De NotenBeurs, a Dutch dried fruit and nut wholesaler, has been supplying these products since 1998. In the early years, its client base consisted of greengrocers, store chains, market vendors, and the hospitality industry. From the year 2000, the industry and wholesale sectors were added.
In 2004, De NotenBeurs gained its first export clients. And the acquisition of FlexFood's export activities in 2010 was a decent growth boost for the company. Recently, Paul Dekker came on board. He's well-known in the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector. He's been tasked with boosting sales to clients in that sector.
"Dutch greengrocers have always been an important client group for us. We don't only supply a wide range from all over the world. We also educate our clients. There's a good reason we have three people on the road fulltime. All they do is advise clients," says De NotenBeurs' general director, Reinier van den Berg.
"As a result, clients are kept up to date about developments in consumer perception. These are in the areas of flavor and quality. Clients are kept in the loop regarding trends in product application and usage too. We also actively participate in flavor innovations and novelties, price setting, and new presentation possibilities."
"The dried fruit and nut branch is currently at an advantage - we're hip and sexy. Page through any supermarket flyer or watch any cooking program, and dried fruit and nuts are there. These products are a nice addition to greengrocers and fruit and vegetable wholesalers assortments. Dried fruit and nuts have attractive margins," says Reinier.
"They also fit perfectly into the recommended five-a-day. Distinguishing themselves on the market is, after all, greengrocers' biggest challenge. Otherwise, people just go to the supermarket. With our know-how, we can provide greengrocers with the best vegetarian menu suggestions. We also like to support them with themed promotions. These include 'cooking with nuts' or 'a meat-free week'.
"Peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and almonds are the top 4 in our range. But we're also big into rice crackers, raisins, and pinenuts. We have a wide assortment of chocolate and yogurt products too. We package client-specific. And that can range from 50kg bales to 100g consumer packs. We source our products from just about every country near the equator. So, we get macadamia nuts from Australia, sultanas from Turkey, and walnuts from Chile. That means we have ample choice for every nut client," continues Van den Berg.
Purchasing moment more important than day price
"Our added value for greengrocers is that we can offer some guidance along with their purchase. In our branch, prices fluctuate tremendously. That's caused by factors such as weather conditions, political issues, and currency changes. Current prices are, therefore, far less important than the moment of purchase. With our '3 for 5 promotion', we're making it as attractive as possible for our clients."
According to De NotenBeurs' director, the corona crisis has had a limited effect on dried fruit and nuts. "Clients were often skeptical after the first measures were introduced. That was partly due to the widely differing municipal policies regarding market vendors. And there are certainly clients who've suffered because of that. But, in many stores, the situation quickly normalized. People could no longer go to cafés, restaurants, or cinemas. So, they spoilt themselves with a snack or nuts at home. In that sense, this crisis offers chances we can seize," concludes Reinier.