Living Salad range expands to continental Europe

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Living Salad range expands to continental Europe

A pioneering business that supplies supermarkets with punnets of baby salad leaves that can be freshly harvested in the home is in the running to win a prestigious innovation award at this week's Fruit Logistica. Living Sald-017 - panorama

U.K.-based Home Harvest’s latest product, oriental mixed living salad, is part of the Living Salad range; trays of growing baby salad leaves ready to be freshly picked as and when the consumer wants to eat them.

Lasting up to 10 days on a windowsill with a little watering, the baby leaves retain nutritional value and are a totally fresh alternative to processed pre-packed salads.

The shortlisted nomination comes just after the Yorkshire-based company struck its first European export deal to supply its original brand of baby salad leaves – including rocket, oak, watercress, curly red and green lettuce - to supermarket chain Jumbo in the Netherlands.

After many years of supplying most of the major supermarkets in the U.K., such as Asda, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Booths and Lidl, the English growers struck their first overseas deal in December.

Business owner, Anna Johnson, said 2014 had got off to a great start thanks to the new Dutch partnership and the trade fair's Innovation Award nomination.

We are extremely proud to have been shortlisted for the awards in Europe and will have a representative over in Germany. To think that my husband and I initially started this business more than 10 years ago with literally nothing; we had no land, no greenhouse space, absolute zero and now, after a lot of hard work, we are among 10 finalists for such a prestigious award, it's a phenomenal achievement," she said.

The trend for fresh salad leaves over bagged has been growing year on year in the U.K. with consumers demanding a fresher, healthier and organic salad product.

Home Harvest tapped into this market in 2005 when the first batch of punnets hit the shelves in 250 Sainsbury's stores around Great Britain. Since then the business has boomed and escaped any detrimental affects of the U.K. recession and the Euro crisis.

"There is a growing trend amongst consumers to want fresh salad leaves and nothing processed. It has been the case for a while that consumers want to eat as fresh as possible and we were lucky enough to get involved right about the time this was peaking.

"Fortunately we have gone from strength to strength, increasing growing greenhouse space and supplying to most big retailers at a time of recession. This hasn’t seemed to affect the demand for our fresh produce."

"I put forward the oriental salad mix for the award because the criteria was for something that has been brought to market within the last 12 months. I put together our application and talked about the entire concept of our business. The oriental mix is much spicier than our other varieties and offers something completely different. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what happens."

Our coverage of Fruit Logistica Innovation Award nominees is based on a random selection of half the candidates and in no way indicates the potential winner.



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