Aartsen Venlo is currently selling good volumes of Italian grapes under their house brand, Capito. "The Italian grape season always begins in Sicily. Just because Sicily has the ideal climate. It's very sunny, and high temperatures mean it's dry too," says Dave van Bladel of Aartsen Venlo in the Netherlands.
This season, Aartsten had the first white (Victoria') and black (Black Magic) grapes available in the last week of May. The first Redglobes and Palieris currently supplement these. The first Italia's, which are Muscat grapes, are expected in mid-August. That's around the time of the Italian public holiday, Ferragosto.
"The Sicilian grapes' strength is their flavor," continues Dave. "There's been a lot of development in recent years. This continues with seedless grapes. But our clients - wholesalers, store owners, and market vendors - are still enthusiastic about pitted grapes. As long as they taste good."
Hans van den Heuvel and Dave van Bladel
"And Capito grapes do", adds Hans van den Heuvel. "Add the luxurious presentation of these grapes. Then you see clients returning, time and again, after their very first purchase of Capito grapes. Naturally, we have a complete assortment of Italian seedless grapes in our Capito range. These come from the Puglia region. And from the end of July, all the colors will be available."
Grapes are a major import product
Grapes are, in totality, one of Aarsten's most significant import products. "Our colleagues, Bart Gouw and Esther Tuerlings, keep in contact with our Italian partners. Bart and Esther are at our Breda office. They ensure we receive the correct quality. They also agree on the volumes going to the different branches. We then inform our clients," says Dave.
"Italian grapes are usually in high demand. Our Capito brand's reputation contributes to that," his co-worker, Hans, agrees. "I've been at Aartsen for quite some time. And I can't recall a time when we didn't carry the Capito label. Clients specifically request it, which is, of course, a nice boost for sales. Some of our clients travel 300km to Venlo. Just to get their daily fresh goods. That's not unusual, and grapes form a crucial part of the package."
Team Aartsen Venlo with the Capito grapes
"Our brand policy's a vital component of our strategy. We always link our brands to countries of origin. Last year's re-styling certainly added to the ever-sleeker presentation of our Italian label," concludes Hans.
For more information:
Dave van Bladel / Hans van den Heuvel
5928 RH, Venlo, the Netherlands
Tel: + 31 (0) 773 241 241