Interview with grower Família Iaronka
‘Brazilian retailer is eager for the new purple cauliflower, Lavender RZ’
Even though the Brazilian grower Família Iaronka anticipated a positive response to Lavender RZ, the launch surpassed all expectations. The innovative purple cauliflower was immediately embraced by one of their retail customers. Uriel Iaronka, Production Manager, explains that the retailer was seeking something new after difficult times during the pandemic. Lavender RZ, which is part of Rijk Zwaan’s Colourful Life theme, gives consumers the opportunity to prepare meals that combine different colours and nutrients.
As the name suggests, Família Iaronka is a family-run cultivation business in Brazil. It was founded by four brothers of Polish descent in Rio Grande do Sul in 1989. The company grows vegetables on a total of 800 hectares in two different regions, each at a different altitude. Iaronka: “That allows us to get the best out of each microclimate and deliver high-quality Brassicas to big Brazilian retailers all year round. Broccoli is our flagship crop, but we also produce cauliflowers, cabbages, lettuces and pumpkins. Our portfolio also includes fresh-cut and packaged items. As a company of excellence in the food industry, we’re always looking for innovations.”
Bring customers back to the stores
The family first set eyes on the innovative purple cauliflower Lavender RZ in 2020. “The product is very attractive. Based on the product trials in our fields, we were confident we had a powerful product in our hands. And we discovered that retailers are very open to joining us on this colourful launch journey. They were eager for something new to bring consumers back to the stores after such a challenging period during the pandemic. Initial sales were good and on average we achieved a 30% higher price than for white cauliflower. We also discovered that Lavender RZ responds excellently to storage and has a longer shelf life than white cauliflower. For all these reasons, we are increasing the size of our ‘colourful cauliflower’ area next season,” Iaronka says.
Combining different colours and nutrients
Although broccoli is the most important product for Família Iaronka, the company’s extensive line of differentiated products adds a lot of value to the brand by contributing to on-shelf presentation and attractiveness. The Production Manager explains why the purple colour is such a plus: “The purple colouring of Lavender RZ can actually help us to sell more broccoli too. Consumers react positively to the broad availability of products on the shelf because it enables them to prepare meals that combine different colours and nutrients.”
Great potential for the years ahead
The Brazilian grower is very interested in market trends and opportunities like this, which is why the partnership with Rijk Zwaan is so important. “We have a long and trusting partnership together,” Iaronka comments. “It is more than commercial support. We are also partners in the development of new products, in identifying and selecting new business opportunities, and in establishing new connections within the value chain aligned with our values and goals. We’re always keen to be updated about new products, market trends and opportunities. We believe that colourful vegetables like these are very interesting and we feel that retailers are receptive. They perceive an increase in consumer interest in fresh products with nutritional appeal. We believe that new colours have great potential to be explored in the years ahead, especially by also showing the healthy benefits to consumers.”
About Rijk Zwaan’s Colourful Life Theme
To stimulate retailers, traders and other chain partners all over the world to add more colour in the fresh produce category, Rijk Zwaan will showcase its colourful palette of bright, healthy and inspiring vegetables at a series of international events, including our Hydroponic Demo in Fijnaart (Weeks 5 and 6), studio meetings live from our Retail Center in Berlin (Week 6), our Open-field Demo in Spain (Week 7) and Fruit Logistica 5-7 April in Berlin (Week 14). Do we see you in Berlin?