SEKOYA™ has launched its new consumer brand: LIVIE™ is a quality logo that joins existing retail brands and SEKOYA™ member labels to identify consistent superior quality, 12 months a year.
LIVIE™ is not a stand-alone brand that competes with other brands. LIVIE™ serves as quality assurance, added in the form of the LIVIE™ logo to existing retail brands and SEKOYA™ member labels. Since consumers cannot determine good flavor, crunchy texture, and long shelf life simply by simply looking at a product, they can trust the desired characteristics when seeing LIVIE™ on the label.
Consistent quality, sweet flavor, crispness, large size and exceptional shelf life distinguish blueberries LIVIE™ produced by the SEKOYA™ network. The combination of low-chill zero and mid-chill varieties allow cultivation in different climates, opening up new regions and ensuring local production. Grown by SEKOYA™ members and their sublicensees all over the world, retailers can easily source fruit year-round without compromising quality.
"In blueberries, more than in other products, the great difficulty in the past has been the ability to offer a consistent high-quality product", says Hans Liekens, Value Chain & Retail Manager at SEKOYA™. This has also produced numerous episodes of consumer dissatisfaction. In fact, our research showed that as many as 50 percent of consumers who purchased blueberries said they were disappointed with the quality of the product and therefore stopped buying them for several weeks."
"With our LIVIE™ brand we intend to create only positive consumer experiences. By ensuring consistent quality that's frequently available, we create consumer trust. Instead of missing sales, we motivate frequent repurchasing, resulting in a category growth of 11-20% per year," Liekens explains.
The LIVIE™ Eating Experience is achieved through a set of well-defined parameters that are constantly checked along the entire supply chain. Only blueberries from the SEKOYA™ network that meet all quality specifications from start to finish will obtain the LIVIE™ logo to communicate an assured, positive eating experience to the customer.
"We already have several business partners who have believed in this project," says Holger Brandt, General Manager of SEKOYA™, "but we are of course still open to considering collaborations with large retailers, partly because we are convinced that the development of berries as a 'superfoods' is only in its infancy and still has great potential for development."
From October to December 2022, SEKOYA™, in collaboration with various European and U.S. distribution partners, set the foundation for an unbranded test phase. The actual test phase began in January 2023 to ensure the approach and was supported by an advertising campaign on various channels. According to Hans Liekens, the results have been very promising and Sekoya™ is in contact with several supermarkets to proceed. "The first, real time, branded phase just happened and we are evaluating its success together with our supplying members and retailers," continues Liekens.
The goal of Sekoya™'s is to build viable procurement plans and help ensure a strong supply chain to provide the ultimate eating experience to everyone. LIVIE™ introduces new opportunities for the blueberries segment challenging the status quo. "We believe our premium quality will become the new standard that leads to a new mass-premium category. Healthy foods should be accessible to everyone and enjoyable so people want to experience it over and over again. Increased consumer satisfaction will drive sales and growth, and our SEKOYA™ network is prepared to deliver the volumes needed to cover demand," says Hans Liekens, Value Chain Manager & Retail Expert at SEKOYA™.
In addition, blueberries LIVIE™ provide a rare opportunity to enter the valuable snack and on-the-go markets due to their consistent flavor, size, firmness, and exceptional shelf life. Positioned as a healthy snack, consumers can enjoy blueberries LIVIE™ anywhere, at any time. Until now, consumers used berries primarily and almost exclusively during breakfast and baking, always adding other products like yogurt to make the eating experience more enjoyable. By 2021, the global snack market is estimated to be four times larger than the breakfast category ($1,450 billion vs. $398 billion).
These types of initiatives have earned Sekoya™ a place among the pioneers in the berry industry. With their innovative approach, the Sekoya™ network will continue exploring opportunities and find new ways to bring this superfood closer to consumer.