Often there is a big gap between our desire to eat more healthily by adding plant-based food to our diet and our actual eating habits. At Bonduelle, we want plant-based food to become the main ingredient of a meal, we want to innovate, to give meaning and above all taste, while respecting everyone’s eating and cultural habits. The cornerstones of our strategy are innovation and customer satisfaction. And our employees around the world have shown that they can listen and be creative when it comes to suggesting new recipes.
“We are convinced that our products should inspire people to cook and eat vegetables daily, in every possible shape or form. And that they should be a source of pleasure, taste, health and vitality, day after day.”
Ilonka Audenaerde, Sales and Marketing Director, Bonduelle Benelux
Inspiring chefs to use plant-based food more often
Planning a meal around vegetables rather than considering them as a side dish is not always easy! It can be tricky to extend the range of flavours by suggesting different vegetables that also provide nutritional value… Which is why we asked ourselves how we could make vegetables the main ingredient of a meal again, and get everyone to eat more healthily .
In Europe, our teams suggest 100% plant-based alternatives to both consumers and professionals. As part of this endeavour, Bonduelle Food Service launched its B’Creative Collection drops!
What are these drops? They are neither pasta nor rice! This unique ingredient is made exclusively from plants, vegetables and pulses and comes in various colours, shapes and textures, combining convenience with accessibility. Whether you use them in a salad, a side dish, risotto or even a dessert, drops are a great solution for sparking creativity in the kitchen. What’s more, they are gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. In France, the range recently won the Grand Prix Sirha Innovation Award 2019 . The product is currently being launched in Poland, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Légumiô, Bonduelle’s 100% unique, 100% vegetarian pasta, marks a real breakthrough. Consumers are increasingly looking for different ways to eat vegetables, and products like these offer a convenient solution. Available in supermarkets.
Helping chefs make the transition to vegetables
Plant-based food is at the heart of eating guidelines around the world. Instead of just being a trend, plant-based foods are thus becoming a priority for chefs, who continually need to expand and update their knowledge and find creative ways to use these foods. This is why Bonduelle Food Service came up with the idea of Greenologie .
This service, which is exclusively available in France, is tailored to chefs:
- it presents new plant-based food trends;
- assists chefs in developing tasty menus that are adapted to their clientele;
- offers nutritional advice, to help develop a balanced, innovative and creative cuisine.
An online, custom service!
Inspiring and making vegetables a source of joy for consumers
Légumiz, which Bonduelle launched in September 2018 in France and Germany, offers online users the latest tips on vegetables every day. The aim is to inspire them, using the amazing creativity of vegetables, with very little content linked to Bonduelle. The idea is to attract and engage with target audiences that have less affinity with the brand. And this webzine has already proved a huge success on social media!
The ambition now is to roll out Légumiz in Europe, in all the countries where the Bonduelle brand is present.
Suggest more alternatives to meat
The flexitarian trend shows that consumers are interested in eating less meat. The VeggissiMmm! range was launched in France to cater to these neo-eaters, featuring affordable, tasty vegetarian recipes. In Italy, the range offers organic veggie burgers.
These recipes cater to two different types of flexitarians:
- Those who like meat but who want more plant-based options,
- And those who are aware of the plant-based options on the market, but are looking to add more variety and flavour to their diet.
While the products sold in retail and catering have different forms, target audiences and uses, the underlying desire to promote plant-based food is the same!
Expanding our organic range
We support a varied agriculture, in which organic agriculture obviously has a place. To cater to the growing demand from consumers, Bonduelle is developing its Organic ranges.
In North America, for example, we are the no. 1 for organic vegetables in Quebec . In the same vein, Bonduelle has extended its range of canned organic vegetables in the French, Dutch, German and Swedish markets. We also play a role in the development of the organic lettuce sector in France, with a 45% market share (lamb’s lettuce, young shoots, iceberg…). Frozen foods are following the same trend in France and Italy.
Around the world, people eat different foods depending on their lifestyle and the time of day. Research has shown* that we spend less time preparing meals. That is why we launched several innovations this year to meet consumers’ needs, so they can easily add some plant-based foods to their meals.
In Europe, the ‘ Touche de ’ range adds a modern twist to canned foods. These small tins enable consumers to add ‘a touch of’ corn, chickpeas, quinoa or even edamame to their meals, while also helping to reduce food waste.
In frozen foods, we have adopted a different approach, launching ready-to-use products that can easily be incorporated in your recipes. In Canada, vegetables are now served with pre-dinner drinks, under the Arctic Gardens brand name. The Canadian brand recently launched a new range of dips . Most dips are still prepared with hummus or cream. We came up with a healthy, practical alternative, that can be stored in your freezer!
In Russia, meanwhile, Bonduelle has launched a healthy, fresh sandwich spread in the form of aubergine caviar, which can be found in the frozen foods section in supermarkets.
Variety and pleasure above all
Consumers want to eat more vegetables, but without compromising on taste and creativity. Eating healthily on a daily basis also means eating varied and exciting food. And that is exactly what the innovation team in the United States is focussing on, with new original and appetizing products to discover alongside classics like Caesar salad.
We have decided to anticipate on these trends, with our brand leader Ready Pac Foods , launching the Sweet & Spicy Korean Chopped salad kit, which comes with a Gochujang vinaigrette. Gochujang is a savoury, sweet and fermented red chili paste.
Sweet and sour is a Korean culinary tradition that dates from the early 17th century, but which is just finding its way to restaurant tables and supermarket shelves in the United States.
According to Jeff Haines, Executive Chef at Bonduelle Fresh Americas, culinary trends and flavours, such as Gochujang, are consistent with a pattern: “I call this the anatomy of a trend,” Jeff explains. “The chefs of the best restaurants are constantly innovating. They are always on the lookout for new flavours that are inspired by culinary traditions from around the world. They launch new trends. And over time, their work influences other sectors in the food market.”
Another trend in the North American market is bowl food. Poke bowls, Buddha bowls, sushi bowls… These bowls are a riot of colour and flavour. Are they difficult to make? Not at all, thanks to ready-to-use ranges, ready-to-eat salads and some limited editions.
By 2050, we’ll have 9 billion mouths to feed. The demographic explosion is therefore already pushing us to adopt a diet that benefits both us and the planet on which we live. This is a global issue, awareness is growing and food habits are progressively changing.
As an international group, our ambition is to create a better future through plant-based foods. Our aim is to provide plant-based foods from sustainable and organic agriculture, as well as vegetables without pesticide residues. We also launched our first range of ‘pesticide-free’ products (bagged lettuce and canned corn) on the French market in early 2019.
Our ambition is not set in stone. We believe in exploring many different options and continually pushing back the boundaries. As we did recently for example, with the direct distribution of plant-based foods to consumers, in our ‘L’émotion végétale’ shop in Lyon , in France.