After the (over)indulgence of the Christmas holidays, Fredrik Pettersson from Dole Fresh Cuts Sweden/Finland shared that it is a very good market for salad mixes and fresh cuts, with the consumer push to become extra healthy in the new year. There is always a bit of a dip in demand during October and November, but other than that, the products continue to see strong growth.
"We can definitely see that people are turning to fresh-cuts. We have a very high loyalty rate with our customers and once they try our products, they continue to keep coming back for more. What once used to be a market for consumers in the big city or something to buy for the weekend, has now become a daily product for pretty much everyone." said Fredrik.
There are still a few noticeable differences between the Swedish and Finnish markets. The current trend in Sweden is baby leaves with all different combinations, including leaves such as rucola, baby spinach, mâche, chards, along with other mixes which you could describe as 'lighter' mixes. There is also a big push for organic products.
Finland, often considered a more traditional market, is more into iceberg and romaine based mixes.
Dole Fresh Cuts sources their lettuce locally during the summer time, in Sweden as well as from Denmark and northern Germany. Most of the head lettuce during the winter season comes from Spain, with baby leaves being sourced from Italy.
"The most popular mixes are the traditional "French" mix as we call it with frisé, radicchio, mâche and rucola, but the different kinds of baby-leaf mixes are also really popular. The common thing for popular mixes up here is that is HAS to be different colours. We cannot launch a mix with only green leaves no matter how good it tastes." shared Fredrik.
New and original kale mixes are also very popular at the moment, and in response, the company has launched two new mixes under the Crunchy Greens line. The Chevre Balsamico mix includes cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts, romaine, kale, leeks, balsamic dressing and goat cheese and the Sunflower Seeds Wild Garlic mix contains cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts, romaine, kale, leeks, wild garlic dressing and sunflower seeds.
"The organic trend from the last few years is really clear to us and we are constantly looking for more organic raw material to be able to launch new products in that segment." concluded Fredrick.