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Swedish consumers:

Herbs must be local, organic, inspire and easily recognisable

According to a recent Nielson report, fresh herb sales in Europe were up by 93% in the last period. On the back of this growth, which has also been witnessed in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, herb and lettuce producer Spisa Smaker AB, (during a recent brand switch back in 2014) asked Swedish consumers what they found to be most important when buying fresh herbs and they said that they prefer the company supplying the herbs to be Swedish, organic, locally grown, easy to find on the shelf and they also wanted to be inspired.

The company has greenhouses in three parts of Sweden; close by Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsingborg, which puts them in the position to provide locally grown herbs across all of Sweden.

"We recently designed our packaging by creating distinctive sleeves for each type of herb. For example, our basil is labelled with a large 'B' on the front and is the only one to use the colour blue. After consumer analysis, it was learned that 65% of consumers were not aware of fresh herb brands, so we found the sleeves a more effective way to grab the customer's attention in the supermarket. With this packaging, they can see from across the produce department if the herb they are looking for is available." shared Jerry Orrebacken from Spisa smaker.

Jerry Orrebacken from Spisa smaker pictured left.

QR codes have also been added to the Spisa packaging. While very popular in Asia, QR codes are something new to the Swedish market. The QR code offers many opportunities to both the consumer and the retailer. Once scanned, the consumer is taken to the recipe section for that specific herb on the Spisa smaker website. Which recipes the consumer is shown can also be adjusted in accordance to what is on special or in season for the retailer. For example, during strawberry season, a consumer buying basil will be brought to a recipe featuring both products together.

"Customers want to be inspired, so the QR code is something that fits in perfectly with this request from the consumer. We are trying to teach people that they no longer need to print out their recipes. Pretty much everyone has a smart phone nowadays and has a possibility to download the reader and have the recipes on their phone."

Pictures of some of the recipes featured on company's website.

When asked about which herbs are growing along with the current trends, Jerry said that Coriander has seen a huge growth in popularity in Sweden. Mint is also very popular.

"Traditional herbs such as thyme are decreasing in popularity, possibly on the back of the decrease of use by chefs in restaurants. Perhaps chefs have learned that their dish can not be saved by throwing a twig of thyme on the top of it...," Jerry said jokingly, "People are looking for new and unique herbs. Amaranth (sometimes known as lamb's quarters) with its reddish purple leaves are becoming popular because of its unusual appearance and mild taste. It is an attractive addition that can be added to almost any dish because it doesn't overpower the other ingredients. Watercress and pea shoots are on the rise. Things are changing, people are looking for new and exciting products and moving more and more away from traditional herbs." concludes Jerry.

For more information:
Jerry Orrebacken
Spisa Smaker AB
Tel: +46706303266
Email: [email protected]