He indicates that the calm market situation in chicory is certainly noticeable in his company. "You can see that the chicory sector has been struggling all season. I myself can't really complain. In regards to turnover, it is lower than last year, but that was a really good year for us. Perhaps this clouds my judgement a little. On the other hand we can see the influence of the general trend in food, which is stiffer than usual."
Bart explains that there is a large price difference between 'regular' and mini chicory. "If you compare it per kilogram, we're around two Euro more expensive than our colleagues." When asked whether there has been a lot more competition in recent years, Bruyninchx replies that this is true in certain periods. "There are some, especially during the holidays, who want to join in for a while. But they have to be able to sell it and find a supermarket who will sell it on. For the last four years or so there has been another colleague in Belgium doing the same as us, but other than that there are few year round suppliers. If you want to make volume, you really have to go for a long term agreement with a supermarket."
No interest in Holland
Bruyninckx has tried to sell the product in Holland. "But our northern neighbours are different. They prefer 'normal' sized chicory." The main sales markets are retail and catering. "The share of cooked product has increased in recent years," Bart indicates. "But only really in catering. Supermarkets prefer an uncooked product and like a full meal. Now and then we receive phone calls from companies who make meals, but it isn't usually long term."
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