While the demand for small tomatoes , mainly datterini and colored tomatoes, increases across Europe , producers and seed companies are organizing to offer varieties that stand out on the market. Surely for the segment of small-sized tomatoes, taste remains the main prerogative at the time of purchase , which is why the search for varieties with a high taste, towards which consumers focus their interest, increases.

The research and development department of Sais Sementi , a seed company that deals with the production, varietal improvement and marketing of seeds of horticultural species, took up the challenges of the market when it started the varietal improvement program for the new datterino tomatoes, which led to the 2019 to the Joyello variety (ex Joy).

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The company accompanied the first agronomic tests with an important benchmarking research with the aim of verifying whether the new variety could stand out on the market, responding to the consumer’s high taste expectations. The research was followed by the Italian consulting, control and analysis company Sata Srl. Which identified the strengths and weaknesses of the product compared to its competitors.

“From a simple analysis of the market trends of fresh table tomatoes, it was deduced that in the last ten years the datterino tomato had filled the lack of organoleptic quality of the cherry tomato, responding to the expectations of the consumer and of the product segment with a high organoleptic profile. ”Says Simona Toloni , product manager of Sais Sementi (Seed).And he continues: “In line with this market evidence, we have decided to use sensory analysis and more specifically benchmarking as a tool for choosing varieties right from the first phase of the ‘datterino’ tomato variety improvement program”.

“From an initial sensory analysis, an above-average quality of the Joyello variety had already been highlighted – specifies Simona Toloni – starting from this first study we decided to support a benchmarking test comparing Joyello with the leading variety in the Italian datterino tomato market, a variety similar in cycle and resistance to Joyello “.
The benchmarking study was carried out on four harvests of an experimental test with transplantation in Vittoria in August 2018 and the end of collection in May 2019.

The four samples were evenly distributed over the entire collection period.The results obtained from the test confirmed what was glimpsed in the first sensory analysis or “the Joyello variety was superior to the comparison variety – says the product manager – The product profile showed fewer defects in 3 out of 4 crops , less weight loss in one crop on 4 and the same level for the other three, similar pulp hardness values, obtaining good results in the physico-chemical profile and in the colorimetric profile “.

Benchmarking integrated the agronomic tests, carried out at the same period. Both tests confirmed that the Joyello tomato has all the credentials to play a leading role in the high value-added datterino tomato market . “The agronomic tests – the company concludes – verified the high performance of the plant in terms of yield, tolerance to cold and tolerance to cracking of the fruits. They also demonstrated that Joyello can be grown for both short and long cycle crops depending on the structure and commercial needs. Resistance to Tylcv and Nematodes allow transplants in counter season in the southern Mediterranean area ”.

The benchmarking study produces a stable method for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the product compared to competitors and for recognizing areas for improvement (, even for small-sized tomatoes such as datterino).” The market is confronted every day with a demanding consumer for whom sensory quality becomes a tool of choice – explained the Sata technical manager of the benchmarking service Thais Mendes da Silva – In this context, benchmarking is an essential tool for all companies that aim to offer a superior quality product, and to understand where the product should be directed, thus identifying the right strategy for promotional activities “.

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And he added: “This study considers analytical, sensory and organoleptic parameters, which are evaluated with analytical methods and interpreted through appropriate statistical analyzes. With this approach, the service is able to consider the natural heterogeneity of the samples, which is the most important point. critical for fresh products, such as fruit and vegetables, to the point of invalidating the result “.

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