Swiss import company Jehle explores German market

‘Potential for Italian specialties in Southern Germany’

The Swiss import and wholesale company Jehle is about to expand onto the southern German market. The traditional company based in Zurich and Mellingen has completely focused on the marketing of Italian fruit and vegetable specialties and from next year will take on the challenge of exporting the products to the wholesale stores in Munich and Stuttgart as well. The potential of these markets is huge, says CEO Lukas Jehle.


Perline eggplant

Long way
Today, the Jehle company has two branches of business: one for the direct supply of gastronomers and one on the Zurich wholesale market. About 99 percent of the specialized product range consists of Italian products, according to Jehle. At least once a week, the sales team reports to the Milan Wholesale Market, one of the largest shopping centers in the European fruit trade. “Among other things, we permanently have about 10 tomato varieties in our assortment, as well as the complete range of eggplants in all sizes and variations. Our cucumber rarities are also in demand every year. Of course, we have the advantage that Zurich is a rich metropolis, which is why our product innovations are very well received.”


Cucumbers of the Karusello variety

Despite the great challenge, the Jehle company has managed to place certain specialties permanently on the domestic market, winning over a permanent clientele. According to Jehle, his company distinguishes itself across the supply chain: “All the product groups we sell, already exist on the market. However, the difference in our way of producing and marketing is appreciated by the customer”


Borlotti beans

'Intensive farming'
He uses the tomatoes as an example: “We pay about 10 euros -incl. 4.50 import duty. This means that we have to ask about 12-14 euros per kg, but still we make these sales. It's a long way to go, but you have unique and high-quality products." Furthermore, a certain segment of the product portfolio is not grown at all in Western Europe. With regards to tomatoes, there are the Marinda and the smaller Cammone. Jehle: "The Italians still have a head start, but the Spaniards and the Chinese are already copying certain varieties."


Italian peas

After many years of success stories in the Swiss market, the focus will soon turn to exports. “We have recognized that Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria have great potential due to the similar food service and the large number of customers with strong purchasing power. In the near future we will try to enter the wholesale markets in Munich, Stuttgart and Freiburg. Due to increasing demand, I maintain that we can intensively cultivate these markets with our specialties from 2019 onwards,” says Jehle.


Watermelon from Italy

20 years of wholesale trade
The Jehle company was founded in 1961 and is now run by the second generation. The company's innovative range of products includes Italian specialties, hard fruit and stone fruit, melons, mushrooms and a whole range of vegetable specialties. For over 20 years, the company also has a branch on the Zurich wholesale market. Among the latest expansion steps of the company is an online shop in which the current seasons offers are presented. This online platform will be launched at national level next year in the fall and will be extended to Germany and Austria, depending on the success.

For more information:
Jehle GASTRO AG
Bahnhofstrasse 61
5507 Mellingen
Tel.: 41 (56) 481 810 00

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