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Nathalie Bonnet, Domaine des Coteaux - ODG Qualité Fruits Plus

France: a very promising start for Red Label peaches and nectarines

Domaine des Coteaux, a 250-hectare stone fruit producer based near Nîmes, began its Red Label process two years ago. A collective project, managed by ODG Qualité Fruits Plus, with 4 commercial operators in peaches and nectarines (Domaine des Coteaux, Domaine de la Cabanasse, Fruits Union and Fruits et compagnie). “Last year was more like a discovery year. The frost impacted the supply and caused prices to rise, so we did not think it was wise to start the process during the last season. But this year, we are fully committed to producing and marketing Red Label peaches and nectarines,” explains Nathalie Bonnet, the company’s manager.

Fruits that meet strict specifications
Much like the apricots and Reine-Claude plums, the peaches and nectarines sold under the Red Label are produced according to strict specifications. “Only varieties that have been rigorously selected for their high taste quality may be sold under the label. Sugar level and firmness are some of the criteria evaluated. This year, the producers committed to the approach sell their fruit in a common cardboard packaging in line with the eco-friendly requirements.”

Mass retailers seduced by the approach
The feedback for this first marketing year is already very positive. “It is a very promising start for our Red Label peaches and nectarines. The heat of the past few weeks has had a very positive impact on our orchards. The fruits are full of sugar and the lack of humidity has allowed our productions to remain very healthy. There is a good demand from our mass retail clients who have shown a clear interest in the approach. The marketing campaign of Red Label peaches and nectarines started on the 20th of June and so far, we have been receiving very nice orders. The labeled fruits represent a significant percentage of our daily departures. And even though some clients have already oriented their private labels towards the high-end range, they are still seduced by the reputation of the Red Label, which will likely fully convince them for the next season.”

An approach in line with the current consumption trends
“We also feel that this is an offer that is completely in line with some consumption trends like the drive-through, which has developed considerably with the pandemic. The Red Label, which is a true guarantee of superior quality, therefore provides some security to the consumer who can now choose to shop at the drive-through. It is somewhat of a reassuring purchase.”

A choice in color for a continuous offer
In order to ensure a continuous supply in Red Label peaches and nectarines throughout the entire season, the company has asked its mass retail clients to let them choose the color of the fruits depending on the arrivals. “We have four subspecies: the yellow peach, the white peach, the yellow nectarine and the white nectarine. We have realized that the color was not a predominant criterion of choice for the consumer so, in order to offer the best at a given time, we have asked our clients to let us choose the color. This allows us to select the fruits which we put on the market, and therefore to always have Red Label peaches or nectarines available for our clients.”

For more information:
Nathalie Bonnet
Domaine des Coteaux

Anne-Lise Chaussabel
ODG Qualité Fruits Plus

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