TRADE AND MARKET I NG Albert Heijn wants to offer customers more inspiration with new potato display units In order to help consumers find their way around the shelves, the products have cards with information about the various potatoes and their cooking possibilities. which the small-packaging company Leo de Cock is a subsidiary, stressed the importance of new varieties. ‘Our varieties on the shelf are Gourmandine, Cerisa, Ditta and Diamant from Cyprus. In addition, I’m particularly proud that our organic product line has been expanded. New in the organic line are the 3 kilogram packaging with red-skinned, organic, firm potatoes. We have a lot to offer in the important organic market segment in which we’re the market leader. For example, we recently presented our next generation of potatoes at the Berlin Fruit Logistica trade fair. These are Phytophthora-resistant varieties such as the white-skinned Carolus with the red eyes and the red-skinned Alouette. Both varieties are fully resistant to Phytophthora. When we talk about sustainable cultivation, Phytophthora resistance is the future. Together with De Kock, we’re constantly thinking about new varieties on the shelves’, says Van Hoogen. Anne Willem Maris is one of the organic growers for Agrico. At the organic potato section Maris tells us that he’ll increase his area of organic potatoes next year, in close consultation with his customers. Well-organised display The new potato display unit has been set up in all of over nine hundred Albert Heijn supermarkets. What instantly stands out is that the mini containers, which were often half empty, are gone. Instead, the potatoes are now on the shelves. ‘The advantage is that there are fewer potatoes on the display, which will increase the turnover rate’, Belt explains. This does, however, place higher demands on the logistics process and professionalism of the fruit and vegetable manager. ‘The time had come to adjust the display. The latest change dates back to 2012’ she says, beside the new unit. ‘We naturally want to increase the potato turnover, because it’s our aim to inspire the customer. In addition to the new display, we have published a theme edition of our magazine, Allerhande, on the potato this month. All this to help the customers, who are increasingly doing their shopping on a daily basis, to easily find answers to the question, ”What shall we eat today?” and to present them with a tasty potato that’s perfect for a specific dish.’ Looking at the For example, it’s prominent on the front of the bags that potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B6. display, in addition to the extensive range of packaging, the centrally-placed boxes with loose potatoes immediately stand out. ‘We noticed that consumers like to be able to pick one or two potatoes and use them in a dish. This will also reduce consumer waste,’ Belt explains the choice for the new product line. Broadly, Albert Heijn has divided its range into four groups. On the left, the traditional table potatoes are divided into (slightly) floury and firm varieties. Next to these, a large section with organically-grown potatoes to better anticipate this growing market segment. New on the shelves are the special dish potatoes. Depending on the season, the customer can, for example, find potatoes for potato-vegetable mash pot, French fries, roasting, steaming, and an oven dish. There’s also extra focus on the origin of the product and specials. ‘With varieties such as Bildtstar and Friese Borger, we have fine authentic varieties that we offer alongside our Mediterranean range from Cyprus, Malta and Italy, which will be alternated later on with the early areas from the Netherlands. There are wonderful stories to tell such as about the manually-harvested potatoes from the red volcanic soils. It’s also good to continue to follow up these stories in our Allerhande magazine over the coming years’, is Belt’s conviction. What’s also immediately noticeable is that all the produce is packed in transparent packaging, so that the potatoes are clearly visible. To prevent green discolouration, the packaging is made of UV-resistant foil. Furthermore, the choice in small packaging has increased. To emphasise convenience, there’s now a steam bag with potatoes, with which the consumer can quickly and easily prepare a portion of potatoes for two in the microwave. In order to help consumers find their way around the shelves, the products have cards with information about the various potatoes and their cooking possibilities. In addition to the new set-up, the new packaging also offers a source of information. For example, it’s prominent on the front of the bags that potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B6. ‘A nice addition that helps to support the health claim of the potato’, according to Belt. ● Jaap Delleman Potato World 2018 • number 2 7 Pagina 6

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