Driscoll’s takes berry experience to the next level

Driscoll’s is looking back on a year of impressive growth. For the berry company growth this is not just about being market leader or increasing its turnover; it is about being the world’s most trusted berry company in which consumers, customers and growers have confidence for the future. Theo Houwen, Senior Vice President – Managing Director of Driscoll’s of EMEA explains what this means for his business unit.

What are the company’s long term goals?

“Our vision is to become the world’s berry company, enriching the lives of everyone we touch. It is not about being the biggest organisation out there, it is about delighting consumers and being a trusted partner to all stakeholders involved. Our berries need to inspire people. Every time a consumer tastes Driscoll’s berries they should feel a sense of joy. This is a result of our mission to continually delight berry consumers through alignment with our customers and our berry growers.”

What are the ambitions of the Driscoll’s brand?

“We believe there is a lot of potential for berries and even more for the Driscoll’s brand. The whole fresh produce category can use some fresh ideas on how to be more unique instead of generic. That is exactly what we try to do at Driscoll’s, we want to be a brand that has a strong emotional connection with consumers. In order to ensure we align with the needs of our consumers we have been and will keep investing considerably in getting to know the berry consumer better, by providing innovative and new products.”

What are your expectations for the EMEA market?

“We are quickly becoming a very international company. In Europe we have taken some big steps, especially in the Nordics, where we are growing fast. This region is a perfect example of how we would like to build the berry category and align it with customers and growers. A long term partnership and believing in our mission and values is crucial to our cooperation with customers. We work closely with them to implement new ideas and visions for the complete category. Driscoll’s ambition is to reach even more consumers in Europe and the Middle East.”

How will Driscoll’s increase its market share for all four berries?
“First of all, we will keep delivering berries that are fresh, beautiful and even more important; delicious! Just putting a regular berry out there is not good enough. If we look at our raspberries we want to grow the category by both bringing new consumers in and making sure that existing consumers eat more berries. Also, we want ensure that our strawberries are always delightful. Our strawberries in February have to taste as great as those in the summer and have to delight each time when they are consumed.

The most successful berry of last year was definitely the blueberry, for which we developed several new varieties and we now concentrate on a further growth. We would also like to create a revival of the blackberry, as seen in the US ten years ago. In order to do so, we will need to concentrate on developing a consistent delightful eating experience based on better performing varieties.”

What are the key innovations for the next year?

“A delicious, fresh and beautiful berry will bring consumers a feeling of joy and happiness. Therefore, one of our top priorities is our breeding programme, in order to develop continually more delightful varieties. Last year we introduced the successful strawberry varieties Driscoll's® Scarlet™, Driscoll's® Delicia™ and Driscoll's® Serena™ and some promising raspberry varieties. As our mission is to delight consumers, we are dedicated to having berries with superior characteristics. This begins with breeding great varieties, continues with excellent growing methods and is preserved by making sure the whole cool chain is working optimally.”

For more information:
Mieke Pulles
Driscoll's of Europe
Tel: +31 (0)85 0217 452
Fax: +31 (0)76 513 7001
Email: mpulles@driscolls.eu

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