“Clear packaging boosts sales”

‘Standing still means going backwards’ is a motto that can be applied to many entrepreneurs in the world of fresh produce. Stoffels Tomaten, a tomato grower, packer and trader from Rijkevorsel, Belgium, is clearly moving forward, as evidenced by their plans. After 22 years, they decided to change their brand considerably.

“Because of the many changes we’ll be implementing, we want to present an even more consistent image,” says Petra Veldman, co-owner of Stoffels Tomaten, and responsible for marketing and communication. “We are therefore going to change the brand names, design and types of packaging. Some retailers have multiples of our products, and by showing unity in our brand, consumers can better recognise us. That was less so the case in the past. All of our products now start with the name Toma'. From the Toma’shake to the Toma’box and from Toma’gusto to Toma’color. Because of this, we’re much more recognisable in shops.”

Coordinating line
That Stoffels continues to look for new chances on the market is evident from their product supply of the Toma’chef. Toma’chef is a coordinating line that covers the new products in the assortment. “This line is mostly meant for catering specialist shops,” Petra says. “The plum tomato, among other products, is part of this category. The spicy, purple vine tomatoes called Toma’muse are supplied in crates of 1.5 or 3 kilos to, for example, restaurants. We noticed there was so much demand for these purple tomatoes, that we’re soon going to sell them to retailers as well, but loose, rather than in vines. To this end, Stoffels, together with an American and a Spanish tomato grower, started working with an agriculturalist. We are currently working on a consumer packaging for these tomatoes, so that they can soon be sold in shops.

Pulling tomatoes
One of the developments implemented by the company, is the launch of the Automato. Since last summer, Stoffels’ stands can be found in a number of Belgian supermarkets. “With this tomato machine, we want to offer a solution to retail for the many inconveniences of classic Pick & Mix tomatoes,” Petra continues. “Self service in supermarkets and greengrocers is gaining popularity. The Automato ensures customers can playfully and hygienically choose how many and which colour cherry tomatoes they wish to buy.”

This is how the Automato works: when turning the wheel, six tomatoes roll into a cup. The machine consists of various units that each contain their own colour tomatoes. According to Petra, the shop staff has also been taken into consideration. “Refilling the machine is done by switching the Toma’box. These are small boxes filled with the tomatoes, that have to be placed on the distribution station. That way, the consumer can personally choose how many tomatoes they wish to buy. That same Toma’box can also be bought as a whole. Because there’s an extendable lid in the box, the small tomatoes can easily be eaten that way.”

More information:
Stoffels Tomaten
Petra Veldman

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