TRADE AND MARKET I NG Albert Heijn wants to offer customers more inspiration with new potato display units I n October last year, together with the two suppliers Leo de Kock from Purmerend and Nedato from Oud-Beijerland, Albert Heijn started a project to get fresh table potatoes back into the kitchens of Dutch consumers more often. ‘Together we looked at what the customer eats. What are the opportunities and possibilities in the potato market? Potatoes are still being served for most of the week. We see a trend whereby, during cooking, besides tasty and healthy, consumers are also finding speed and convenience increasingly important. The consumer wants to vary, but often doesn’t know how. That’s why we examined how we should position the potato in order to help the customer better on this point’, explains Michelle Belt as the Category Manager at Albert Heijn, and commercially responsible for the potatoes, at the unveiling of the display unit at an Albert Heijn supermarket in Rotterdam. ‘Our goal is to have the potato rediscovered again by the consumer’, she says enthusiastically. Exchange of knowledge basic for success The suppliers, both of whom have been supplying Albert Heijn or its forerunners for fifty years, were present at the festive unveiling. Heero Gramsma, Director of the Nedato potato growers cooperative, says that he is extremely proud of what has been achieved after a very intensive process. He indicates that the expertise of the growers affiliated with Nedato is very important. ‘The grower must carry out the cultivation on his land in a responsible way. In doing so, he should not only comply with the statutory regulations, but also with the requirements of the buyer over and above the statutory minimum. The Looking at the display, in addition to the extensive range of packaging, the centrally-placed boxes with loose potatoes immediately stand out. exchange of knowledge between the growers is the basis of our success. By delivering the right quality and varieties needed for the changing consumer, this new display makes a very good start. The initiative also offers opportunities for our growers, because 85% of the potatoes come from Dutch soil. Our growers organisation can take care of this. It gives our growers a positive stimulus again in a market in which the consumption of table potatoes has decreased in recent years’, says Gramsma. Phytophthora resistance is the future In his speech, Jan van Hoogen, Director of the Agrico group, of ‘Our goal is to have the potato rediscovered again by the consumer’, Michelle Belt, Category Manager at Albert Heijn explains. 6 Potato World 2018 • number 2 Pagina 5

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