Flavor stories in fresh produce

Svetlana Tokunova and Nico van Vliet from De Ruiter presenting their new Flavor Stories at the Global Tomato Congress

Svetlana Tokunova and Nico van Vliet from De Ruiter presenting their new Flavor Stories at the Global Tomato Congress

Diciembre 19, 2022
Historically, food innovations came from technology and breeding efforts. All new products were pushed into the market, hoping to succeed, and brands were built around one product, or even one specific variety.

This has started to change with the increased availability of different varieties and products on the market. Insight, Strategy & Design agency in Food: Fresh Insight believes that food brands and innovations should be designed around consumer insights and trends to bring value and purpose at the consumer level.

This has started to change with the increased availability of different varieties and products on the market. Insight, Strategy & Design agency in Food: Fresh Insight believes that food brands and innovations should be designed around consumer insights and trends to bring value and purpose at the consumer level.

The company has activities in category vision development, go-to-market strategies, concept development, consumer co-creation, and flavor storytelling, a topic further explored in this article.

Elena Ozeritskaya, the Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Insight:
 
"As an industry, we leave so many qualities and characteristics untapped of the fresh produce that we market! Looking at fresh tomatoes currently, retail segmentation is done based on usage, which can be cooking, salads, or snacks."

"However, within these segments, there are a lot of opportunities currently not explored, such as looking for additional segmentation, in particular in flavor."

"Tomatoes are described with limited flavor language as sweet, juicy, acidic… not much more, and that is just a pity, as we do believe every tomato has its own flavor story to tell!."
 
Preparation for flavor testing by a team of vinologists

Preparation for flavor testing by a team of vinologists

Elena Ozeritskaya:
 
"We worked with Bayer Vegetable Seeds De Ruiter Team on flavor storytelling with vinologists, an expert panel, and consumers to create new, exciting descriptive flavor profiles for tomatoes to describe and differentiate their snacking tomatoes into a different value and user segments in the market. The De Ruiter Flavor Storytelling is already creating diversification and demand at the consumer level."
Next to tomatoes, flavor storytelling can be interesting for more fresh produce categories such as potatoes, salads, and mushrooms, to name a few.
 
Fresh Insight concept development with consumers and chefs

Fresh Insight concept development with consumers and chefs

Elena Ozeritskaya:
 
"I believe there is so much potential in the fresh produce market, currently untapped. There are so many more ways to introduce and market fresh produce other than size and color ."

"At the moment, the flavor is virtually undiscussed. Better segmentation, creating valuable concepts from consumer insights and trends, and a better understanding at the consumer level will eventually grow sales of the entire category. Storytelling works, other categories like chocolate, coffee, and wines have been successfully building on this for years."
Elena's research and experience show that flavor is a more powerful communication tool to reach the consumer than varieties. By working with a mix of consumers and experts, in a process called co-creation, to discover not only consumer flavor experiences but also new ways to give voice to these flavor experiences and new market opportunities.