June 24, 2010, 11:31 am

A completely new bagged salad range called Lasting Leaf has been launched this June by Natures Way Foods (NWF).

The new salad product is being distributed through Waitrose stores nationwide.

Lasting Leaf is a new salad concept that offers consumers longer lasting, freshly washed bagged salad, which once opened has an extended shelf life of two days more than traditional bags.

Lasting Leaf has been developed using process innovation that allows the bags to be frequently opened without any adverse affect to the leaves.

This both helps to minimize waste and offers consumers better value-for-money.

Sarah Baldock, Head of Marketing at NWF explains:

“NWF has developed Lasting Leaf using the same methods traditionally used by chefs to wash and refresh iceberg lettuce and other hardy leaves.

With our new Lasting Leaf salad, this oxidation process is delayed. We have adapted the traditional technique to suit our bagged salads and created a range that is attractive to consumers looking for longer lasting quality.”

When a lettuce leaf is cut it suffers ‘stress’ but if it is ‘blanched’ in warm water immediately after being cut, stress is minimized and the lettuce leaf copes a lot better.

This technique helps to relax the leaves so that they stay fresher for longer. With standard bagged salad leaves, the moment the packaging is opened and oxygen enters it, the leaves’ cut surfaces begin to ‘pink’.

Baldock continues:

“To develop the range we have conducted research amongst our key consumer audience that told us that one of the barriers to bagged salad purchasing is the in-home shelf life.

Consumers have a real concern that the product will perish too quickly and there will be wastage once the bag is opened. In addition, food waste is a big problem in the UK with 8.3 million tones of food thrown away by households every year.

NWF is keen to help minimize food waste and in developing Lasting Leaf we have sought to tackle both these issues head-on. We believe we’ve created a range that answers a genuine need – whilst having the potential to change consumer attitudes.”

Two lines are being launched with a RRP of £1.30:
– Iceberg (300g)
– Sweet & Crunchy (250g)

An initial, half-price promotion will run for three weeks to attract attention and encourage trial.

This will be followed by an extensive promotional support plan at POS, and in-store magazine coverage in Waitrose Weekend and Waitrose Kitchen – backed up by trade and consumer PR activity.

Waitrose plans to stock the brand exclusively for one year.


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