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Special Fruit Newsletter : Trends 2017


Elena Ozeritskaya is an energetic and cheerful lady who specialises in driving innovation (projects) through customer/consumer insight and  co-creation. She conducts research into consumer behaviour, helps define customer journeys and identify new opportunities and concepts through trend studies and co-creation workshops. She was inspired to do this by her previous jobs at Unilever and Syngenta. She has been involved into the development and marketing of Fresh Produce projects like “Kumato” (the brown tomato) and “Angello, the sweet and seedless snack  pepper”. She quickly noticed that observing consumers and doing high-quality research into their needs and behaviour resulted into powerful insights that can help drive the development of appealing products and consumer brands. This inspired her to consult other companies on a freelance basis. She gives advice on innovations that take the consumer’s point of view as starting point. Her company Fresh Insight was born.  Special Fruit approached her when launching Calinda. Based on focus groups, workshops and brainstorming sessions, we launched a successful product together with Elena. We asked her a few questions about the most important trends that we can expect in 2017.

Who are the trendsetters these days when it comes to food?

We can't deny it, Millennials have a lot of impact today and tomorrow. They are very interested in technology, adventurous food, sustainability, convenience and health. They determine the long-term trends regarding food. They look at food in a different way. They are open-minded: evening meals can easily be served as breakfast and vice versa. In other words, they are much more adventurous and flexible. Health is important, but convenience and a good balance of value and price are also significant. That's why you still find them in Burger King - simply because there isn't a healthier comparable alternative at that moment in that area. There is an enormous amount of potential here: the intention is there to eat more vegetables but the solutions are not so there’s work to be done for the industry.


If you google the 'top 10 food trends' you'll see about 100 new trends that are supposedly relevant. Which ones do you think are the most important for 2017?

You see lots of short-term trends that are a movement within a certain long-term trend. They include hypes such as putting kale in a smoothie.

Where do these trends come from? How do they get started?

Trends start due to changes and developments. More things are possible thanks to technology. These days you can even print your food. With modern technology one can look for interesting possibilities and innovations in terms of for example taste but also usage.

How can retailers capitalise on these trends?

Retailers must translate these trends for their consumers. Some retailers are doing that already in a positive manner. These days consumers are trying to replace meat and carbs, which are meant to replace rice and pasta, with vegetables. Cauliflower rice and courgette pasta are good examples in that respect trying to solve the consumers’ jobs to be done “embracing a healthier life style”.

A challenge for Retailers in future will be more and more how to attract consumers to their stores. If the experience is not fun, memorable and meaningful they will not bother to come, go somewhere else and/or buy the produce online.  Experience, innovations and education are becoming more important to consumers when visiting the supermarket.

What role do the environment and sustainability play when choosing food?

For Millennials sustainability is a lifestyle but should come at affordable prices. The sale of organic food is increasing. Millennials will be triggered even more if you can add extra value to it. Take the organic product, add convenience and change something to make it more appealing/adventurous (flavour, packaging, use, etc.) compared to the conventional product and it will be picked up faster. Especially if you keep the right positioning in the back of your head.

These days it's more difficult for food retailers to come up with innovative ideas. What do we have to take into account in order to score with a large audience?

Involve consumers from the start when developing a new product. Co-creation helps you come up with surprising ideas and when you launch an interesting final products, you'll be more successful as long as you keep co-creating with your end-users and apply the right positioning. 

What do you currently consider hip food concepts?

As mentioned before, I like the new products of vegetables as a substitute for carbohydrates or meat. If also like the slow vegetables juices that helps consumers with their daily intake of vegetables. Something that I believe will appeal but that you still don’t see too much is combining fruit with vegetables in for example snack packs.

Brand experience (offline and online) also plays an important role in positioning products and does not happen that much in produce. Customers are constantly looking for inspiration, information or an experience, so a lot can be improved in this area.

What are your plans in the future?

I will definitely continue to encourage companies involving customers/consumers from the start of their innovation process into the heart of their organisation. Spotting trends remains a major source of inspiration so I will continue to do so. Next to helping companies define new opportunities from trends and customer insights when wanting to become more successful at product introductions.

For more information about Elena Ozeritskaya & Fresh Insight please visit

 www.fresh-insight.eu or contact Elena directly at elena.ozeritskaya@fresh-insight.eu



Here at Special Fruit, we are always happy when we can introduce something new. That’s why we all walk around with a big smile on our face! With some proud, we present you our new and innovative packaging of Calinda. Because this new variety has a strong story to tell, we’ve challenged our packaging design  partner to come with a new innovative design. The result is a lid that holds a clever display feature in the middle which fits perfectly for communication. This makes storytelling and branding possible in the most attractive way.


Special Fruit has a lot of nice products, but especially for you we’ve selected our toppers and put them together in our innovation wall on our booth at Fruit Logistica. You’ll see at a glance what 2017 is all about. Many of our bestsellers come from our own production fields in Portugal and Spain. So if you have more than 5 minutes to spend at our booth, we will be happy to take you to the movies! In a short movie trailer we’ll show you all the secrets of our production in Spain and Portugal.