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Arming Ourselves Against Unhealthy Snacks with Seedless Snack Peppers

The snack segment has been gaining increasing popularity in recent years. Life is moving faster, and consumers are busier, emphasizing the importance of convenience. To compete with chocolate bars or chips in this fast-paced environment, the vegetable and fruit sector is constantly exploring products that can divert consumers from unhealthy snacks. Den Berk Délice believes it has a competitive product with its seedless snack peppers, recently awarded the Best Product of the Year in the Vegetables and Fruits category. This accolade follows Den Berk Délice's win two years ago with Yoom Délice, solidifying the company's commitment to providing innovative and award-winning products in the market.

Seedless snack paprika colour mix

"You need to be equipped with appealing products, and I believe we have certainly succeeded with the snack pepper," says Loes Van der Velden of Den Berk Délice. It all began for the company from the Flemish Kempen region a few years ago. "Initially, we specialized in tomatoes, which still constitute the core of our business. However, we have always been on the lookout for innovations that can add value to the vegetable section," Loes explains. "In 2020, a seedless pepper was introduced to the market, ideally grown among tomatoes to prevent cross-pollination of pepper seeds. That's when we decided to embrace this innovation."


"We conducted various tests, and it quickly became evident that it was a big success among customers and test panels," she continues. "In terms of convenience and taste, we saw a very interesting product for the snack segment, an area where we focus extensively. This led us to expand its cultivation more and more in the following years. We have been effectively cultivating it for the retail market for about two years now, and last year, we were able to double our cultivation area. It is becoming an increasingly significant product within our range."



Brix value

Best product of the year 2023-2024

While searching for innovations, taste remains the priority for Den Berk Délice. "Good taste is crucial because, otherwise, no matter how attractive the story is, it won't sell. However, with this snack pepper, we observed a Brix value that we had never encountered even in tomatoes. This is the main reason why we want to focus on this product. The sweet and juicy snack pepper fits perfectly into our size range. Coupled with the absence of seeds, it becomes the ideal snack vegetable, aiming to make healthy eating more appealing to consumers."



The company sees the snack segment as a rapidly growing part of the market in recent years, according to Loes. "One of our goals is to encourage consumers to eat healthier, whether it's during meals or as snacks at other times of the day. With our snack tomato and the Miss Perfect Délice, we have already witnessed exponential growth in demand in recent years. Across the entire range of cold and hot preparations, we observe a growing segment, and we believe we can expand this with other products, such as the seedless snack pepper."


Gems

"To defend yourself against competition from unhealthy snacks, you need a wide variety of appealing products. That's why we are constantly focused on innovation—not necessarily for awards, but for refreshing our tomato and pepper assortments. We test at least 200 different varieties every year, and while not every test yields something new, every once in a while, we discover a gem. This approach allows us to respond to a constantly evolving market by finding products that can add significant value."


Miss Perfect Délice lady

Virus pressure

Challenges have indeed been abundant in tomato cultivation, making risk diversification a necessity in these times. "Like many others, we have faced issues with virus pressure. It has emphasized the importance of resistance for us nowadays. Fortunately, we now have a resistant Miss Perfect Délice tomato. It is one of the products where we focus the most and strongly believe in. With this resistant variety, we can now continue cultivation in a normal manner, providing retailers with the assurance of year-round supply. It's reassuring that peace and continuity have returned in this aspect. Additionally, with the seedless snack pepper, we have added another dimension to our snack assortment, allowing us to look confidently towards the future," concludes Loes.

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