Story of grower Wiig Gartneri and retailer Coop
Colourful ‘Sommermiks’ brightens up the day for Norwegian consumers
Last summer, the Norwegian grocery retailer Coop sold more than a million ‘Sommermiks’ packs. These successful mixes included colourful snack tomatoes from Rijk Zwaan’s Snack Tomato Medley, grown by Wiig Gartneri. Both the supermarket chain and the grower are convinced that a mix of colours attracts consumers and adds something extra to the category. Rijk Zwaan’s Snack Tomato Medley is part of the Colourful Life palette.
Tasty and healthy vegetables
Wiig Gartneri is a family business based in Orren and one of the largest nurseries in Norway. It produces high-quality tomatoes and cucumbers, among other things. Frode Ringsevjen, Production Manager, explains: “Our goal is to produce tasty, healthy vegetables with a minimum negative footprint for the Norwegian people. We produce and deliver year-round to Coop.” With over 1,200 stores, Coop is Norway’s second largest grocery retailer. “We are always striving for new ways to further improve the experience for shoppers,” states Christine Frostmann, Category Manager Vegetables at Coop Norway.
Appealing to all customers
One of those new ways was the ‘Sommermiks’. The line included colourful snack tomatoes sold in a mix, as well as mixes of snack cucumbers, snack carrots and snack peppers. “The concept was a success and we sold more than one million packs in the summer of 2021. Tomatoes were the bestseller. The product appealed to all customers across the price segment,” continues Frostmann. Although this new segment is still small in the fairly traditional Norwegian market, Ringsevjen firmly believes in colourful snacks: “Humans are attracted by colours. A salad looks a lot better with a medley range. Or you can just mix the colourful snack tomatoes with onions and a spicy sauce. It makes cooking much easier.”
Growing all snack tomatoes in one compartment
By providing a complete Snack Tomato Medley of red-brown, yellow, orange, pink and green tomatoes, Rijk Zwaan made it much simpler for Wiig Gartneri to grow the snack tomatoes for the ‘Sommermiks’. “The introduction of the green Gourami RZ made the mix of colours complete. All these Rijk Zwaan varieties have roughly the same shape and size. The plants also behave in a similar way, which makes it possible to grow them all in one compartment. That’s important for us,” Ringsevjen explains.
He values the close collaboration with the vegetable breeding company: “Rijk Zwaan has been supplying important tomato, cucumber and pepper varieties to the Norwegian market for decades – all with an outstanding flavour and quality. We believe we can win over consumers – and especially young people – with these tasty and high-quality products.”
Adding something extra to the category
Frostmann is cautiously optimistic about the future of more colour mixes on the shelves: “Norwegians are quite traditional when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables. Moreover, the depth and breadth of the assortment is limited in the small Norwegian stores; there is only room for the bestsellers in the category. But a mix of colours can add something extra to the category. That makes it interesting.”
About Rijk Zwaan’s Colourful Life palette
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 at Fruit Logistica from 5 to 7 April in Berlin. Come and talk to us, either in person or online via live studio meetings! Do we see you in Berlin?