Chain collaboration in Brazil

Gramado wins over consumers in São Paulo with healthy ‘veggie boxes’

Vegetable box Gramado Rijk Zwaan

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian wholesaler Gramado Group has worked together with vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan to successfully launch an online service to deliver boxes full of fresh, healthy and versatile fruit and vegetables to people’s homes in the metropolis of São Paulo. Here, Célio Azuma, CEO of Gramado Group, and Rijk Zwaan’s Tatiana Casarotti explain more about their special partnership in these challenging times.

Gramado_tomatoes

Premium vegetables

Gramado Group, which has been working together with Rijk Zwaan for many years, comprises three companies: Gramado focuses on special high-quality vegetables, Go Green is a wholesaler of organic vegetables and Inovagris is the organisation that maintains relationships with growers. Casarotti: “Gramado Group delivers premium products to its customers. Snack vegetables, vine tomatoes, Sweet Palermo®, Salanova®, aubergines – our assortment includes a range of types and varieties from Rijk Zwaan. In 2019, we established partnerships with some selected growers and have been planning the sowing together based on sales forecasts. That works very well.”

Selling direct to consumers due to COVID-19

Until early 2020, retailers, restaurants and catering services were Gramado Group’s most important customers, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it became necessary to change course, says CEO Azuma: “We decided to start selling direct to consumers. In São Paulo we launched Gramado Delivery with a range of ‘veggie boxes’ containing conventional or organic fresh fruits and/or vegetables, in different product combinations and a choice of three sizes. Consumers can order online and place either a single order or sign up for a subscription. Every week we put together an updated item list for customers together with growers in order to combine high quality with competitive prices.”

Close collaboration leads to success

The boxes are a great success. This is due to a combination of factors, according to Casarotti from Rijk Zwaan: “Today’s consumers are looking for healthy, fresh products. We have selected the best growers and Gramado maintains close contact with them regarding volumes, quality and food safety. Besides that, the local approach ensures optimal logistics. We are pleased that we have been able to help Gramado with this concept in many different ways – in developing the online ordering service, with recipes, in the contacts with growers, chefs and nutritionists, and in supporting the online promotions, such as through our Love My Salad consumer platform.”

Expanding with new boxes

Gramado Delivery and Rijk Zwaan have lots more plans to explore new opportunities, says Azuma: “We’re thinking of seasonal gift boxes for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas, and we’re also planning to introduce a Baby Meal Box containing a selection of fruit and vegetables and relevant recipes. Additionally, we’re keen to further optimise the ordering convenience, the delivery service and the assortment. COVID-19 has become a game changer for us.”

Casarotti adds: “We will continue to expand the product portfolio together, such as with green cherry tomatoes, Cabbisi™ salad cabbage, different-coloured cauliflower florets in a mixed pack and delicious smaller-sized melons.”

That’s how we share a healthy future. Discover more stories about our chain collaborations.