Gourmet z Lyubymivky talked about their approach to communication of asparagus and European experience

We shared with Sostav.ua our experience in promoting asparagus on the Ukrainian market and compared it with the culture of asparagus consumption in Europe.

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The asparagus season has begun.

Asparagus has always been grown in Western Europe, it is very popular and is sold almost as a commodity, like strawberries in Ukraine, but only if we held strawberry festivals and created strawberry museums. Asparagus is the European symbol of spring and a favorite vegetable.

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But Ukrainian asparagus, since its appearance 15 years ago, belongs to the premium niche crops. This is reflected in the name of the first Ukrainian asparagus — "Gourmet z Lyubymivky".

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Asparagus in Ukraine is associated with premium food, not only because of its cost, but also because of its delicious serving. Asparagus is accompanied by salmon, quality ham or meat, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Riesling. And asparagus looks unusual and photogenic. Here are photos from the "Gourmet z Lyubymivky" consumers contest: dishes they cooked with asparagus.

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Such are the polar points from which the marketing of this culture begins to converge.

Of course, asparagus retail brands have also appeared in Europe.

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But at the same time European asparagus is marketed in a more democratic way. If there is a premium segment in this category, it is in the United States.

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Both in the mature European market and in Ukraine, the central positioning of asparagus brands predominates, and comparison with competitors is not practiced.


For example, in Germany, more than half of asparagus sales come directly from the farms which are visited by customers. They have a good time and buy asparagus, strawberries and new potatoes. Most German farms create simple restaurants where you can immediately dine on your favorite asparagus, buy Dutch sauce from local eggs or ready-made white asparagus soup. Something like Carpathian trout farms, right?

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Quality fresh asparagus is valuable as such — brands only accompany this message with communication. "Asparagus Marathon" became the idea for "Gourmet z Lyubymivky" communication this year. The fact is that asparagus has a very short season, only 2 months. Starting on March 25, "Lyubymivka" counts down and shows every day of the life of Ukrainian asparagus.

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An important visual touch point between these different pathways is packaging. The type of packaging with a closed bottom and an open top is used in both European and Ukrainian products. It allows you to see the tips: this is the tastiest and most tender part of asparagus (as the chefs say - "Rolls-Royce asparagus"), as well as keep the lower cut of asparagus as moist as possible to prolong the freshness of the vegetable.

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In Europe, the most common color for asparagus — white and green: the color of freshness. Asparagus freshness is a message that is often found in the category as in this Czech advertisement.

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But the most common messages and intonation in the category — family style. Family style and hard work.

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The Boden family followed the same path. The whole family was involved in the process and is proud of their product. For example, for three years, Johan Boden and his wife Larisa and three children held asparagus cooking workshops at the GoodWine store.

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The goal was to teach how to cook and tell about the product, as well as to organize the first tasting.

The story of "Gourmet z Lyubymivky" itself is very family. Larissa Boden says:

 «My husband, the Swede Johan Boden, who has lived in Ukraine for more than 20 years, is a fan of white asparagus. But before it was not possible to buy in Ukraine, and on his birthday on April 20, Johan always brought it from European business trips. Ruined business suits, luggage overload. And at some point we decided to start growing asparagus here. That's how "Gourmet z Lyubymivky" started. As a family hobby. First white asparagus, then green, exclusively for family needs. The harvest was growing. We treated friends, and they, in turn, treated their friends and gradually began to sell some asparagus to restaurants in Kyiv. We were helped by a friend, a German Falk Nebeger, who at that time was a famous Kyiv restaurateur and fan of asparagus. Finally, in 2014, the company was established and a branded product appeared. At first we started with restaurants because they helped to develop the culture and knew how to cook it. Then began cooperation with retail, the first major customer was the GoodWine store and the METRO chain. Now it is a close partnership with many retailers, in addition to the above — "Silpo", NOVUS, "Tavria B", "Miastoria", WINETIME — and online retailers (FreshMart)».

The family style of asparagus is reflected in the cooperation with influencers: both in Europe and in the Boden family. Here is a recent example: a neighbor brought a bunch of asparagus to Gordon Ramsey, who is in quarantine.

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And here is a recent collaboration of “Gourmet z Lyubymivky” with Ukrainian star chef Volodymyr Yaroslavsky:

 "Gourmet z Lyubymivky’ are my friends — and they have been growing a super product in Ukraine for years! I recommend it!"

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The soulful family intonation of “Gourmet z Lyubymivky” is embodied in a sticker for Telegram: hugs for loved ones and for all fans of asparagus.

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And people like it, we see an organic growth of those who subscribe to the brand's page and interact with it.

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Ukraine 2020 likes the European culinary experience so far.