Supplying Quality Green Beans
01 January 2017
As Autumn looms, the purchase of green vegetables starts to rise as consumers turn their thoughts once again to roast dinners, comforting stews and hot food. The supermarkets are full of green beans and there is a challenge to ensure supply meets demand when it comes to quality.
So what does quality look like when it comes to green beans?
At Innovative Fresh we regularly monitor green beans in our lab. Consumers are looking for green beans that are firm, and crispy with a lovely fresh green colour to them. We mainly assess beans on their appearance, analysing their colour and making sure this is right is a key part of our investigations.
Our experience is that consumers prefer fresh and firm beans. The largest number of complaints come from people who have bought green beans that are not firm enough. In Holland most beans are sold loose, resulting in dehydration if they are kept for too long. Another problem with loose product is that some stores will top up the boxes instead of replacing the stock. This means that there is a mixture of fresh and older beans in the same box, resulting in differentiating quality.
We visit stores on a weekly basis to assess the beans based on their appearance on shelf. We check for limpness, discolouration, brown spots, mould and broken or damaged beans. Many buyers prefer pods with little or no bulge, so we also check the shape of beans in stores.
How can you ensure that your green beans are the best? Our advice would be to:
- Improve shelf management. Make sure your product is not topped up when stocks are low. When the product is no longer firm, take the product off the shelf and replace it.
- The perfect green bean should ‘snap’ when broken, so this is a good way to test for freshness.
- Carefully handle and quick cool the beans after harvesting. This helps to significantly increase the shelf life of green beans, due to its delicate tissue structure. Beans damage easily and should not be handled roughly, be picked when damp, or packed together tightly.
- Regulate shipping temperatures. This is a vital part of the supply chain, to minimise damage as the beans travel.
- Ensure uniformity of size. This is an important factor when it comes to packaging, so getting the harvest time just right is essential.
We can help you analyse your shelf stock to see how your product performs compared to your competitors. We are also asking retailers and suppliers to consider whether it is better to sell packed beans instead of loose beans?
This is such an important category that many people ask for our help. Let us help you sell the perfect green beans by carrying out analysis on your product at a consumer level. We can offer simple, practical solutions to help you to be the best in fresh.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.