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[interview] Bonduelle makes seven promises on World Food Day

Hanenberg (photo) has been working as a marketer at Bonduelle for three years. She has enjoyed working in the FMCG industry for over 20 years for well-known brands such as Mona, Optimel, M & M’s, Snickers and Whiskas. ‘At these multinationals I have gained extensive experience in marketing and sales in both retail and OOH / food service. I also discovered that my strength and passion lies in the marketing profession. I think it is wonderful to set up a communication campaign or to bring innovations to the market based on new insights and to see how these are successful in the market. A good recent example is Bonduelle Vegetable Rice in fresh frozen, where we successfully respond to the low carbtrend in combination with the need for convenience. ‘

How did Bonduelle survive the pandemic, what are the effects on your brand?
The Covid risk has certainly had an effect on the Bonduelle brand. The whole of the Netherlands and Belgium started hoarding en masse in March and filled their pantries and freezers, also with Bonduelle products. This was driven by a number of clear needs such as the certainty of having enough nutritious food at home, going to the supermarket less often, and finally food safety. Bonduelle’s directly processed and long-life vegetables and legumes were a favorite solution here. The great thing is that many consumers have rediscovered how tasty and easy canned and frozen vegetables are. This is also reflected in the increased sales we have seen in both categories to date. We also know how important it is to inspire consumers with tasty dishes. Bonduelle, for example, was successful in the lock-down with the campaign “Everyone at home, everything at home” (see window below, ed.). In which four vloggers at home show via webcam what they can make with the surprising vegetables and legumes from Bonduelle. ‘

OK. Do you notice the transition to online consumption?
‘Hell yes. When it comes to making online purchases in the supermarket, we see that this is increasing year on year. COVID has definitely accelerated this. Because canned and frozen vegetables are typically purchased during the so-called “big shopping”, you can see that the online share is relatively high. The great thing is that Bonduelle is very strongly represented in young 1 and 2 person households and families, which means that the online share is above average in the category. Also when it comes to reaching the consumer, we see that online is becoming an increasingly important part of our media plan. Especially when it comes to inspiring our target group with delicious and accessible recipes. This is to entice consumers to consume sufficient vegetables and legumes every day and to increase the intake throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. This is an important part of our mission. ‘

Can you give a tip of your future plans for 2021?
‘Our mission is to create a better future with plant-based nutrition. And that is necessary, because our health and that of the planet are deteriorating. We have made our mission concrete with seven promises in the field of sustainable agriculture and sustainable food. We summarize this in “Bonduelle promises. Vegetable, of course our future! “. Bonduelle promises to meet concrete targets underlying the promises by 2025. To demonstrate our commitment to nature, we aim to be B-Corp certified by 2025. A company complies with the B Corp certification if, in addition to profit and shareholders, it also takes people, the environment and society as its starting point. ‘

What exactly do you promise?
Among other things, we promise the following:
– Bonduelle promises vegetables always fresh from the open ground season; many people do not realize that our vegetables come fresh from the field and from the season, while people think it is important.
– Bonduelle does not promise unnecessary additions; we do not use preservatives. Did you know that canning and freezing are natural preservation methods that eliminate the need for preservatives? Bonduelle has reduced the salt step by step in recent years. Now there is only a small amount of salt in it to guarantee the best taste. And almost all products contain only naturally present sugars. This means that no less than 98% of our products meet the Nutriscore A label (preferred choice). We will be introducing this label on all our packaging this year to help consumers make a healthy choice. In 2021, we will also add maize without added salt to our product range.
– Bonduelle promises sustainable packaging. Tin is the most recycled of all packaging materials in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is endlessly recyclable, which means that you can endlessly make a new can without loss of quality. ‘

Any other brand news about Bonduelle that you’d like to share?
‘Yes. It is nice to mention that, in response to our first promise – vegetables always fresh from the season from open ground – we recently launched a campaign on Bonduelle fresh frozen with the slogan “Always fresh from the season”. There is still a lot of ignorance among consumers about how fresh vegetables from the freezer are. With this campaign we make consumers aware that our vegetables are harvested at the point of ideal ripeness and the short time that our vegetables are processed. In this way we retain the nutrients as much as possible and fresh frozen is just as fresh as fresh! So you eat nice and healthy. ‘

text: Peter van Woensel Kooy

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