Vine Tomatoes: Between Quality and Price

December 03, 2014

By guest Italian columnists, Daniele Tirelli & Antonello Vilardi.

Originally published by RETAIL WATCH.

Talking about the relationship of quality and price, one thing is undoubtedly clear: a tomato with less than 4.5 Brix is just bland and disappointing. 

True, the Brix does not say it all… 

However, if we add a low acidity, it also becomes more difficult to identify positive attributes for such a berry, although it is present and widespread in supermarkets.

So we simulated what would have obtained (qualitatively) an ordinary consumer who had purchased (November 3, 2014), in a series of supermarkets and hypermarkets in Milan (Italy), the "vine tomatoes for sauces.”

The "tomato cluster,” this season seems to come mainly from Holland, where what can be considered at a time "fruit and vegetable" matured to the pale sun of that country, sheltered in a greenhouse, and where, probably, will not have taken root in the earth, but in a layer of coconut fiber. 

It is not a casual reference to this product as particularly suitable to prepare the sauce or to be cooked in the oven, because only thanks to cooking with various ingredients will forget its aqueous constitution (which would make it acceptable perhaps a refreshing fruit).

But coming to the essential question, what would one shopper spend buying a kilogram of vine tomatoes in each point of sale? And what level of quality would have benefit (to be careful considered), as a whole?

In total he spent 14,85 €:

  • 7.15 € for 48% of berries with less than 4.5 ° B (from 2.9 to 4.4 ° B);
  • 7.70 € for 52% of the product above the threshold of 4.5 ° B (4.5 to 5.5).

If he had instead bought everything in Auchan (lessons towards which, in this specific case, we applaud) would spend 13.93 € (namely 7.2% less than the average competitor) taking home 5.2 ° B average (with a range from 5 to 5.5 °B) and a pH around 4.5-4.6. 

Ultimately, as the most important aspect, he would have brought home the tomato-flavored tomato!