Quality green beans, every time you buy
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?
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 of the shelf and replace it. The perfect green bean should ‘snap’ when broken, so this is a good way to test for freshness. Careful handling and quick cooling after harvesting 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. Shipping temperature regulation is a vital part of the supply chain, to minimise damage as the beans travel. Uniformity of size is also an important factor when it comes to packaging, so getting the harvest time just right is essential.
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.