African Marigolds, fuchsias, snapdragons, and rose petals are just a few of Van Vugt Kruiden's range of edible flowers, which now consists of more than 20 products. "Pansies, however, remain the best sellers," Piet van Vugt begins. This Dutch herb grower moved to its new location four years ago and dedicated a hectare of its greenhouse for growing edible flowers. Piet started using grow lights in 2020 when he had formulated the optimal light recipe after years of testing. Therefore, they can offer Dutch-grown edible flowers year-round.
"Availability determines edible flowers' success. If customers are excited about a product but can no longer order it, they soon lose interest. Now that we can grow these flowers under lights in the winter, we can always serve our clients. And because of that, they increasingly use edible flowers. Very specific colors of edible flowers are noticeably requested and the mixed bowls are also very popular. We keep expanding our assortment. "
However, this does not mean that edible flower sales only increased over the last years. When the Dutch catering industry temporarily closed during the pandemic, Van Vugt was left with these edible flowers. "But since everything reopened last summer, our sales increased. For us, it's a perfect addition to the fresh herb assortment we've been carrying for years. We pack the edible flowers in perforated trays to guarantee freshness because if you don't pack them, they wilt within 30 minutes. Once packed, they last for ten days," says Piet.
"The catering industry remains edible flowers' biggest buyer, but at Christmas and Easter, we also do more and more supermarket promotions. In this way. more people get to know the product." The sales peak is still around Christmas. "Then people are looking for something really special on their plates. But Easter sales were also good; in the summer, edible flowers are used a lot in salads. So sales are actually continuous," explains Piet.
The grower foresees the market to expand further in the years to come. "We regularly get requests for edible flowers we don't grow yet, and then we start considering the possibilities. We sow everything ourselves and harvest some of the flowers' seeds. That's genuinely pioneering and an intensive process, but it's great fun. We change crops very quickly to avoid diseases."
"We grow with the market and our existing customers. We work with fixed prices and aren't dependent on the day trade. That means we can offer clients the stability they want, as they don't have to wait for price fluctuations. We go for truly long-term relationships. Together you can build something in the market," Piet concludes.
For more information:
Piet van Vugt
Van Vugt Kruiden
2988 DA, Ridderkerk, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 180 625 660