Developing the market position
HZPC’s sector Crisps serves the global crisp market and works closely with manufacturers and seed potato buyers, collaborating to create added value within the chain. Last year, the trend towards diversification in tastes and types gained real momentum. Consumer preferences became more apparent, and increasingly are a determining factor for both product development and HZPC’s variety selections. With growers, we closely monitor the performance of our varieties.
HZPC’s turnover within the Crisps sector has grown again strongly this year, and as a result the entire HZPC seed potato production for crisp varieties was sold this season. This is a notable success, since the low European ware potato prices depressed demand for seed potatoes. The good result is partly thanks to the Taurus and Crisps4all varieties in the HZPC portfolio. Their high quality, robustness and reliability are widely recognised and appreciated. Through these varieties we can further expand our market position.
Taurus has proven itself a strong grower within HZPC’s Crisps sector. It is a ‘farmer’s variety’: growers appreciate its robust nature and easy growing. While for potato processors the variety has the ideal characteristics for crisp production. HZPC has invested in ensuring that both growers and manufacturers have become very familiar with this productive variety, for which as a result we now have customers in more than 30 countries. In 2014 we introduced the new variety, Heraclea. This variety has a good storability, low sugar content and delivers a good yield. Our aim when introducing varieties to also provide specific agricultural and agronomic information and support is bearing fruit. For Heraclea’s second season, for example, we organised growers meetings in France and the UK. In these countries, together with our clients, we closely measure and record performance in terms of growth and quality preservation during storage. Last year we also achieved good results with the free variety Hermes. In the Middle East and Africa this proved to be an excellent variety to build up HZPC’s market position in Crisps. With our breeders, based on market knowledge, we are working on developing complementary additional varieties for our portfolio. A high dry matter and low sugar content are important here, as well as good resistance to diseases, good flesh texture, consistency of properties and a good yield.
The crisps market in Europe and North America are stable, but in the growing economies the market is booming. We work with both international companies and crisp manufacturers who produce for the local market. Our matrix approach within HZPC combines sector- and variety-specific knowledge with good product support from our local employees. This is also bearing fruit within what is for HZPC the relatively young Crisps sector. This is more than apparent, for example, in the UK, which has the world’s highest per capita crisp consumption: by combining local market and customer knowledge with sector- and variety -specific information, we have been able to achieve a very good market expansion with Taurus, in both volume and our customer portfolio.
Gert Jan Feddes, Sector Manager Crisps
“Supermarkets connect the Retail Fresh and Crisps sectors. Crisps shelves have diversified in recent years. The consumer trends that are reflected on the shelves include the desire for and appreciation of product authenticity. Something we see, for example, in ranges where ‘artisan preparation’ and ‘hand-cooked’ play a prominent role in product propositions and where the origin - grower and growing area - of potatoes are explicitly stated. The conscious consumer who focuses on health and responsible nutrition is also influential, as can be seen from products with less salt, less fat and only natural flavouring and colouring.”