“We are now starting to market our premium Anteus watermelons, and we are ready to deliver to our clients,” explains Patrick Brun, manager of Anteus Fruits. “For the 2017/2018 season, we sold 2,000 tons of watermelon, and we expect to reach a volume of 2,500 tons this year.” To combat the shortage of trucks and packagings that compromise the shipping of the Moroccan merchandise to Europe, Anteus has everything planned. “Lahcen El Farz, director of Anteus Morocco and his team, anticipated and organized the entire supply chain and the logistics so that the products can arrive on time for the clients.”
“There is watermelon, the Moroccan watermelon and the Anteus watermelon”
Anteus Fruits controls the entire production chain of its 100 hectares in Zagora, Morocco, until it is shipped to Europe. “We pay particular attention to ensuring that the quality of our watermelons reaches a level of excellence. We chose to position ourselves on the high end, by selecting the fruits according to their Brix level. Additionally, we only harvest the watermelons once they have reached a size between 12 and 13. We control their quality twice: on site in Morocco, as well as in France. This way, we obtain a watermelon that tastes much better than the others,” explains Patrick, whose requirements are just as high for the visual aspect of the product.
“We also want the product to be as close to perfect as possible in terms of aesthetics. To do so, we rotate it several times before the harvest in order to avoid the appearance of this unwanted white streak which forms when the fruit is in contact with the ground for a long time. Thanks to this technique, we obtain an oval product, well shaped and beautiful.”
Patrick wanted to make the Anteus brand stand out by placing a sticker directly on the fruit as a guarantee of quality. “For our clients, there is the watermelon, the Moroccan watermelon and the Anteus watermelon. The difference is clear, and our clients request the Anteus Fruit, which is, for them, synonymous with high quality.
A client can buy a truck full Moroccan watermelons at 0.60 €/kg [0.3 USD/lb], and take only 4 or 5 pallets but at 5 to 10 cents [0.03 to 0.05 USD] more. The clients are very familiar with the product and have high expectations in terms of taste. If the watermelon is tasteless or not ripe enough, they do not want it. That is why we make a point of ensuring its quality. Frankly, a truck of tasteless watermelons is unsaleable, or only at the standard price of the market, which is not interesting. The clients trust us, they come to us for excellence, so it is our duty to satisfy them fully.”
Popular on the German market
The Anteus brand is already popular in Germany, who take 85% of the production. The company now hopes that its brand will reach the same level of fame on the French, Belgian and Scandinavian markets.
The French market
“At the moment, we can still find watermelons from Costa Rica, Panama and Senegal at high prices on the French market. The product usually enters the market at 1.20 €/kg [0.60 USD/lb] and leaves at 0.40 €/kg [0.20 USD/lb]. Once these price levels have been reached, the season immediately ends,” explains Patrick. As with the melon, the watermelon is a weather-sensitive product. “But when temperatures will reach 68°F, 77°F, or even 86°F at the end of May, the demand will be 3-4 times higher than the available volumes.”
This imposing fruit, with bright red flesh, did not always occupy a special place in the European diet, but in recent years, watermelon consumption has gone up. “The fruit was not very well known, and considered more like a product destined particularly for the ethnic clientele. But today, its consumption has become common. It gets warmer and warmer in Europe, and the quality of the offer has a positive effect on the demand.” This trend is great for the mission of Anteus Fruits, which is to offer an exceptional watermelon to the consumer.
For more information:
Naturopole - 3 Bd de Clairfont, Bâtiment G
Phone: +33 (0) 411 641 283
Mobile: +33 (0) 613.686.987