The Christmas period is special for the sale of mini-vegetables. “Their consumption always increases around the holidays. People want to get something out of the ordinary and bring a touch of originality and a maximum of flavors to the table,” explains Nawel Boucetta, from the Estivin Group.
“The most popular products during the holiday season are the mini-cauliflower, mini-broccoli, mini-romanesco, mini-beetroot and the mini-carrot,” adds Nawel. “We usually also sell a lot of leek, fennel and turnip around this time of year. Even for the mini-vegetables, consumers prefer seasonal products.”
Nawel is sales and purchase representative at Estivin Primeurs de Loire, a branch of the Estivin Group. She is responsible for all the niche products and manages the development of a clientele in the food industry.
“Right now, there is quite a big range of mini-vegetables,” explains Nawel. “We have, among others, eggplants, cucumbers, round and long zucchinis, cauliflowers, fennels, beetroots, turnips, Chinese cabbages, bell peppers, leeks, and green and yellow squashes.” The mini-carrot remains the number one choice. “It really is a basic product: with greens, without greens, multicolored. The mini-vegetables are now more and more popular on the holiday menus in collectivities.”
The Estivin company stands out thanks particularly to the products from the Loire valley. “We respect the local production as much as possible. The range of fruits and vegetables is large and growing each year, with each season.” If a mini-vegetable is not available in France, it is imported from South Africa or Spain.
A growing market
Nawel has always sold or purchased mini-vegetables. “This product did not use to be well-known, but now, consumers enjoy it more and more and incorporate it into their menus. Nevertheless, it is still a niche product that is not accessible to all.”
“The mini-vegetables have now already established themselves on the fine dining scene and on the catering market for collectives. They are unusual, present well and allow to have several types of vegetables in one plate. The many ways in which they can be cooked and presented (steamed, boiled, grilled, braised) have also conquered the consumers.”
About Estivin-Primeurs de Loire
The Estivin Group has thirteen branches in France. Estivin Primeurs de Loire is one of the wholesale operators in fruits, vegetables and seafood products. “We distribute the majority of our products to collectives: schools, hospitals, retirement homes, prisons, the army, and we also distribute to supermarkets.”