“We are very excited about this season with our Kalettes® production only two weeks away from harvest. We have been growing and developing this crop in collaboration with Tozer Seeds for three years and have been immensely encouraged by consumer interest and uplift of the product under its previous name: Flower Sprout®”, explains Nigel Clare, Commercial Director at Lincolnshire grower Staples Vegetables, who adds that changing the name to Kalettes® “is more characteristic of the product and will help consumers to identify the product in-store which I am sure will help sales”.
Kalettes®, a natural hybrid between Brussels sprouts and kale, emerged in 2011 as the result of the work of independent British seed house Tozer Seeds. First sold exclusively in M&S, the product soon appeared in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The success of these campaigns led to its introduction in the US, Australia and continental Europe.
In the UK, Kalettes® are grown by Drysdale, Kettle Produce and Staples Vegetables in the areas traditionally dedicated to Brassicas: Lincolnshire, South West and South East Scotland and Aberdeenshire. All these producers agree with their positive forecasts for this new season that is about to start within weeks. “Last year we ran a trial in a major supermarket, with relatively small volumes and store numbers. Our expectation is that we will sell the same volume in a week that we sold in the six-week trial last year”, explains Lynn Jackson, Commercial Manager at Scottish grower Drysdale.
Alan Wallace, the National Account Manager at Kettle Produce, is also very positive and says they “are hoping to increase last season’s sales between 30% and 50% this year”.
With new retailers such as Lidl, Morrison’s and Tesco all offering Kalettes® in their stores this season for the first time pressure is on for growers to meet demands. “We are also developing new packaging that will give a clear point of difference in-store to explain to the consumer the key attributes of the product. We believe that building a customer base and differentiating the product in-store will see this as our best year ever with Kalettes® sales”, tells Clare.
New packaging, point-of-sale promotions, events, PR and social media are some of the marketing activities planned to increase awareness of this British vegetable. A product which, according to Tozer Seeds, owes its success to the fact that “it was created to meet the demands of the modern domestic kitchen, being primarily directed at young families who don’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen but also care about their diet – a new vegetable with numerous culinary possibilities, versatile and easy to cook that also looks great”, explains Rogers.
The first packs of Kalettes® will reach British supermarkets in a matter of weeks and the season will continue until March.
Find more information at: www.kalettes.com