In a series of articles, www.freshfruitportal.com takes a closer look at the nominations battling it out for the prestigious Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) 2016. First off is the home-grown cherry tomato plant from Danish year-round vegetable supplier Northern Greens.
Keen to get a foothold in the increasing trend of grow-your-own fruits and vegetables, Northern Greens director Jorgen Nielsen says developing the Kitchen Minis Tomato is a great way to tap into a growing penchant for home harvesting.
"We have been working on the Kitchen Minis concept for quite some time, working with the Danish grower who has developed this very special plant that people can put on their windowsills in their kitchens or somewhere else in the home," he says.
"Kitchen Minis Tomato gives people the possibility to watch tomatoes grow inside their home and pick their own completely freshly-harvested tomatoes all of the time."
With the right care and treatment, the plant can yield up to 150 tomatoes over the course of around six months.
Initial sales in the Scandinavian market have proved promising, however Nielsen says the timing of the nomination couldn't be better as Northern Greens is ramping up promotions of the plant around Europe.
"We are very pleased to have been nominated for the innovation award and are looking to exhibit at Fruit Logistica.
"Until now, availability has been limited to Denmark, but it one way or another availability is unlimited and it can be rolled out to many markets and will be available around Europe in early 2016.
"All the feedback we have had so far has been excellent and people seem to be very excited by our plant."
Taste and flavor right at your fingertips
So far the Kitchen Minis Tomato is appealing to all types of consumers from single people living in urban apartments with little outdoor space, to families looking to educate their children on home-grown produce. Standing at approximately 35cm high, it's an easy fit in all types of spaces and doubles up as a unique home decoration.
"Treat this plant in the right way and it will give you back a high quantity of really beautifully tasting, sweet and flavorful cherry tomatoes.
"Normally when you buy the plant there will be at least 15 to 20 tomatoes ready to eat and it will continue to grow and new tomatoes can be harvested as you go along.
"In around 2008 to 2010 it was very popular in Scandinavia to have a new TV and a big car, now it’s popular to grow your own plants at home because people want to feel a sense of responsibility."