Traditionally, the first weeks of the new year are guaranteed a smooth sale of table potatoes in the supermarket. "After the holidays, consumers want to get back to their normal routine and more basic food shopping is being bought, including potatoes. The necessary volume campaigns are therefore planned," says commercial manager Joeri Wulff of Landjuweel from Oosternieland, who is active in washing, sorting and packaging potatoes for the retail market.
"We are moving on from Christmas and we see that we are selling more and more specialties. We see that volume increase every year. Think of the small segment of oven potatoes, but also our (steam) baby potatoes, three and five colour mixes, Dutch sweet potatoes and twister package did very well during the holidays," says Joeri.
"That is a completely different branch of business from the bulk trade that has always dominated this sector, but we do see a shift taking place. The volume of bulk potatoes decreases by 8-10% annually in volume, but we sell small packs by 10% more. We see a lot of challenge in that combination. There is a demand from the supermarket for more luxurious and smaller packaging. It is not without reason that we now have 260 items in our range.
"The price level of the potatoes shows a very stable line this year. The majority of our potatoes are grown under PlanetProof, which in a sense gives you a closed market and I must say that this really gave our growers a price guarantee. Sometimes you hear different stories in the media and from farmers, but for many potato growers, PlanetProof has made a positive contribution and it has been a guarantee of a higher price both this and last year. cents above the market price, because then it would have been nothing. Given the surpluses in the market for French fries potatoes, I think there is a good balance between supply and demand for high-quality table potatoes. "
"We are therefore very satisfied with PlanetProof and I hope that it will also facilitate the next step towards more specialisation. If our growers have to grow a special size or a peel quality that is really top quality, then that also requires a certain price. PlanetProof helps us to protect the market against parties that would otherwise be dumped on this market," says Joeri. "This year the quality of the potatoes has varied. The batches that were harvested early are generally of very good quality. The quality of the batches harvested later is variable, but fortunately there are also many good batches among them."
According to Joeri, the ban on chlorpropham presents major challenges in storage. "There are many parties that suffer from it. Alternative sprout inhibitors often work, but not nearly as well. This also shortens the shelf life of the potatoes at home, while we focus on working with potatoes for as long as possible. from Dutch soil. We did respond to the ban at an early stage by testing alternatives. We expect that this will also affect the variety package in the future, because germ-sensitive varieties will be banned. "
"All in all, the retail market for ware potatoes is undergoing an exciting development. Consumers and government are demanding more and more, also in terms of legislation. That makes it all a complex game, but also offers many opportunities. It stimulates us to take the path we have taken to focus on quality and continue to innovate! "