Hans van Kemenade, Jakova:

"Opportunities with ready made vegetable packets are endless"

Ready meals don't have a good image, but the opportunities with ready made vegetable packets are endless, says Hans van Kemenade of Jakova. It's a trend that plays into both convenience and conscious and healthy eating. "There is always the interest in food, but these days consumers are more conscious about it. You can see this in the popularity of cooking shows and such. With our vegetable packets for soup and meals we are able to fill in a great part of the market. We're quite settled in now and supply to a lot of retail parties. Everyone has their own demands but we are able to meet them."

Chain collaboration
Jakova has been working with the assembled packets since 2013 and sees this development take flight. "We work together with The Greenery to do this. They supply the fruit and vegetable side and we find the needed products and herbs, such as split peas for pea soup, herbs, coconut milk or a sachet of sauce. The Greenery also takes care of the distribution to the various retail channels. This is how we are able to supply the packets fresh 6 days a week." 

Through close collaboration the parties add extra value to the products. Does this also produce better prices? "The segment is quite new but has already proven itself. In the fruit and vegetable sector it isn't easy to make a margin in products. It is still about the amounts that we make, that's just how it is. The meal packets are on the shelves for 2.50 - 4.50. Consumers can add meat or fish components and can make a meal for 3 to 4 people for under 10 Euro."

Trends and seasons
"The meal and soup packets are still a relatively new segment in the market, but the opportunities are endless. The trends and seasons guide this. Over the Christmas period, for instance, we had a truffle-parsnip dish and a cherry tomato pepper soup that did really well. Winter ratatouille and lasagna were developed for this period and when the asparagus season starts again soon, we will play into that."

Jakova is playing into the convenience trend with the meal and soup packets. Hans: "It fits into the normal consumer supermarket visit but makes doing shopping easier. It offers ease of purchase in the fruit and vegetable departments and the consumer doesn't have to look far for the other ingredients in store. Recipes have been added. They just have to add the meat or fish. The amounts have also been measured so that no food is wasted. The consumer doesn't have to waste anything."

The Netherlands is ahead of the game when it comes to the convenience trend but we are also in collaboration with the Greenery on the market in Germany. "Scandinavia also has interest, but they only want organic products and supply is a problem too. We're waiting for Belgium, hopefully they'll soon follow. France could also be an interesting market. The market is in strong development, but sometimes still sceptical, although I see plenty of opportunities."

For more information:
Hans van Kemenade
De Langeweg 9A
4762 RA Zevenbergen

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