Broadly speaking, under the new concept HZPC has put on the market potato is segmented by taste and not cooking quality.
Fresh potato is divided into four groups which have been given names in English: fine (rich and delicate), lite (light and mild), bite (firm and tasty), and ripe (crispy when fried).
The research from which this new concept emerged took place in various European countries using consumer panels to identify the most firmly established tastes in each country.
According to Rogelio Martí, the Dutch firm’s representative in Spain, “after many years of research, HZPC reached the conclusion that the enormous range on offer in supermarkets meant that consumers were finding it difficult to distinguish between so many segmentations.
Martí explains that “according to the new segmentation, HZPC is able to supply a uniform potato taste throughout the year, which, in addition, is not identified with just one potato variety.”
The Albert Heijn supermarkets in Holland pioneered the launch of this new concept in November 2008 and up to now according to HZPC in Holland it has been very satisfactorily received by Dutch consumers.
On the shelves, each category is identified by different coloured packaging which is easily distinguishable for the end consumer.
HZPC is working to introduce this new concept throughout Europe, but for the moment does not wish to reveal which new countries will receive this new line of work.
In Spain there are already dedicated new potato plantations in Cartagena and Seville and they have also been sown in Valladolid. Their final destination is the Albert Heijn chain.
Pomonde joins another recent innovation from the Dutch firm, the low calorie potato, Sunlite which is sold in Spain by the Catalan firm Torribas under the brand Pat Diet. The varieties used for this low calorie tuber are Carrera and Ambra.
Sunlite’s success is spreading through Europe and is already being marketed through the Romagnoli company in Italy under an agreement signed at the latest edition of Fruit Logistica. Cyprus and Holland have also started to market this potato.
With regard to the sale of seeds, this year has seen a slight 5% drop across Europe. The difficulties in obtaining bank finance in some countries, particularly in Eastern Europe is one of the reasons for this small downturn. However, in Spain sales are basically the same as last season, around 29,000 tons.