500 million people enjoy their vegetables every day. To meet these wishes and to develop the best vegetable concepts, it is essential that the vegetable seeds business collaborates with all partners across the value chain.
During the GreenTech fair, BASF experts discussed how collaboration creates value –for the consumer, the planet, and profit -for all parties involved. The company has been working on producing and creating sustainable and enjoyable vegetables for over 100 years. Traditionally they focus on yield and disease resistance, the most important traits for growers, they say. Over time they decided to also focus on consumer traits so they want to contribute on making healthy eating even more enjoyable
Partnerships for new products
As mentioned to pave the way for innovation, collaborating with the entire value chain is essential. From breeder to grower to processor, retailer, and consumer. It all starts with a good relationship with the growers and involving them in new innovations and breeding trials.
It is important tolook at the links in the value chain after the grower as well: the retailer and consumer must also be convinced. It's not a race from a production perspective, like more yield or resistance against viruses. It's about different or better taste. Or that the award-winning mini watermelon is convenient because it is easy to peel and fits in every shopping basket. And because it's more sustainable because of its small size. Or a new onion variety that won’t make you cry when cutting. These kinds of traits are very beneficial for retailers and consumers.
Not every innovation is as successful. For example, BASF’s non-leaking tomato variety. It is well-received by the processing industry for sandwiches and mixed salads. But until now, retailers couldn’t be convinced to sell it as a new and inspirational tomato concept for pizza, soup, grilled vegetables, carpaccio and many more recipes because it keeps its texture, color, and flavor. Eating vegetables should be more fun. One of the simple ways to make this happen is diversification. Consumers eat twice as many tomatoes as they did 20 years ago simply because there's more variety in tomatoes. Another new product example is the Piccollini watermelon. It’s the size of a tennis ball and has edible skin.
The commodity of tomorrow
It’s hard to say which new vegetable concepts will work and which won’t. The baby leaf and mixed lettuce looked like unusual lettuce at the time but proved to be a popular new variety later. So, the specialty of today can be the commodity of tomorrow.
Want to know more about these vegetable developments, visit www.nunhems.com".