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Stories - 01-02-2024

“Salatrio lettuce is perfect for Japanese consumers”

The SARA farm was the first to introduce Rijk Zwaan’s Salatrio – a bouquet of three different lettuce types – in Japan, according to COO Taizo Sano. “When I first saw this ‘living’ lettuce in 2016, I knew it would be perfect for Japanese consumers. And I was proved right. They like Salatrio’s taste, texture, appearance and long shelf life,” he says. SARA is now ready for the next evolution and will keep on moving ‘freshly forward’, in line with the Rijk Zwaan theme at Fruit Logistica in Berlin.

Pioneer in many aspects

SARA, located in Kasaoka Bay, is a pioneer in many aspects. The 18.3-hectare state-of-the-art greenhouse, where peppers, tomatoes and lettuce are grown, includes a biomass power plant for renewable energy. By growing healthy vegetables and using advanced technology, the company wants to change the future of food. “We aim to provide fresh, healthy and delicious vegetables that can be eaten with peace of mind throughout the year,” comments Taizo, summarising SARA’s philosophy.

Taizo Sano, COO SARA

Still a growing market

Salatrio fits seamlessly into this philosophy thanks to its special characteristics, he adds: “The combination of taste, texture, appearance and long shelf life makes Salatrio unique. We first started growing this lettuce in 2019. Within the space of two years, many retailers and consumers had discovered the benefits compared with traditional whole-head and fresh-cut lettuces. Nowadays, we’re selling Salatrio to supermarket chains all over Japan, and the market is still growing.”

Warehouse SARA

Meeting customers’ needs

SARA has chosen to combine three Salanova® types to create a single one-cut-ready lettuce. The standard mix features a green oak, a green crispy and a red oak lettuce, because thecolours and textures resonate perfectly together. However, the company is continuously differentiating to meet customers’ needs.

Taizo: “We also offer a smaller-size Salatrio ‘junior’, because the regular Salatrio is sometimes too big for Japan’s single-person households. And we’ve introduced a romaine combination including an American type of crunchy lettuce that is popular with both retail and foodservice customers.”


Next evolution in the ‘fresh future’

As is to be expected from a pioneer, at SARA they are already looking for the next evolution. “We want to innovate our packaging, such as using paper or a semi-closed film pack. And we’re aiming to develop new variety combinations such as an Asian mix, an American mix and an Italian mix,” he states.

Taizo explains that he values Rijk Zwaan’s support in facing the ‘fresh future’. “Rijk Zwaan is very innovative and the most experienced lettuce breeding company. They support us by constantly introducing new lettuce varieties, by offering technical assistance with hydroponic growing conditions, and by enabling us to use their global network,” he concludes.

‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’ – this is the theme Rijk Zwaan has chosen for tackling today’s challenges, together with its partners. We will be presenting robust and resilient solutions as well as inspiring innovations at Fruit Logistica 2024 (Hall 1.2, D-13). You are also welcome to visit the Rijk Zwaan Retail Center in Berlin – the company’s very own experience and research facility. Additionally, don’t miss our Hydroponics Demo in the Netherlands (29 Jan - 9 Feb) and the Winter Open Field Demo in Murcia, Spain (12 - 16 Feb). Salatrio® will be on display in all three locations (Berlin, the Netherlands and Spain) so come and see this unique lettuce for yourself!

Join Rijk Zwaan in moving Freshly Forward!

For questions please contact
Bauke van Lenteren
For questions please contact
Bauke van Lenteren
Marketing Specialist Convenience and Leaf