There is a lot going on in the German food retail sector. Retailers are increasingly having to deal with the subject of convenience products: products for a mobile lifestyle are in demand, households are getting smaller and their diet healthier. Snack vegetables seem to be ideal to meet these consumer needs and the expectations for the segment are great. But how does it actually look within the trade itself?
Florian Wolz, Managing Director of sales cooperative Franken-Gemüse Knoblauchsland, is speaking about his experiences in marketing predominantly vegetables to the food retail trade in southern Germany.
The producers of this sales cooperative produce snack peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. "In the beginning, I was more confident in the market potential of this segment than I realized, looking back. Of course it all depends on the retailers, as not all snack vegetables are equally well received." Initially he was quite euphoric, but his great expectations are not reflected in the current sales: "The euphoria has definitely given way to reality."
He does not plan to take the small vegetables out of the assortment. "It's part of the trade, you need it in your range and maybe there's more potential in the future." He continues to expect a natural growth of this product group. "Snack vegetables will remain an integral part in the years to come."
According to Wolz, a major disadvantage of the convenience boom is in the packaging: "This type of vegetables are very plastic-heavy. One needs a bowl with a lid, or a shaker, which are easy to open and close and are currently receiving much criticism." At Franken-Gemüse, sustainability and the responsible use of resources are an important part of the business. "As far as it is practical, we are already actively implementing more sustainable forms of packaging, but not without questioning what we are doing."
The big advantage of the snack vegetables is their handiness. Therefore these products are less suitable for alternative packaging than loose goods. "With alternative packaging such as carton packaging, you generally do not see the product, which does not go down well with the consumer," concludes Wolz.
Franken-Gemüse also wants to continue to follow the current trends in the food trade. The sales cooperative is currently marketing products of 40 member companies. "It gives you a lot of momentum and innovation, helping each other and steadily building, and you get to really know what's going on in the market." According to Wolz, this willingness to experiment will enable Franken-Gemüse Knoblauchsland eG to continue to be relevant in the marketplace, while always improving.