LIVIE Aims to be the ‘Intel Inside’ of blueberries

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LIVIE Aims to be the ‘Intel Inside’ of blueberries

By Sekoya

The Sekoya network of blueberry growers is launching an exclusive new consumer brand that will be unlike any other. Rather than offering retailers an entirely new pack, the LIVIE logo will be added to the packaging of already-established brands and supermarket own labels for Sekoya blueberry varieties that meet its high quality standards. In this way, the LIVIE brand will be like what the ‘Intel Inside’ logo is to computers.

There are currently 14 leading blueberry growers under the Sekoya B2B platform. This network has developed four high-quality varieties with great shelf life that consumers love for their taste, firmness and large size. Two varieties are high chill while the other two are low or zero chill, allowing Sekoya blueberries to be grown in more than 30 countries around the world.

All of the Sekoya members are required to grow its varieties in multiple regions, giving each of them a 52-week supply to supply to customers around the world, including the United States and Canada, Europe and China. This means that supermarkets can buy Sekoya blueberries from any of the 14 suppliers and have the fruit on their shelves year-round.

In addition to having developed excellent blueberry varieties, Sekoya has also created several quality parameters with which the fruit must comply in order to be marketed with the LIVIE brand. These ensure that only the Sekoya blueberries with the best taste, size and firmness will receive the quality stamp, guaranteeing customers a delightful eating experience.

“We know the market is looking for consistent quality, and that means firmness, taste and size,” said Hans Liekens​, Sekoya’s Value Chain & Retail Manager. “We will oversee the quality parameters in the value chain to ensure a consistent quality, so not all Sekoya fruit will become LIVIE, as is the case with Cripps Pink and Pink Lady.”

With the parameters now finalized, Sekoya plans to run an unbranded test from October to December 2022 in partnership with European and U.S. retailers. It will then start the branded testing phase in January 2023, ahead of a commercial launch later that year. Supermarkets who are interested in collaborating with Sekoya on the test are invited to get in contact.

The LIVIE brand was launched in October, first at Fruit Attraction in Spain and then at the IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show in Florida. 

“Supermarkets asked us to come up with a ‘consistent quality concept’, which already exists in Fast Moving Consumer goods and branded fruit like Chiquita, Zespri or Pink Lady,” explained Holger Brandt, General Manager of Sekoya. “The reason for this was missed sales. More than 50% of consumer experiences in blueberries today are negative and fewer than 25% of consumer experiences align with their preferences. If consumers are disappointed about the purchase, they stop buying for six to 10 weeks. This is a huge opportunity for the industry to increase sales and customer satisfaction.”

Sekoya’s network of 14 highly professional licensee grower-marketers will be able to use LIVIE as an ingredient brand in combination with their own brand, while retailers can ask for it to be included on their private labels.

“This way we secure the quality they need to create a premium category. A supermarket is still free to choose one or more of the 14 Sekoya members as a supplier, and the supermarkets will not have to create valuable space on shelves for a new brand,” said Liekens​. He added that the shelf life of the LIVIE blueberries will reduce shrinkage.

The main role of the new brand is being a quality stamp so that customers trust they are buying an excellent product and make repurchases. LIVIE stands for consistency and quality all year round to help retailers grow the blueberry category and reduce food waste.

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