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HAK: “More technology in the field”

Innovation & Sustainability

27 June 2019

HAK is a leading vegetable and legumes producer and has developed into one of the largest players in the Northern European market since its foundation 65 years ago. The company has in recent years focused strongly on innovation, including the development of new refrigerated product concepts based on vegetables and legumes. The company recently invested in a state-of-the-art factory for the production of standing pouches – packaging that more effectively corresponds with the needs of modern consumers.

Timo Hoogeboom, CEO HAK, on innovations that have the greatest impact on the business of HAK:

1. New technologies
“I envision three key developments in the short to medium term. First we will see a further development of conservation technology. Fresh products will have a longer shelf life. Non-perishable foods will, in contrast, have a shorter shelf life, but will provide a greater experience and fresh taste. This transformation is already underway at HAK with the transition from glass jars to standing pouches – but this is only a first step. The same goes for developments in the field of packaging technology. Packaging that is currently still made of plastic, will soon be replaced by recyclable packaging and ultimately packaging made of biodegradable plastic.”

2. Big data
“Big data will be the major game changer on the other end of the spectrum, namely marketing and sales. Marketing will be much more performance-based, with creation, execution and publishing being pooled at individual media communications agencies. A growing proportion of our revenue will also be generated by Amazon-style organisations and app-based buying, similar to that used by the grocery delivery service Picnic in the Netherlands.”

3. Innovation in the field
“I also foresee new technologies dramatically changing the face of the cultivation sector in the longer term. Experiments with vertical farming are being conducted around the world. Vertical farming is the cultivation of crops in high-rises in urban agglomerations. While it isn’t profitable at the moment, it will become an attractive business model as urbanisation continues to gain ground and agricultural land becomes more expensive. Until that time we’ll see more and more technology in the field in the form of harvesting robots, drones and sensors. As crop protection with chemicals comes under further pressure, new technology will be used to optimise crop growing conditions.”

Also read: Ploeger Oxbo Group and ‘Innovation in the field’