It is November again, which means that consumers are slowly starting to fill their shopping baskets again with sprouts. According to Wout van Es of Van Nature in Barendrecht, the sale of green sprouts is doing well. “Due to the cold weather, there is a little more demand than last week. The prices are stable and slightly rising. In about a month or so, we can also harvest our purple sprouts and we can focus all our attention on selling them during Christmas.”
Brussels sprouts have been a popular super-food in America and England for a long time, but here in the Netherlands it's not that far. "I already see some retail promotions here in the Netherlands," Wout notes. "However, these are only actions that focus on the traditional use of Brussels sprouts, so far only Americans know that they can be processed in smoothies, for example."
Nevertheless, according to Wout, there is a slow development in the supermarket. "If you look at the vegetable shelf, you will see more and more Brussels sprouts in vegetable mixes." Mashed potatoes are increasingly becoming a vegetable mix, in which sprouts may also occur. It is no longer just kale."
Van Nature growers own more than 270 hectares of Brussels sprouts, including 6 hectares of Kalettes (formerly Flower Sprouts), 3 hectares of purple Brussels sprouts and 3 hectares of Sweet Purple Brussels sprouts. The Brussels sprouts of Van Nature producers are marketed by the trading companies Scherpenhuizen, Levarht, Combilo and Haluco.
"The difference between the Sweet Purple Sprout and the normal Purple Brussels sprouts is that the Sweet Purple retains its purple colour while cooking and the Purple Brussels sprouts do not," explains Wout. "Like the Kalettes, the Sweet Purple Brussels sprouts taste sweet and nutty, and with the Kalettes and Sweet Purple, we focus primarily on the retail and hospitality sectors."
The Kalettes and the purple Brussels sprouts have been used by Van Nature for a long time. They've started this season with the Sweet Purple Sprouts. "The season is going very well, especially with the Sweet Purple sprouts and we are on schedule, by the looks of it. Yield per hectare is slightly down on a year-over-year basis due to weather conditions, but it may well be that weeks is caught up again. "
The purple sprouts will be on the shelves at various supermarkets from week 47/48. “These special Brussels sprouts belong to the Christmas assortment and that is why we focus entirely on December with the sale of these. In January, however, there is a sharp decline in enthusiasm, because supermarket chains then return to their standard assortment. We have the purple sprouts until mid-February, but the top sales are really done in December, "Wout concludes.
For more information:
Wout van Es
2991 LT Barendrecht
T: +31 (0) 180 696 803