Flandria chicory: quality and diversity are strong plus points

Colder temperatures make us want to buy more of our national pride and joy, chicory. Flandria offers quality and diversity, plus a healthy winter vegetable in the flu season: make sure you play up these assets on the shop floor. New packaging for TOP gourmet chicory will help this product to keep for longer, with less waste.

Plentiful supplies available
Flandria chicory is one of the spearheads of the LAVA auctions, and has been in the top five products in terms of supply and sales for many years. Flandria chicory growers continue to supply a top-quality product. Flandria chicory is symmetrical in shape and looks fresh. The head is firm, with unblemished leaves with no colour variations and with a nicely closed top. March is traditionally a month when ample supplies are still available: the volume fluctuates around 1.2 million kg per week.

Uniform batches
Belgium has a real chicory culture, and consumers here appreciate the ample supplies available. Five or six references is the norm for most big warehouses. It is a challenge for the LAVA auctions to guarantee that choice. Subject to long-term planning, and good agreements on price/volume, they can react to specific demands from the trade and deliver uniform batches in larger volumes. Depending on what the purchasers want, the most suitable type of chicory is supplied, according to size and weight.

The challenge of tailor-made supplies
Chicory is graded by head diameter and head length:
• KDIK FL (4-7 cm thick - 11-16 cm long)
• KDUN FL (3-5 cm thick - 11-16 cm long)
• DIK FL (4-7 cm thick - 12-18 cm long)
• K FL (3-5 cm thick - 9-12 cm long)
Within the standard block, Flandria chicory is supplied in EPS-T 5 kg, Flandria boxes or purchaser's own packaging. There is also the 5 kg Flandria mix box, and boxes of 2.5 kg of chicory in all grades.
Plentiful supplies are also available in small packs:
• 500 g trays or flowpack
• 500 g, 1 kg and 2 kg bags
• Mini chicory (chiconnettes) in 175 g trays
• Ifco or carton

The winter vegetable par excellence
Why not set up a display of freshness, quality and the extensive range of Flandria chicory in a cool corner on the shop floor in combination with other winter vegetables such as lamb's lettuce, carrots, parsnips and turnips for a handsome colour palette of Flandria quality. Healthy winter vegetables, low in calories and rich in fibre and minerals, help to build up an iron constitution, making them a good tip for customers in the flu season!
Do your customers need some inspiration for some winter dishes? Chicory is very versatile: it can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, boiled or as a gratin. Why not suggest a winter stir-fry of chicory, carrots, parsnips and apples for a surprise! Chicory soup will warm up a cold day, or customers might prefer to serve chicory in a fresh salad with apples and beetroot. Giving your customers some serving suggestions will definitely boost your sales.

Optimum storage
Growers and auctions work immensely hard to deliver the very best Flandria quality.
How can you as a shopkeeper preserve this top quality in the greengrocery department?
• Always present Flandria chicory in the original packaging.
• Correct storage in a chiller at 2-5 °C guarantees that it will keep for a long time.
• Never display Flandria chicory near fruit and vegetables that gives off ethylene.
• Put just a few handsome heads on display and keep the rest covered up under the blue cover sheet.

Innovation in packaging
BelOrta auction introduces in the TOP line a new type of packaging for Flandria gourmet chicory, which offers advantages above all for shopkeepers with lower chicory turnover rates: longer availability of an attractive product with less waste. The black box presentation remains, making it clear what is inside. Thanks to a special system in the lid, you do not need to remove the whole of it every time, you can just open part of it to take the product out of the box. This means that the chicory is not being constantly exposed to the light, and this keeps it looking better for longer. All sizes of chicory and all grades can be packed in these new boxes if customers so request.

 

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