sized flavour tomatoes. The yellow and orange mentioned mini-plum tomatoes where launched at the House Fair Spain in 2018 under the concept name Itsy-Bitsy Bites. Other successful varieties in our new flavour generation are Bosco (E15C.41103), a baby-plum tomato which is a success in South Europe and Mexico. And the well-known tomatoes branded under the name TomAzur® now have a little brother called TomAzur®-mini. The Netherlands has been a major tomato producer for many decades, but the country’s own consumption has always been modest. That was until they discovered the cherry plum tomato as a snack. The initial small packages of 125 and 250 grams increased in size to an average of 500 grams over a short period, with special buckets containing 1 kg for the real fans. The purchase frequency has also increased, because snacking depends on repeat purchases. The snack tomato is also still attracting new 90.000.000 80.000.000 70.000.000 60.000.000 50.000.000 40.000.000 30.000.000 20.000.000 10.000.000 in € - Year 2010 All these varieties, and many more, are presented at the House Fair Spain, taking place in Almería on 13 November 2019. More information: Specialties cause significant increase in tomato consumption Sales snack tomatoes (baby plum) in The Netherlands YEAR 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2018 vs 2020 % Shoppers 25 29 32 41 44 46 46 48 51 102% Source: GfK/Fresh Produce Centre Frequency buyers. The traditional cherry tomato has suffered slightly in recent years due to the popularity of the mini plum. Following hot on the heels of the snack tomato, the mini cucumbers and mini conical sweet peppers are also gaining market share. However, the snack tomatoes are the most popular by far in the Netherlands, which includes the round cherry colours in the mixed packages. Constant innovation in the snack tomato range will continue to drive this healthy snack category. Exploding mini vegetable snacking culture in The Netherlands 3,2 3,4 4,1 4,6 4,8 5,2 5,1 5,3 5,3 63% KG per Trip 0,27 0,29 0,31 0,33 0,35 0,38 0,41 0,43 0,47 71% Year 2011 IRI NL supermarket Sales in Euro Year 2012 Year 2013 Year 2014 Year 2015 Year 2016 Mini cues Mini peppers Babyplum Cherry Snack mix Year 2017 Year 2018 Source: GFH-NL, IRI, GfK 6 | Partnership Partnership | 7

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