The United States, a country that differs from the Netherlands in terms of culture, people, and even the world of vegetables and fruits. And since we are naturally curious, we wanted to know more about it because there’s always something to learn. It’s high time for a visit! Are you coming along?
You don’t have to get on a plane yourself. Our marketing manager, Jeroen Groenewegen, has just returned from his trip to the West Coast and has brought a whole suitcase full of discoveries. We’re excited to share them. Are you prepared? Let’s continue reading!
It’s still early morning when Jeroen decides to visit some American supermarkets. “One of my first stops was at Trader Joe’s. In retrospect, this was one of the supermarket chains that stood out the most for me. Why? Let me tell you now! Upon entering, I naturally started at the fruit and vegetable department. What immediately caught my eye was the presentation of the products. It was clear that they paid a lot of attention to this. The freshness, colours, and quality were evident in the exotic fruits. Everything was perfectly displayed on the shelves. This immediately caught my attention, as well as that of the consumers around me. It was remarkable to see. When I got closer to the shelves, I noticed something else. Almost every product had informative cards with tips and tricks. It is super handy, making it easier for consumers to decide how to use certain products. Information like this is often lacking in the Netherlands, even though consumers need information, especially when it comes to exotic vegetables and fruits. These are often products that are still new to the customer. How can you use them? What is the preparation method? And what can you combine them with? These are all questions that can play in the consumer’s mind. The cards lower the barrier to try exotic vegetables and fruits. A fun fact is that they use handwritten cards here, which makes it much more personal. In my opinion, this supermarket chain handles that very well.”
During Jeroen’s trip to America, he visited about twenty other supermarkets. “In all the supermarkets I visited, the fruit and vegetable sections were in perfect condition. There was a huge range of packaged and unpackaged products. Employees were busy making sure their shelves were in top shape at the fresh produce sections. I was quite impressed by this. Sometimes, it almost felt like an exhibition. It was truly an experience! I was also surprised by the crowds, even on weekdays. Everywhere I looked, I saw people, it was astonishing! What further became clear to me is that all supermarkets prioritize one thing: convenience. You could see this, for example, in the wide range of pre-packaged and processed fruits. In the Netherlands, this assortment is often smaller. With sustainability in mind, this could be reduced somewhat in America, in my opinion. On the other hand, it is a good approach to put the consumer first. Providing convenience in a sustainable way is what we should aim for!”
Jeroen was not only in America to scour supermarket after supermarket. He also visited the Fresh Summit trade fair. “It was great to speak to various people from the fruit and vegetable sector and to hear and see certain matters from different perspectives and expertise. I found out that Europe and America are fairly aligned when it comes to sustainability. We face similar challenges and try to balance sustainability and affordability. However, plastic is still widely utilized in various locations across America. In the Netherlands, efforts are being made to reduce this greatly. So, the countries seem to differ in this aspect. However, in terms of mindset, the focus is the same: putting people and the environment first! Furthermore, at the fair, I gained a lot of inspiration regarding trends and other developments. What concepts and packaging are currently trending? And how are they being used? What products are hip here? These were the questions answered during my visit to the fair. The stands were also very inspiring! You could see that a lot of time and effort had been put into them. I will take that inspiration home with me in my suitcase!”
Last but not least, our favourite trend is mega-popular in America! “I saw plant-based meals everywhere. I found that very cool to see. Together, we can truly make a difference. And with our brand Discovered, we show how easy and delicious a more plant-based diet can be. We want to show you that exotic vegetables and fruits can easily take centre stage in any meal! If you want to surprise your surroundings tonight, I recommend checking out our completely revamped website www.discovered.nl te bekijken. Enjoy your meal!”