23 Mar 2022
Salatrio: the living lettuce that colours the shelf
At Rijk Zwaan we are truly passionate about Salatrio, our attractive lettuce bouquet with not one, not two, but three different lettuce varieties. People often ask us why it includes three varieties. Well, growing three seeds on a single root ball creates the perfect balance: a flavoursome and juicy green, an attractive red, and a third variety with a contrasting colour, texture or leaf shape. If that doesn’t catch the consumer’s eye, nothing will! Importantly, the combination of varieties is not fixed, so there is always a mix that meets your needs depending on the market, consumer preferences and the supply chain.
How it all started
Salatrio – sometimes also known as Tricolor, Lettuce Trio or Multicolour – started approximately 20 years ago in Northern Europe, in parallel with the development of hydroponic lettuce cultivation. The original Salatrio mix contains a green Lollo Bionda, a red Lollo Rossa and an Oakleaf red and can now be found in almost every major supermarket in Northern Europe. Subsequently, as the worldwide expansion of hydroponic cultivation has continued, more mixes have been made available tailored to different consumer preferences. Additionally Salanova®, the one-cut-ready lettuce, has come into play. All of its leaves, from the outer leaves to the inner ones, are conveniently sized, making Salanova a perfect part of the Salatrio mix. Read about Rindi Bristol's, senior director of Whole leaf, experiences with Salatrio.
Unique product for hydroponic or vertical farming systems
This unique product is sold with the roots on. In fact, it’s the roots, substrate and pot that hold the trio of lettuces together. This concept can only be grown in hydroponic or vertical farming systems, since the product must be optimally clean in order to be harvested and sold as a living lettuce for ultimate freshness.
Since this trio of living lettuces is such a novel concept, it’s essential to inform consumers about the advantages. Love My Salad, Rijk Zwaan’s consumer platform, is extremely suitable for getting the message across as part of the promotional activities. Besides encouraging consumers to buy Salatrio, it also provides tips for storing Salatrio at home as well as inspiring recipes for using the lettuce in tasty salads and delicious sandwiches.
Over 60 attractive and colourful mixes
It all comes down to the perfect balance, so hundreds of new Salatrio mixes are continuously being trialled at Rijk Zwaan’s hydroponic research stations. The ideal mixes are always based on preferences. We select sweet, crisp and juicy green varieties that remain compact, allowing the red lettuce varieties sufficient room to grow. This results in a beautiful ‘bouquet’ of different colours, textures, flavours and leaf shapes. Lastly, to ensure that we meet the demands of shoppers as well as retailers, we put all these mixes to the real test: consumer tastings in conjunction with our sensory panels and the Rijk Zwaan Retail Center.
Retailer' s favourite
Salatrio provides the convenience of mixed salad bags in a single product. Freshly picked by the consumer at home: it doesn’t get any fresher than that! This very attractive and colourful addition to the lettuce category catches the consumer’s eye, plus it combines three different lettuce types in one SKU, resulting in high rotation. And for those retailers who want to take things to the next level, there are exciting ways of presenting the benefits of this ‘living lettuce with roots on’ to turn it into a hands-on experience for the consumers themselves.