Being owned by a farming co-operative, it’s no surprise to hear Florette’s products are grown by a network of knowledgeable farmers with a deep rooted passion for fresh produce.

This commitment to delivering quality and freshness continues across the business, and is something the Florette brand is keen to share with shoppers. Martin Purdy Commercial and Marketing Director at Florette UK, tells Grocery Trader about the brand’s investment of over £1m in a summer TV marketing campaign.

Can you tell us a brief history of the brand?

Originating in France, the Florette brand has been sold in the UK for over 30 years. The brand pioneered the UK’s Leafy Prepared Salads market when it arrived in the late 1980s, delivering delicious, convenient and ready to eat fresh salad to the time pressured consumer. This was very different to the options of the era and offered a significant evolution in how the UK consumer ate salad at home. Production moved to the UK and has been based at our purpose-built site in Lichfield since 1999.

How big is the fresh produce category and how big a player is Florette?

The produce category is the 3rd biggest macro category in FMCG (just behind Alcohol and Dairy), contributing £11.8bn annually. Leafy Salads is a £596m category (and makes up 11% of total vegetable sales)1 Florette is the branded leader within Leafy Prepared Salads. We are 11 times bigger than our nearest competitor, selling over 30m packs annually, and bought by over 5 million shoppers in the UK.1

The Florette brand is owned by our parent company Agrial, a farmer-owned cooperative based in France with over 12,000 international farmer members generating €6Bn of turnover every year. As part of the biggest fresh produce producer in Europe, we are able to stay relevant and meet the ever-changing needs of the modern-day consumer.

This scale also enables us to offer reassurance to our customers with dependable high-quality produce and consistent supply.

How sustainable is Florette?

As a farmer owned business, we’re as passionate about protecting the environment and nurturing the land as we are about growing salad. From setting aside land for wildflowering to managing our hedgerows in a wildlife friendly manner, encouraging natural habitats and biodiversity, we have a structured 5 year plan to ensure our environmental impact remains a priority right across the business.

Not only has Florette been certified by LEAF Marque (a leading global assurance scheme recognising more sustainably farmed products), but our ongoing commitment to protect the environment and promote sustainable farming methods was recently rewarded with a gold sustainability rating from Eco Vadis– a similar accreditation to receiving B Corp status.

At Florette, we’re proud to ‘walk the walk’ and live our sustainable brand values daily. Shoppers are seeking out brands with genuine passion and authentic credentials in their field. We will continue to engage and educate consumers on our sustainability journey to bring more shoppers into Florette and the fresh produce category.

How is Florette working to tackle food waste?

We’re delighted to be recognised by FareShare as one of the charity’s Leading Food Partners of the last year. The partnership sees tonnes of surplus food redistributed to the charity’s network, helping to tackle food waste while providing nutritious, healthy foods to families at risk of hunger.

Giving good-to-eat surplus food to charitable organisations, to get it onto the plates of people in need, is one of many initiatives run by Florette to tackle food waste. In 2022 we repurposed 93% of our waste with unsuitable produce going to feed livestock or being reintroduced into the soil as a natural fertiliser across Florette’s network of local farms.

What marketing support is planned for the brand?

We have invested over £1m in a summer TV marketing campaign that will reach almost 9m shoppers. The new advert inspires consumers to transform their mealtimes from the mundane into something tastier and more vibrant, making their dish ‘UnFloretteable’. Alongside the TV advert, we’re really excited to be sponsoring the Food Network, associating Florette with some of the biggest chefs and food writers in the UK.

We know cost saving is on the mind of most people this year. Research shows fresh foods and days out are sometimes amongst the first to be cut as shoppers reign in their spending. So, what better time for Florette to give shoppers a ‘taste of adventure’. We’re joining forces with Go Ape to offer discounted entry on over 7 million promotional packs this summer! The partnership will make it easier for shoppers to enjoy family adventures on a budget while also nudging them to keep fresh, nutritious foods on the plate.

Now more than ever, it is key to offer shoppers value for money and disrupt the category with a little excitement.

How can retailers grow fresh produce sales?

As the weather gets warmer, lighter eating with a fresh, healthy accompaniment becomes a staple for consumers. With a long-established reputation for fresh and convenient bagged salads, Florette is well positioned to meet shopper demand for light and fresh alfresco dining options.

With over a third of consumers (39%) planning to eat out less frequently2, the BBQ occasion is set to become a big opportunity for retailers this summer too, thanks to the rising trend of eating and entertaining more at home. Already selling 30 million packs annually3, Florette is poised to help retailers provide shoppers with a fresh and tasty solution this summer.

By stocking a beacon brand like Florette, which is already bought by one in five UK households4, retailers can make a statement about their commitment to encouraging a healthy lifestyle with a strong fresh produce presence into their stores.

 

 

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