“We can proudly say that we have more demand than supply”

Although it was initially created to supply its supermarkets with its own production of perfectly ripe vegetables all year round in Almería and Granada, the Saborum project, from Ametller, has managed to increase the number of repeat purchases among its customers. of products such as specialty tomatoes. The project, which has worked successfully in specialist stores, is being replicated in large supermarkets of other chains, which are increasingly demanding. The project started with 800,000 kilos, and now the total volume amounts to between 18 and 20 million kilos per year.

“Saborum was born to meet the needs of the consumer: our end customer. This is not easy due to the huge diversity of commodities in the market, which cannibalize each other and compete fiercely in terms of volumes and prices,” says Pere Meya, Director and Founder of the Saborum project. Tomatoes are a perfect example; a product whose reputation was called into question when it began to be produced in large quantities for mass distribution. Today, tomatoes make up around 80% of this project, although they also produce other vegetables, such as courgettes, aubergines, peppers and cucumbers, which they supply to Ametller Origen stores.

“Based on our experience with Ametller Origen, which currently has more than 130 points of sale, we saw that we could differentiate ourselves from the competition with tomato specialties. In Spain, they are generally ribbed, like the RAF; very tasty, but with a thicker skin. We are looking for tasty specialties to reach more consumers and enable the expansion of exports. Our first success was a plump, tasty and appetizing pink tomato called TIP TOP, which has attributes that will definitely make consumers buy it again,” says Father Meya.

“To achieve this, we have started working with several seed companies to find varieties that arouse emotions in the end customer. We already have 4 varieties of our own, some of which are exclusively available nationally and the demand for which is constantly growing. We currently have more than 100 varieties in development, from cherries of different shapes and colors to traditional varieties, such as hanging tomato or beef heart, as well as new concepts. »

According to the director of Saborum, the success of the project is not possible without working side by side with the producers and having an enthusiastic team. “I am proud to have a team of people who have a lot of enthusiasm and who believe in the project. This makes us stronger. We work hand in hand with the producers, with continuous monitoring. Our tomatoes grown with good practices and good management of irrigation are a delight.We aim to provide the best quality, and this can only be achieved when the whole chain is committed to satisfying the end consumer and, at the same time, generating good margins and help regain prestige in the tomato category.

“Always picking up at the optimum point and making logistics faster. This working model has been a success in specialty stores, but we’ve managed to make it work in mass retail as well. The fact is that by doing it right , you can do something very complex on a larger scale,” explains Pere Meya. “Right now, we can proudly say that we have more demand than supply. In addition to selling 45% of our production in our Ametller Origen stores, the rest goes to other national chains and other European countries.

“The production areas are located in very specific points of Catalonia, Murcia, Almeria and Granada, which offer the best climatic conditions for year-round production. In addition, after testing other geographical areas during the months In summer, we have also started working in Portugal. Its Atlantic climate makes it a veritable tomato paradise in the summer. We expect to grow there by 30% in volume this year, both for sale in the local supply chains and for our supply in Europe.

Saborum has thus achieved year-round supply with stable quality parameters. “We sell these tomatoes under the TIP TOP brand, and we want this brand to become a leader in the tomato category. We want to have a whole range of premium tomato specialties grouped under a single brand for sale in Spain and the rest of Europe. .”

Pere Meya, director of Saborum, stressed that it is very important for consumers to repeat their purchases, but it is also necessary that the price of the product is reasonable. “As professional retailers, we need to optimize costs to be able to reach all customers with the best possible product at an affordable price.”

Finally, Pere Meya told us that he also wanted to open a line for the Horeca chain to supply top quality tomatoes to restaurants and that they were very happy to participate for the first time in Fruit Attraction and to have the chance to present their tomatoes on the stand. .

For more information:
Father Meya
Saborum Origen SL
[email protected]

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