Convenience is an important trend in vegetables and also represents a way to increase vegetable consumption. Rijk Zwaan has an innovative portfolio of vegetable varieties which can help growers, processing companies and their customers to optimise profitability.
Vegetable processing companies are particularly interested in reducing waste, longer shelf life, easier handling and an attractive appearance. The international convenience sector regards Rijk Zwaan as an innovative and solutions-oriented partner. In lettuce, mechanical harvesting is a significant trend that is eliminating the need for factory processing.
Deciding on the right variety is a matter of collaboration. We exchange knowledge with our partners through our international network of convenience specialists.To ensure a successful end product, technical aspects are just as important as a variety’s colour, flavour and suitability for washing or long periods of storage. A high yield and labour-friendly crop are other influential factors, for example.
Innovative product range
Rijk Zwaan is the market leader in lettuce. One example of a successful convenience-related innovation is Knox™, our lettuce with delayed pinking on the cut edges. Other new products are our lettuce varieties that are better able to withstand heat and acidic dressings; they retain their crunch and colour and have been specially selected for use in sandwiches. A further popular innovation is Salanova®, a lettuce type that separates into countless small leaves with just one cut. In addition, we have developed Caribbean, a Cantaloupe melon with a substantially longer shelf life and high efficiency thanks to its smooth, thin skin and small seed cavity.
Longer shelf life means less waste
Which traits determine how long a vegetable stays fresh? And how can Rijk Zwaan improve this at genetic level? Nikos Ntagkas explains passionately all about it. As Post-harvest Researcher at Rijk Zwaan he investigates everything related to the shelf life of vegetables. His desire to contribute to a better world is Nikos’ biggest motivation. You could even call it his ‘mission’.