With summer now here salad sales are starting to rise as consumers turn to leafy salad when the sun starts to shine.

Martin Purdy, Florette UK

Prepared salad is fresh, ready to eat and naturally healthy for you, meeting consumer demand for healthier food.

Martin Purdy Commercial and Marketing Director at Florette UK, talks to Grocery Trader about the opportunities the fresh produce category holds for retailers and the brands significant on pack partnerships for 2022.

How big is the salads category?

The leafy prepared salads market (that’s salad sold in bags and bowls which is ready to eat) worth over £600m annually1 and continues to see big sales uplift during the summer season, despite annualising against covid trends. It has been encouraging that more shoppers are purchasing our category year on year too with half a million more shoppers than in 20212.

This growth is likely to continue through summer (the primary period for the category). The heartland of the category making up over 20% of Leafy Salad bagged sales is ‘Strong mixes’ which is seeing good growth thanks to the robust performance of Florette Crispy – the Nation’s favourite salad product and number 1 in the Leafy Salads Market, worth £15.6m3.

How is Florette performing?

Florette is the No.1 brand in the UK’s leafy prepared salads market selling 36 million packs annually4. It is a beacon brand within produce and trusted by our large base of shoppers. Just over 6 million shoppers buy Florette each year, who turn to us for their key occasions (as a side salad, to make the base for their salad meal or to add a bit of texture to their sandwiches).

What trends are driving the market?

As we step into summer, sales of salad rise exponentially with the demand for lighter eating with a fresh accompaniment like Florette becoming a staple – making it the ideal time for retailers to include bagged salads as part of a meal solution or cross category meal deal.

With the resurgence of healthy eating, demand for fresh ready-to-eat options will only increase with Leafy Prepared Salad offering a quick lunch or side of plate option. The rise of the mid-week BBQ is also showing no sign of going away as our lifestyles have adapted to working from home more often.

Though COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, healthy eating is still high on the agenda with a third of shoppers stating they are looking to eat more fruit and veg5. There has been a move from calorie control to positively managing health in an active way, with consumers opting for a more varied and natural diet. When it comes to BBQ occasions, this balanced approach to a healthy diet continues, with consumers turning to fresh produce to add more colour, texture and freshness to their plate.

Why are you launching Florette Superfood at this time?

Health is a key consideration for shoppers and has been for some time, with COVID-19 resulting in a heightened consumer awareness of health and immunity. Superfood brings a point of difference to the sector with the inclusion of ‘Immune Support’ messaging on front of pack, calling out the specific health benefits consumers are looking for.

Superfood presents retailers with a profit-boosting opportunity to expand their fresh produce offering in store and capitalise on shoppers looking for specific health benefits over the summer.

What health benefits does Florette Superfood have?

Superfood perfectly balances vegetables and leaves selected for their full flavour and nutritional benefits; with each portion being naturally high in folate, vitamins A and K, and a good source of vitamin C.

How else is the brand being supported this year?

We have launched a major on-pack partnership with the world’s biggest animated franchise to coincide with this summer’s much-anticipated film release ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’.

Minions has become a global phenomenon, so it is a privilege to have these mischievous, iconic characters embellish our packs. Our on-pack promotion is running on over 13 million packs of Florette Mixed, Classic Crispy, Baby Leaf Trio and Sweet & Crunchy, giving shoppers the chance of winning one of 20,000 Minions plush toys.

It’s a really exciting partnership which presents a great opportunity to connect consumers with the Florette brand whilst bringing some fun and energy to the fresh produce category.

How is Florette Rainbow Crunchy?

Rainbow Crunchy is performing incredibly well. It is now worth almost £0.9m in the first year since launch6 and is gathering momentum with new shoppers and more new listings for 2022.

We continue to run specific marketing campaigns to support Rainbow Crunchy, and in doing so further promote our ongoing partnership with NHS Charities Together. Last month (June) we engaged tens of thousands of shoppers at the BBC Good Food Show in a project to create a ‘thumbs up to the NHS’ rainbow mural which has since been donated to a local hospital for permanent display.

We’re delighted to be continuing to support NHS Charities Together, further raising the profile of the charity by extending our on-pack partnership for another year, which pledges a 2p donation for every pack of Florette Rainbow Crunchy sold, raising thousands of pounds for the charity.

These on pack activations form part of a £1m investment in the Florette brand this year that will include ATL, shopper marketing, PR, social media and recipes to inspire shoppers.

What merchandising advice do you have for retailers?

By stocking a beacon brand like Florette, which is already purchased by one in five UK households, retailers can make a statement about their commitment to supporting shoppers to make healthier choices through fresh and nutritious produce stocked in their stores.

With 6 million households already buying Florette each year7, retailers can be confident that shoppers looking for ready to eat salad will recognise the brand for its quality and health credentials when seeking summer meal solutions.

Our extensive range of pre-packed, pre-washed products includes the UK’s best-selling leafy prepared salad, Florette Crispy, Florette Mixed salad, and The Grocer New Products award winner, Florette Rainbow Crunchy. This core range together is worth £30m6 making it a must stock for retailers!



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