“Sweet Palermo® can bring cheer to every occasion” - Ang Jia Yi, Senior Category Manager Fresh at The Food Purveyor
The absolute star of any dish… That’s how the colourful and versatile Sweet Palermo® was promoted in the consumer campaign run by Malaysian retail chain The Food Purveyor together with Rijk Zwaan and local grower Nuovoland. “This surprisingly sweet pointed pepper can be used in both traditional and modern cuisine, and for both cooking and snacking. And because it can be grown locally, it can also help our farmers secure a good income,” says Ang Jia Yi from The Food Purveyor. During Asia Fruit Logistica, Sweet Palermo will be showcased at the Rijk Zwaan booth in line with the theme ‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’.
Malaysian retailer The Food Purveyor (TFP Retail Sdn. Bhd.) currently operates five supermarket brands - Village Grocer, Ben's Independent Grocer (B.I.G.), BSC Fine Foods, Leisure Grocer, Pasaraya OTK and an e-commerce platform Bites Shop - and manages 36 stores in the regions of Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang. “Our company takes pride in curating and selecting the best-quality food products, sourced both worldwide and locally," explains Ang Jia Yi, Senior Category Manager Fresh at the retail chain.
Sweet Palermo is one of those high-quality food products selected by the retailer. To build consumer awareness about these surprisingly sweet pointed peppers, The Food Purveyor ran a campaign both online and in stores in spring 2023. Ang Jia Yi: “During the Raya and Ramadan, our Muslim customers open up their houses. Colourful dishes can bring cheer to any special occasion. We shared creative yet simple Sweet Palermo-based snack ideas online. The Rijk Zwaan recipe bank and marketing materials were very helpful.”
Besides that, customers could taste Sweet Palermo snacks for themselves in 38 stores across the four different formats. “That helped to increase the exposure and to stimulate repeat purchases for both snacking and cooking,” she continues.
In order to support a ‘fresh future’, Ang Jia Yi believes it is not only important to stimulate consumption, but also to encourage high-quality fruits and vegetables like Sweet Palermo to be produced locally in Malaysia. “The food supply shortage is an issue for us. Local production in the Cameron Highlands will enable us to offer our customers good, sustainable food with consistent quality at a reasonable price. This will also empower farmers to secure a good income. We appreciate the fact that Rijk Zwaan supports Malaysian growers by selling high-quality seeds that are suitable for the Malaysian climate and aligned with the market trends.”
One of the growers already producing Sweet Palermo in Malaysia is Nuovoland. Manager Lau Shu Yuan values the close relationship with The Food Purveyor and Rijk Zwaan. “Since Rijk Zwaan launched Sweet Palermo in this region, we have grown the red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. It has been a successful pepper type in terms of germination, pest control and yield. The secret to growing high-quality fruit is both moisture and EC control. The plant gives fruits for up to five months, which makes it a great solution for growers.”
So is the Sweet Palermo campaign helping to move the business ‘freshly forward’? “For us, it’s important to focus first and foremost on building customer recognition, because it was initially hard to sell the sweet peppers in the local market,” states Lau Shu Yuan. “The marketing approach in partnership with both seed supplier and retailer will create long-term benefits. We hope to work with Rijk Zwaan on more products in the future.”
The Food Purveyor also values the close collaboration. “Rijk Zwaan helps retailers to get a good and consistent supply of fresh produce. Moreover, the company’s ideas tailored to the local cuisine can help to further increase the consumption of Sweet Palermo in Malaysia,” concludes Ang Jia Yi.
‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’ – this is the theme Rijk Zwaan has chosen to encapsulate its roadmap for tackling today’s challenges, together with its partners. We will be presenting robust and resilient solutions as well as inspiring innovations at Asia Fruit Logistica 2023. Visit us at Booth 3L12, Hall 3 and join Rijk Zwaan in moving Freshly Forward!