The catering industry is the part of the fruit and vegetable sector that is likely to suffer most from COVID-19 containment measures. Accordingly, suppliers to the horeca sector now also have to wait until the measures are eased in the coming weeks. In many places, alternative sales channels are being sought and a second mainstay is benefiting the companies. We spoke with Thomas Novak, managing partner of ELKA-FRISCHE LLC, based in Mönchengladbach. The company has been supplying the out-of-home market with fresh juices since 2012 and is now also opening up the consumer market with the Grandmade brand.
ELKA-FRISCHE is already firmly established in the German horeca sector, and the Grandmade brand is now set to conquer the stationary and online trade in addition to the catering trade. "Grandmade is our brand for cold-pressed juices, smoothies and shots," explains Novak. "We already had a portfolio of labels and bottles for the to-go market before and with Grandmade we have now focused on a uniform brand - which has been very well received so far". This brand should be convincing without many words, and above all it should have an effect through the "grandma". "It is important to us to convey the feeling of trust and a handmade product, just as you know it from your own grandma. Especially for our loyal consumers in Germany, long-term trust in a brand is very important."
But what makes Grandmade so special is of course not the grandma on the bottle, but the content: "Our products are distinguished by the fact that they are cold-pressed - something like this does not yet exist on a large scale in the German trade. The well-known smoothie manufacturers and private labels of the retail chains exclusively work with pasteurised fruit and vegetables, but this is not always clear. We want to distinguish ourselves consciously through our production methods and through the fresh taste."
Grandmade has a wide range of products for consumers to choose from: "Of course, we also stock classics on the smoothies shelf that are well-known and popular. But we also want to use these favourites to introduce our customers to the more unusual varieties: It's surprising how good smoothies with beetroot or coconut can taste when cold pressed. But not everyone is brave enough to try them."
Something for the eyes as well
But how do you actually develop such a recipe for a juice or smoothie? It depends on three essential factors, Novak knows: "First of all, of course, there's the taste: not everyone likes every kind of fruit, and that can be very polarizing when it comes to smoothies and juices. So it's important to have the right product for everyone. One person might not like kiwis, the next one might not be a fan of mangos, with a wide range of products you can make most consumers happy."
"Hand in hand with taste goes the freshness. So we must ensure that we always have fresh raw materials of the best quality for processing - the consistent result is decisive". The third factor is looks: "We want to have a certain colour spectrum in our range. This not only looks good but also has a pragmatic advantage: consumers have to choose between the various options and confusion can quickly arise. To ensure that everyone is satisfied with the choice and doesn't accidentally choose the 'wrong' drink, we recommend that suppliers arrange drinks with similar colours between other smoothies."
The cold pressed future
One product that has rapidly gained in importance in the German retail sector over the past year is the Shots. The healthy exotic ginger drink in practical 60-80ml bottles is particularly sought-after: "We also have a selection here. In addition to the standard Bioingwer Shot, we offer a combination with turmeric, for example. Here we are available in stores as a unique cold-pressed alternative."
But Grandmade is not limited to juices and smoothies, Novak tells us. There are many opportunities to diversify within the brand: "For the future, we can also envisage products such as fruit salads, fresh soups or even caffeinated drinks, like Coldbrew, under the Grandmade umbrella brand."
For more information:
ELKA-FRISCHE GmbH / Grandmade
Phone: +49 2166 14638-10
Mobile: +49 175 260 54 21