AHDB Potatoes says that its ‘Bud the Spud’ campaign, and its take-up on social media has led to an increase in the sale of fresh potatoes following years of decline.
Bud was introduced to consumers three years ago as part of an EU co-financed joint campaign with Bord Bia (the Irish food board), with the aim of “emotionally re-engaging consumers with potatoes”, through providing quick-and-easy meal inspiration to fit in with our ever-busier lifestyles, while reminding them of the healthy and nutritious virtues of potatoes.
Another success was AHDB’s ‘More than a Bit on the Side’ where the target audience has continued to increase following each wave of campaign activity. AHDB says that analysis shows that consumer perceptions of potatoes being versatile and healthy were all higher than when the campaign started. Furthermore, findings from all bursts of post-campaign research have shown around 9 in 10 consumers are now considering cooking potatoes either on weekdays or weekends.
AHDB Potatoes added, ‘While retail performance cannot be directly attributed to marketing activity, at the end of the second year of the campaign Kantar WorldPanel figures showed that fresh potato volumes sold are higher than the level predicted, in this way the campaign is viewed as exceeding its target for the first two full years of activity.’
Photo Credit: AHDB
The post Social media help potato sales appeared first on Hort News on 23 May 2018.
Supermarket Morrisons has launched two new value veg boxes, one priced at £3 (although it was launched at a promotional price of just £1) and a larger one at £5. The smaller box is available online, with the larger one in stores.
Morrisons vegetable buyer Andy Todd said, “We’ve listened to our customers who told us they want even more affordable veg. They are a great way for our customers to buy British or eat seasonally or feed the family for the week.” The retailer says the £5 box contains enough vegetables to feed a family of four for four or five days. The seasonal products include items such as carrots, courgettes, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, with many lines being slightly misshapen or out of specification for other products. Produce is currently sourced from up to 60 British growers, but the retailer said that the new line would not be exclusively British in origin.
Photo Credit: Morrisons
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Construction has begun on Berry Gardens’ new £18 million packing facility at Linton, near Maidstone in Kent.
Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Malcolm Greer dug the first ceremonial turf on Friday 29 September, marking the start of a two year construction process, with the scheme being developed by farming and haulage company Alan Firmin Ltd.
Michael Firmin, Managing Director of Alan Firmin, said, “We are delighted to be commencing work on this purpose built, high quality facility. We and Berry Gardens have a long track record of working together, and we are very pleased to be able to assist again with their expansion plans for the future.”
Nick Allen, Berry Garden’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “Today marks an exciting development in Berry Gardens’ history. The construction of the new head office and packing facility will ensure we continue to meet the challenges of our thriving market and create sustainable local employment.”
The 14,000 sq ft complex will include offices and 12 loading bays, as well as featuring solar panels and ecological areas. It is expected to safeguard 434 existing jobs and create up to 500 new ones. Cllr Greer commented, “This is an important investment for Maidstone and sends a positive, confident message about the prospects for the area’s fruit industry. It’s a privilege to get work started.”
Photo Caption: Artist’s impression of the new packhouse
Photo Credit: Berry Gardens Ltd
The post Construction begins on new Berry Gardens packhouse appeared first on Hort News on 5 Oct 2017.
For many years the Dutch auction system at Aalsmeer, and Royal FloraHolland in particular, has been at the heart of global flower trade, selling produce from around the globe to dealers and suppliers who then sell it around the world, with some British plants being sent across the channel before being re-imported.
Now entrepreneur and florist Steve France hopes to change that with a new venture: Florismart. “Everything goes through Amsterdam – the Dutch flower auction. Growers sell to the exporters, the exporters sell it to the wholesalers, and then the wholesalers sell it to the florist. It’s bizarre that flowers go from Kenya to Holland and then through the tunnel into England, when they could just go straight to Stansted,” France, who is also the founder of online florist Arena Flowers, told City A.M.
He also hopes that the new platform will help growers to diversify their production. “We spot trends: not only do we have all the growers putting their product on the platform, but we have all the exporters and florists. It gives us a lot of data on the industry. We can see price movement, and so we take data about what florists are buying and feed growers with information about what they should be growing.”
He also acknowledged that, if successful the service would be another competitor to wholesales: “The local wholesalers just hate us. We’re like their worst nightmare. Not only because we’re changing the market, but it’s clear that florists shouldn’t buy their flowers from a local wholesale market, it’s insane. That wholesaler has rents, it has fridges, and it has staff. And florists end up paying for that.”
Photo Caption: Florismart hopes to challenge Aalsmeer’s monopoly
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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Having already helped suppliers sell larger than forecast quantities of strawberries, lettuce and carrots, the retailer is now taking advantage of the bumper crop of British cherries.
“Working with our suppliers we’re able to start the British cherry season two weeks earlier this year than in 2016. The abundance of cherries will be available for customers for an impressive eight weeks,” said Karen Bee, Buying Manager for stone fruit.
“The wonderful weather we’ve experienced across the UK has meant that our British cherry crop has come-on in bigger volumes than we’d forecast. Our supply partners have told us about a crop flush brought on by the bonus British sunshine. They have extra cherries from their growing sites in both Kent ‘the Garden of England’ and Herefordshire. We’ve worked with them to take their extra crop.”
So far Tesco has bought an extra 80 tonnes a week of British cherries, with larger 1 kg boxes available for £4.00. The retailer also said it aimed to have promotions on all different packs sizes to suit a variety of budgets.
Photo Credit: Tesco
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Soft fruit supplier Berryworld has sought to raise the profile of its own brand berries, which were first launched 18 months ago, by handing out around 7,500 pots of raspberries to tennis fans in the queue during the first week of Wimbledon.
Berryworld Managing Director Paul Cole said the event was aimed at raising awareness of the company’s branded offering: “We’ve done tastings at retailers, but that’s mainly been own label,” he said. “This is the biggest event we’ve done to promote our brand but we’ve got more planned. There are so many different avenues you can go down to push the name forward.”
He also said that while products such as raspberries and blueberries were unlikely to become as popular as strawberries, there was plenty of potential for growth. “They’ve got a long way to go and part of our job as marketers is getting people buying into them,” he added.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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According to reports, some wholesalers have expressed concern about the recent spate of hot, dry weather on the availability of certain UK produce lines, including broccoli and some soft fruit.
Following temperatures of 31oC in Lincolnshire and 25oC in Cornwall, former Secretts Direct boss Vernon Mascarenhas of New Covent Garden’s First Choice Produce told the Fresh Produce Journal that “Broccoli will be hardest hit because generally you don’t irrigate broccoli. In this heat the broccoli plant will dehydrate and shut down.”
He added, “Strawberries are also going to be a problem. In this weather strawberry plants can just shut down and stop producing. “Everyone loves the hot weather but people should realise what it can do to our food chain,” he said. “There are going to be consequences.”
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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Poupart Produce used the recent London Produce Show to re-launch its premium ‘Ravenhill’ brand of products, which is currently listed in Ocado.
Named after one of the Poupart Group’s founders; William Ravenhill, the company is targeting premium retailers with the range which currently includes cherries, asparagus and rhubarb, although Poupart commercial manager, Sam Trebbick told reporters that the brand could include premium produce from any category.
His remarks suggest that the range will therefore sit across the top of Poupart Produce’s company structure, which includes Poupart Imports, Orchard World, Citrus First and Norton Folgate. The company said that it is currently in talks with other retailers about listing the brand.
Photo Credit: Poupart Produce
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A new European association for traders and processors of organics has been formed. The Organic Processing and Trade Association (OPTA) was inaugurated in Milan, Italy on 7 June with five initial board members from four countries.
“The goal of our association is to empower the progress of organic food and farming in Europe in close cooperation with our customers, the organic farmers and other parts of the organic chain,” explained Volkert Engelsman, general manager of Eosta, one of the new members of the board. “The organic food and agricultural system with its strong values is best equipped to lead the transition to a more sustainable food system. The current system of food production, which is driven by externalising costs, is a dead-end. The OPTA will encourage the sustainable innovation and quality development of organic products, based on the principles of the organic movement: ecology, health, care and fairness. We need a powerful supply chain with active processors and trade companies to build a future-proof food and agricultural system in Europe.”
The new organisation, which has 15 founding members, says that it will work closely with existing national and European lobby organisations, as well as the European branch of the international organic umbrella organisation IFOAM.
Photo Credit: OPTA
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The Blackcurrant Foundation, which represents the interests of more than 40 British blackcurrant growers, has announced details of its digital consumer campaign for 2017.
With the majority of British blackcurrants (around 95%) ending up in fruit cordial Ribena, the will focus on the story of how the berry gets in the bottle. Named “The Big Squeeze” it will run from May until the British harvest ends in August, and hopes to increase consumer awareness via social media and Facebook.
The aspiration is for consumers to better understand the berry’s journey from bush to bottle, starting in May with a focus on farming heritage, followed by how the land is managed in June, and finally in July the 2017 harvest itself. The campaign will be driven through Facebook with monthly farm ‘vlogs’ updating followers on how the berries are growing. There will also be a number of consumer giveaways.
A spokesperson for the campaign commented, “It is hoped the campaign will bring awareness to the custodianship by British Farmers of this small but mighty super-fruit and the taste we all enjoy when drinking it!”
Photo Caption: Chair of The Blackcurrant Foundation- Jo Hilditch- Raising a glass to the new campaign in her blackcurrant fields in Herefordshire.
Photo Credit: The Blackcurrant Foundation
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