Natuurlijk showroom puts exotic fruit in the Rotterdam spotlight
As the name suggests, Discovered is an importer-exporter that encourages consumers from the Netherlands and all over Europe to explore some of the tastiest and freshest exotic produce the world has to offer.
But the Dutch group has not just settled for bringing containers in and shipping them out on trucks. In conjunction with leading snack tomato brand Tommies, two years ago it launched the showroom store concept 'Natuurlijk' in the Rotterdam Market.
As part of the Amsterdam Produce Show and Conference, www.freshfruitportal.com had the opportunity to visit the colorful and attractive outlet during the event's retail tour, where a rainbow of products were on display from countries including Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia and more.
Store manager Tim Zegwaard said one of Natuurlijk's objectives is to educate consumers about where the exotic fruits come from, as well as their nutritional benefits. To complement this element, the group also has easy-to-prepare recipes on its social media platforms.
Zegwaard said while the initial strategy was to make a diversity of products visible in small quantities, the group has now realized the best way to sell is to highlight some products in beautiful stands to grab attention.
"People come up a lot, the colors and the shapes catch their attention, and they always want to try. That's why we always encourage them to do so with tastings, and they are left very surprised.
"Also, in supermarkets it's not often that you can see mangosteens or kiwanos, so here they can try less common fruits."
Zegwaard said 70% of the public was made up of tourists from Europe and around the world, while 30% were local consumers.
"We have a lot of customers who come from Germany and other parts of the world, so we speak a lot in English and German."
During the tour, Zegwaard also offered a delicious soup using six different varieties of Tommies tomatoes, grown just 20km (12mi) away on 15 hectares of organic farmland.