At the Christmas markets in Germany, hot chestnuts have been a hit for many years. But so far in Germany there were hardly any specialized providers, focused on supplying customers with fresh consumer chestnuts. This year -just in time for the Christmas season- Turkish company Ege Kaptan opened a branch office in Bremen, in order to be able to supply existing and new wholesale customers more efficiently. And the demand for Turkish chestnuts certainly continues to grow, says CEO Tahir Kaptan.
The first shipments of this year's season already arrived in mid-November, but the peak season traditionally starts in December. Currently Ege Kaptan delivers a lot of chestnuts in Northern Germany, but also to Munich and Frankfurt. "At the moment we are making a name for ourselves in the food retail trade and we are already supplying branches of the big chains in smaller units of 1 kg", Kaptan says proudly. "Our first arrivals totaled 20 tons, and within two weeks we have already marketed over half of these."
The Turkish exporter has been selling its products on the German market for many years. An independent branch office is now available to make the delivery process faster and more efficient. And the current market situation is beneficial: "Prices have increased significantly compared to 2017, now the market is slowly getting a little quieter," says Kaptan. However, the company has the advantage that they can produce the quantities desired, in contrast to the competitors. "The harvest in Spain and Italy is going down significantly this year due to the hot summer and hail in the fall. In Turkey, however, the availability is there. Of course, that benefits our business."
Chestnuts as bagged goods
Even in the long term, the Turkish chestnuts are quickly making a name for themselves, according to Kaptan. Demand continues to increase: "Even Italians and Spaniards are now in Turkey in search of Turkish chestnuts. Our challenge now is to expand the existing production step by step and to guarantee quality at the same time. That's why we planted around 400-500 trees this year. We also applied for certification for organic chestnuts."
Packed chestnuts in a carton
Apart from the trade in fresh chestnuts, Ege Kaptan also deals with other specialities. "We deliver frosted chestnuts to the industry. Even candied chestnuts are a fast-growing product segment, primarily in upscale gastronomy. We are expecting the first arrivals shortly after the turn of the year, after which we will finally close the campaign at the end of January."
Sales Manager Tahir Kaptan has been representing the family business in Germany for a long time