Syngenta Leadership Details Exclusive YOOM® Tomato Variety
WOODLAND, CA - When I picture Syngenta’s YOOM® tomatoes, I imagine a secret gem hidden in the foliage. This striking, dark purple fruit is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and I suspect consumers will say the same. Eager to pull back the curtain on this unprecedented fresh produce offering, I had the chance to sit down with some of Syngenta’s vegetable seed representatives.
“YOOM is an innovation with a savory and sweet taste. The maturation takes place in the plant, and the range of colors indicates its optimal point of maturation and consumption, from black to characteristic purple, giving the tomato a firm texture,” explained Jeroen Iprenburg, Technical Sales Representative for active greenhouse crops. “In addition to the excellent flavor, YOOM contains a higher level of anthocyanins compared to other tomatoes, which will help consumers take care of themselves as part of their daily routine. Its size and texture, crunchiness and juiciness, makes YOOM an affordable gourmet experience for consumers.”
A YOOM crop was grown in high-tech greenhouses in California this summer and supplied to the supermarket channel in the West and central regions of the country. To continue this supply, the next YOOM tomatoes will be grown in Mexico this winter with a different growing partner. YOOM tomatoes are also grown in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, and Spain, with a complete list provided here.
YOOM tomatoes can be grown in many different climates in greenhouses and don’t need particularly special management, Jeroen said. To reach its full color and optimal taste, YOOM benefits from a lot of sunshine and ideal light conditions. The crop is quite grower friendly, and Syngenta takes the utmost care in supply-side partnerships, advising its growers on how to pick the fruits at the right stage of coloring and flavor to guarantee maximum quality. YOOM is an interesting addition in Syngenta’s well-established range of snack tomatoes in red, yellow, ivory, orange, and pink colors.
“YOOM is a project started 10 years ago with the ambition to create an original variety with good taste and healthy nutrients,” Luis Ortega, Tomato Breeding Team Lead, relayed. “After many years of traditional breeding work, in 2014 the YOOM variety was created. Trials in Spain and later at other locations (The Netherlands, Mexico, France, and Australia) were organized in order to characterize the value and fruit quality of the variety. After several years of trialing in different agronomical environments and seasons, the variety became commercial in 2019 and first arrived to consumers in 2020.”
YOOM tomatoes are a unique and tasty product with which selected growers and retailers can distinguish themselves from the competition and expand their brand presence. As we know well, consumers eat with their eyes first, so these unique tomatoes are sure to stop shoppers in their tracks. Most of those who taste the fruit were surprised by its pleasant aroma, savory flavor, and absence of sour notes. Jeroen explained that in order to tell if a YOOM fruit is ready to harvest, growers can check the top of the fruit, or under the “crown,” for a little orange star shape that indicates perfect ripeness.
Now, you may be wondering, will we be seeing YOOM tomatoes at this year’s Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit? Quite to my delight, we most certainly will.
“We are excited to share our newest innovations and breakthroughs with the produce industry at this highly anticipated event,” Jeroen concluded. “Our goal is to make valuable connections and share ideas with key stakeholders throughout the value chain represented at PMA Fresh Summit.”
For more information on YOOM, visit the official website by clicking here. Keep an eye out for this gem of a tomato as Syngenta works to expand its presence in the market. We at ANUK will continue bringing you the latest news, so stay tuned.