Retailers in Spain and Portugal embrace innovation

Convenience, health, flavour… Snack Lettuce© has it all

Snack Lettuce© has been crowned a winner in Spain not once but twice: at Fruit Attraction 2018 and at the Salón de Gourmet 2019 food fair. This tasty innovation is precisely what young, conscious consumers are looking for – convenient, healthy and sustainable.

Chain partners

Both innovation awards are worthy recognition of the close collaboration between chain partners in Iberia. The story started back in 2016, when Rijk Zwaan first presented this new lettuce with a unique texture, distinctive flavour and ‘spoon-shape’ to its chain partners. Four producers – El Dulze, Jimbo, Fruca Marketing and Kaine – joined forces to guarantee sufficient supply. Meanwhile, the distributor Comfresh and the food company GL researched for new usages. Together, these partners along with Rijk Zwaan launched a promotional campaign including videos, product sampling, blogs, a social media campaign with the hashtag #eatthespoon and the website

Long shelf life

One of the partners involved is the Portuguese company GL, which manufactures juices, snacks, sandwiches and ready meals for food service and retail in 24 countries. GL’s motto is ‘Smart people, great food’. Catarina Geallad, Account Manager for Spain, Italy and Latin America, comments: “We have a very good relationship with the Rijk Zwaan team. We worked together with them and the growers to refine the concept. The leaves have precisely the right dimensions and a unique spoon shape, plus the long shelf life is crucial for us.”

Combining in the home with out of home

The chain partners are marketing Snack Lettuce in three ways, says Alberto Cuadrado, Chain Manager at Rijk Zwaan. ‘The first way is to retailers as a duo pack, and the second is as a product for food-service customers. Thanks to the unique shape and crispy bite, home cooks and professional chefs can use the leaves as edible spoons. They are suitable for all kinds of hot and cold fillings, such as guacamole, ceviche and cheese.’ The duo pack has already been listed by grocery chains including El Corte Inglés, Alcampo, Masymas and DIA and by wholesaler Makro.

As a wrap for on the go

The third and most recent way is for use as ‘wrap lettuce’, which particularly impressed the jury of the Salón de Gourmet innovation award, continues Cuadrado: ‘The wraps are a very interesting solution for the on-the-go market, enabling in a fresh, natural, low-carb snack. Consumers are pleasantly surprised by the crunchy leaf combined with a delicious filling.’ GL has developed Wrap Lettuce with three different fillings: tuna, chicken and beet-root hummus. Catarina Geallad: ‘They have recently been introduced in Spain through the hypermarket chains Auchan and El Corte Inglés and at DIA&go. In Portugal the healthy wraps are sold through the Petrol chain of fuel stations and the Pingo Doce and Continente retail chains. We’re looking forward to building on our partnership with Rijk Zwaan. We envisage more new opportunities for food service in the future.’


Visit the website of Snack Lettuce for more information: