04 Oct 2018

Why consumers worldwide are eating ever-more snack vegetables

The snack vegetable trend is here to stay in retail. Consumers all over the world are increasingly opting for tasty and healthy snack-sized tomatoes and cucumbers. What is driving this trend, and how is the Dutch vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan responding to consumers’ needs?

Back to basics

Households are becoming smaller, we are working (and earning) more and we are also placing growing importance on health and convenience – and these developments are mirrored on every continent, according to Heleen van Rijn, Marketing Specialist at Rijk Zwaan. “Market research firm Nielsen has valued the annual global snack market at US$ 374 billion, and spending is rising by 2% each year. There is a very wide snack offering, but people are increasingly going back to basics: natural and healthy. So that makes fresh fruit and vegetables the perfect snacks.”

Year-round availability

Rijk Zwaan is responding to this trend, explains Johan Vis, Marketing Specialist Tomatoes: “Snack vegetables are a relatively new trend so the general picture is similar across the globe, namely a one-bite format, tasty, crunchy, sweet and with a good shelf life. Every retailer worldwide wants to be able to offer snack vegetables all year round. That’s why our breeders are focused on developing flavoursome varieties with good resistances that customers in all of the world's production regions can grow using medium-tech and high-tech methods – efficiently, residue-free and increasingly organic too. We're continuously innovating and improving our product range by adding new colours, shapes and flavours. We expect to see continued growth in the snack segment.”

Sparring partner

In view of this, it is not surprising that snack vegetables are a key theme on the company’s stand at Asia Fruit Logistica in early September. Rijk Zwaan will be presenting its red, orange and yellow snack tomatoes, an orange pear-shaped snack tomato, snack bell peppers in various colours and the One-bite cucumber which measures just 5 to 6 centimetres long, plus packaging ideas for all these products. Heleen van Rijn: “When it comes to marketing, we enjoy being a sparring partner for our partners throughout the fresh chain. We share the results of our taste tests and consumer research with them, and can play a role in category management, positioning, promotion and packaging. Together with them, we can further develop the market for healthy snacks, and that fits well with our motto of ‘Sharing a healthy future’.”

Interested? Visit Rijk Zwaan at Fruit Attraction (Stand 9A02A) in Madrid from 23-25 October 2018.