Grow and differentiate through innovation and communication
We have structured growth in our Retail Fresh sector into three different types of markets:
- 80 percent of the marketing of seed potatoes for Retail Fresh takes place in 12 of the 41 countries, of which the top 5 are traditional potato countries: Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK. Mature markets where development occurs on the one hand through, for example, an exclusive range of coloured Perupas and baby potatoes in small, slightly more expensive packaging; and on the other through larger, more economical packaging with retail varieties. In these 12, mostly European countries, gradually fewer potatoes are eaten per capita and the potato is under pressure from world cuisine alternatives such as pasta and rice. Here our focus is on stabilising our market.
- Outside Western Europe, we see growth. The Central European Retail Fresh market is growing by 10 percent a year, thanks to the rise of supermarket chains.
- Emerging markets such as China and India will probably only be ready for Retail Fresh about a decade from now. Currently, servicing supermarkets is primarily a logistics operation with prepacked traditional varieties.
New varieties have to tap into new market segments and should not cannibalise existing varieties within their segments. Last year saw a challenging market, but we managed to achieve additional growth with new varieties. For example in Germany, Italy and Spain with Colomba; in Poland with Gioconda and Orlena; in Slovakia with Sunita; and across the whole of Europe with Noblesse. Good indicators that we have here planted the seed for future growth.
Product and concept introductions can occur with both the packager and the supermarket chain. In Finland, we have introduced several initiatives with our partners. Another example is our collaboration with the Portuguese supermarket chain, Sonae Continente.