For sprout vegetable nursery Kiem-X, the New Year has also brought new cooperation. The company joined forces with BelOrta on January 1, 2024. "I hope that we can explore a new dynamic and start targeting foreign markets," says Wim Bouden of Kiem-X.
As usual, the company has had a hectic period during the holidays. "The holidays are always the peak moment of the year. Sprout vegetables are products for festive occasions and the catering industry. In the week before Christmas, the number of staff grew 2.5 times. Then it's all hands on deck. It's nice that we are achieving such good sales again after the difficult periods we have gone through in recent years."
Despite sprout vegetables being a niche product, sales continue to do well. "Of course, the products are more expensive than traditional vegetables, but as already mentioned, they reach their peak during the holidays and in the catering industry. Then people are willing to spend more. Of course, there are some aspects working against us, such as inflation, purchasing power, and the rise of more expensive micro-greens (a small competitor), but we are not seeing much of an impact yet. The past years have also been strange years, not just because of Covid, but also the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine, which makes it difficult to make comparisons."
"Leek, red radish, and red beet sprouts always remain best sellers. Unfortunately, we still have a bit of a stigma here, where new products are harder to sell. We are working on the development of new products that we hope to surprise people with. In the New Year, we would like to see if we can find more markets for them," says Wim.
German and Dutch Market
BelOrta is also pleased to start cooperating with Kiem-X and sees potential. "It's always nice to be able to include a new product in your range. From the very beginning, we saw that we were dealing with a passionate grower of high-quality products. It's our first sprout vegetable grower, and we see the product as a nice addition to the assortment that we can offer to our customers," says Bram Criel of BelOrta.
"We see more than enough opportunities. Of course, strengthening and expanding our domestic position is always something to focus on, but for a market like sprout vegetables, there are also great opportunities in the Netherlands and Germany. The market is certainly not saturated, and in 2024, we will try to get that potential untapped. From the moment that Wim was brought in, we have already had many interested responses. Moreover, there is always the possibility of providing samples for first acquaintance with the products. We are fully confident that we will tap into that potential."