Rijk Zwaan opens retail center showcasing fresh produce technologies

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Rijk Zwaan opens retail center showcasing fresh produce technologies

Dutch vegetable breeder Rijk Zwaan has opened a new Berlin-based retail center designed to inspire and inform international partners by showcasing latest technologies in the fresh produce space. 

Eye-tracking glasses that can monitor what attracts consumers’ attention as they shop are among the state-of-the art innovations at the center.

The idea is for Rijk Zwaan to use its wealth of knowledge and experience with food retailers' fresh produce departments to assess key success and failure factors when launching a new product, as well as what impacts consumer acceptance. 

The center will also help identify the right priorities for the company’s own breeding programmes.

“For retailers, the fresh category is a great way to set themselves apart,” says business development manager Jörg Werner.

“Thanks to our retail center we now have the possibility to give them better, customized recommendations and to jointly prepare product introductions.

“At the same time, it will help Rijk Zwaan to develop varieties and concepts that respond to market wishes. Together, we can use this retail centre to boost sales and to contribute to higher vegetable consumption."

During yesterday’s official opening, Rijk Zwaan presented an extensive product range in multiple on-shelf product displays including the eye-tracking glasses, a technology Werner describes as a newcomer for fresh produce.

“Tools like these are already used regularly in other product categories, but they are relatively new in fresh produce,” he adds.

“Combined with on-the-spot in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, we now have everything we need to study and analyze consumer buying behaviour.

“Furthermore, the location offers Rijk Zwaan employees and partners endless possibilities to organize all kinds of training sessions and inspirational events.”

In its brief on the center, Rijk Zwaan says while the space is compact it offers "endless possibilities", with visitors able to submit their own research questions.

The company offers tailor-made programmes for visitors, including some of the following options:

  • Test shopping; Cameras or eye-tracking glasses monitor consumers’ movements as they shop.
  • Sensory research; Sensory experience and expectations related to buying behaviour
  • Love My Salad events; Inspirational sessions with consumers or bloggers related to vegetable consumption.
  • Shelf-life tests; Research into in-store spoilage in various realistic store situations under variable conditions.
  • Shelf design; Research into the ideal product layout and on-shelf presentation.
  • Creating category growth; esearch into the ideal assortment of products based on Rijk Zwaan’s specialist knowledge of key categories such as lettuce, melon, tomato, cucumber and pepper.
  • In-depth interviews; One-on-one conversations with consumers to discover their preferences.
  • Focus groups; Discussions with groups of approx. eight consumers, e.g. to test concepts.
  • Retail staff training; Transferring knowledge to fresh produce employees.


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