"People are far more aware of what they eat and drink than they were five or ten years ago," says Florus Zwartbol of Floor Foods. This Dutch company focuses on nut product innovation. "The consumer trend leans heavily towards innovative, responsibly produced snacks." That's why Floor Foods focuses on complementing the existing nut range in stores. It focuses on four segments - fruit and vegetable snacks, innovative rice crackers, creative nut mixes, and seaweed snacks.
For example, Floor Foods recently developed a nut mix that includes cheese croutons. They also have a nut mix with no added salt. It's flavored with Dutch seaweed. Florus says when developing new products, they must meet several conditions. "The products are vegan, low fat, gluten-free, and trendy. They're featured in magazines and cooking shows. But, most importantly, they're delicious. You can call them whatever you want, but if products are inedible, people won't buy them."
Floor Foods brings clear concepts to market. "We focus on 40 to 50 products, which we market under the name Snaqs," says Florus. The products are supplied to the European retail, foodservice, and business-to-business sectors. You can eat them at every occasion. They can be served as snacks and at cocktail parties. Or they can be used as an ingredient in meals. Crispy vegetable and seaweed snacks are the top sellers in the range.
The company may focus on innovating the nut selection in store. But, all Floor Foods products are part of the fruit and vegetable assortment. "You'll find crispy peanuts and vegetable chip mixes between the mini cucumbers and the snack tomatoes. I think, as healthy snacks, our products fit in very well with fruit and vegetables."
Consumers also seem to be looking for 'something different'. That's because the coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to spend so much time at home. "They can't eat out and, so, are open to cooking at home. People have discovered our products. These are becoming more popular," explains Zwartbol.
Originally, Floor Foods was a chain of nuts specialty stores and a trading company. But, in recent years, the business has increasingly changed into a production company. They develop new products which they test in their test kitchen in their new building in the Netherlands. It houses office, packing, and production space too.
Floor Foods' produces about 90% in Asia. That's because certain techniques and raw materials are more available there. However, from 2021 onwards, the company will make all its own vegetable and seaweed products. They want to use as many by-products from local horticulturists as possible for this. "We're going to process these products into crispy snacks. That will also contribute to a more sustainable business because these products will no longer have to be shipped by sea container," concludes Florus.