A few years ago category manager Ed van Venrooij encountered jute packaging abroad. He took it to his Spanish citrus supplier and they thought it was a good idea too. Dutch retailer Hoogvliet has now been supplying the jute 'Sinterklaas bag' of mandarins in the week of the 5th of December (Sinterklaas:" a kids tradition) in all stores. "The increase in turnover in that week is considerable! Whereas in the past a lot of sweets were handed out during these holidays, people are increasingly aware of the risks of high levels of sugar consumption. Our Piets (Sinterklaas' helpers) are therefore handing our mandarins in store more often than sweets and we see other companies doing this as well," says Ed van Venrooij.
Ed van Venrooij shows the Sinterklaas packaging during the Fruit Attraction with his Spanish supplier
The advantage of this jute packaging is that the product is visible. That's a real must for all fruit and vegetable products. We keep this packaging exclusive to this week. Something like this has to have a short term, or the attention will be lost. It's the perfect time for it. Cold weather is always good for the citrus sales and the citrus is of excellent quality. Kids use the packaging as a gadget, for instance for holding marbles. Other retailers have now taken over the idea, as I see them popping up here and there," concludes Ed.