At Ets Meseguer, it is possible to find grapefruits 10 months out of 12. The company is currently based in Rungis and imports the citrus fruit from Spain, mainly produced in the region of Murcia. Off-season, around April, the company offers the South-African origin to its clients.
The qualities of Florida grapefruits are often praised, but the Spanish origin does not have much to envy its American counterpart for. “Spain now obtains a very tasty product, which was not always the case. A few years ago indeed, premature marketing damaged the reputation of Spanish grapefruits. But today, Florida has suffered from climate hazards and therefore raised its prices, so Spain is becoming a more attractive origin,” explains Benoît Maillard-Guillon of Ets Meseguer.
“It has a nice taste, prices are more affordable, not to mention that the proximity saves us time and freshness. And this is important for a product like a grapefruit which, despite appearances, is relatively fragile.”
Ets Meseguer imports mainly grapefruits of the Star Rubis variety, overwhelmingly present on the French market, as they represent 90% of the volumes sold. The grapefruit is a citrus fruit resulting from the crossing between sweet oranges (citrus sinesis) and pomelos (citrus maxima).
A satisfying season
Overall, Benoît claims to be satisfied with the grapefruit season. “The Spanish campaign started mid-October and the quality of the fruits will determine how the season will end, probably around mid-April. This year, we were quite lucky with the weather. But since there is a lot of rain, the fruits are quite big. Compared to the previous season, we have gained a caliber in terms of average caliber.”
A citrus fruit subject to consumption trends
Although the season was satisfying both in terms of volumes and quality, Benoît indicates that sales have been complicated throughout the year. “The most difficult part to manage for grapefruits is the sales. At the moment, consumption is quite normal and regular, but it is subject to trends. For example, we know that it will increase in April, a period when people start dieting ahead of the summer holidays,” explains Benoît. “Grapefruits are still perceived as a complementary citrus fruit, although it should be noted that each year, our sales increase on the French market.”