Fresh produce specialist Peter van Halder from Den Bosch has been part of the HAK group since 2017. On 1 January 2020, the company began serving its wholesale, out-of-home and retail customers under the name ‘HAK Fresh’. The new name is part of HAK’s mission and strategy and follows the substantial investment in innovation, quality and concept development that Peter van Halder has made over the past two years. As well as serving the existing market of professional wholesale customers, with the company now operating under the name HAK, it is expected to be able to respond faster to developments and offer fresh processed vegetable concepts in other sectors and markets, including Germany and Belgium.
A lot has happened behind the scenes since HAK – an NPM Capital portfolio company – acquired Peter van Halder Wholesale. In addition to HAK’s strategic reorientation, which saw the company’s production site in Den Bosch intensify its focus on the production of produce ingredients with significant added value in terms of convenience and flavour, funds have also been invested in other aspects such as new quality control systems. The new high risk and high care production sites will begin operating over the next twelve months, ensuring that HAK Fresh is future-proof. The company has also invested in extra production capacity and technology, its employees and reinventing its product range.
With its tailor-made produce concepts and solutions that enrich meal-size dishes such as salads, pizzas and sandwiches, HAK Fresh is targeting a very diverse customer base. As Arnoud van Os, Director of HAK Fresh, explains, “Whereas in the past the focus was mainly just on fresh cut vegetables, we now offer our customers a richer experience in terms of flavour and added value through the use of techniques such as grilling, toasting, blanching, marinating and pickling. The new HAK Fresh now also specialises in plant-based meat substitutes. These ‘ready-to-eat’ vegetables all add real value, and as well as serving customers in the food service sector we also supply big retail chains. Those retailers are increasingly offering instant meals in their stores, blurring the line between the traditional supermarket and the food service sector.”
For HAK CEO Timo Hoogeboom, the rebranding is part of HAK’s strategic mission to augment the most popular meals in North-western Europe with vegetables and pulses, whether people prepare meals at home or eat out. “With its high-quality fresh vegetable concepts, Peter van Halder is a fantastic addition to our existing range of vegetables and pulses in pots and pouches. The HAK brand is known for its great quality and professionalism. The HAK Fresh name emphasises the fact that, from our base in Den Bosch, our fresh concepts now offer that same quality and professionalism to target groups in the wholesale, out-of-home and retail sectors. That’s why we are continuing to invest in our Den Bosch production site throughout 2020, as well as in healthy, tasty meals – using high-quality vegetables and pulses – that we develop in collaboration with our produce innovators.”
“We’re shifting the focus more and more towards fresh products with more added value, which are harder for our customers and other providers to produce,” says Van Os. “But of course we will continue to supply our out-of-home and food service customers with fresh cut vegetables, just as we always have – only now we also offer new possibilities and innovative concepts.”
Van Os is pleased with the positive initial reactions the new name has received from market actors. “Our customers are well aware that becoming part of HAK makes it possible for us to make our operations significantly more professional in a market that is seeing rapid growth in every area of distribution, a rate of growth which is only going to accelerate in the future.”