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“Raw nuts are the fastest growing sector”
Tovano has experienced considerable growth in recent years. “We have had more sales over the whole range, but the raw nuts are doing very well”, says Richard Strijbis. “The increasing health consciousness is a positive, but non-decisive, contributing factor. A few years ago superfoods like chia seeds were suddenly very popular, but that was really just hype. Precisely the products we know best, the unprocessed raw nuts, is growing at the fastest pace.”
This nuts and fried subtropical fruit specialist supplies customers such as supermarkets, wholesalers, the hospitality industry, exporters and the processing industry. Although most of their products are available year-round, the demand is at its highest during last few months of the year. “At this time of the year, we get a lot of new harvest in, which generates a significant amount of extra demand. People really look forward to, for example, our figs, apricots and Medjoul dates. Diamond unshelled walnuts from California also remain very popular.” Since last year, Tovano has been getting these nuts in 25 kg boxes instead of bags. This makes this nuts specialist the only one in Europe that can offer these walnuts in this format.
Besides the new arrivals, the festive season also gives the demand for nuts and dried subtropical fruit a boost. “Many people are on holiday. There is more shopping being done and everything is just that much posher. Nuts and dried subtropical fruit are seen as luxury items that add that something special to a meal.” These products are always available in the supermarkets and are well-suited to ‘blurring’. They can be sold in the fresh produce section, the snack shop, the dairy section and at the tills. “This is a good thing, but it can also sometimes cause confusion”, according to Richard. “We prefer to have a spot in the fresh produce aisle. Our products are a wonderful addition. There is also much more to be done there, not just by broadening the range, but also with its presentation.”
Tovano has undergone a considerable change recently. Since January, Richard has taken over the management of the company. In addition, Tovano has a whole new corporate identity. “Tovano has grown rapidly over the past few years. The calls for a new, fresh look”, Richard says. “It suits the quality and service we deliver on a daily basis. The whole line has a new look, which gives us confidence in the future.”
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