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Current German ready-to-eat fruit market is ripe for extension of the assortment

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-02-19  Views: 3
Core Tip: For more than 10 years, vitasafe, based in Hof/Saale, has been delivering pre-cut fruit in appealing to-go packaging.
For more than 10 years, vitasafe, based in Hof/Saale, has been delivering pre-cut fruit in appealing to-go packaging. Due to the acceptance of the basic article by the customer as well as the steady growth of the convenience business, it was possible to introduce more articles into the assortment. Among others, the diverse assortment includes cored pineapple, a fruit and melon mix, sliced ​​coconut and much more. And with regard to the ever-changing shopping behavior of German consumers, there is still very much to gain for the innovative producers in Upper Franconia, says vitasafe.

Varied standard range
Since its founding in 2007, vitasafe has been steadily developing. Today it employs around 50 people. From the beginning, the basic idea was that almost everyone would consume significantly more healthy fruits, if the troublesome steps of peeling and cutting would be eliminated. The far-reaching ideas of their own team were supported by very experienced partners from the fruit industry and well-known institutes within the food industry. The result of both this teamwork and many, many tests was an assortment of 12 different ready-to-eat fruit combinations, packaged in an attractive, two-compartment bowl with fork. They are being sold under imaginative names.

Despite the great enthusiasm from the retail chains, the customer was not as inclined to buy. "We just went too far in our euphoria", the company says in retrospect. In recognition of this, the wheel was turned back to a product that almost everyone knows (in canned form), namely the "pineapple cylinder". Since then, vitasafe processes this pineapple cylinder fresh and without added preservatives, after which it is packaged and sealed hermetically in the cup. It has a minimum shelf life of 7 days at the POS. "This item was accepted by the customer immediately. It is easy to handle and can be opened and closed many times," says the company's management.

Development of the convenience share
After a difficult initial phase, the company gradually expanded its production, parallel to the development of the German convenience sector. Nonetheless, the concept as such and its market share are still in their infancy, compared to other Western European markets. "From our point of view, we continue to see the convenience sector as meaningful, because we believe that by simply achieving the right  presentation of the fruit, we will see a significant increase in consumption. That's why we see significant growth potential for the to-go concept."

The company's management sees a promising future for German convenience providers. "We consider the current German market for our ready-to-eat fruit to be ripe for a more extended range. This means several articles are on the way, but we do not want to announce what they will be at this point. A desire for healthy nutrition and of course organic production plays an essential role. At the same time we still see the trade, i.e. supermarket and discount stores, as our main partner. In recent years, 'fresh concepts' have been developed there, extending from the producer to the supermarket shelf, which are able to keep the high quality of the products constant over many days, in line with product safety for the customer. "

Brand new production facility
Due to the steadily growing demand for to-go items, a completely new production hall is currently being built in Selbitz. According to the planning, the new building should start operating in May 2019. This production facility is designed according to the latest and most modern hygiene guidelines. "This will enable us to once again make a quantum leap in terms of product quality. At the same time, we will expand the product range even further."

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