Lacour started receiving the first Sicilian grapes over a month ago. “Thanks to the sunny weather and warm temperatures, very favorable to the growth of grapes, the harvest is particularly early this year,” explains Anthony Argeles of Lacour SAS, an import-export company of fruit and vegetables located in Perpignan.
The company also offers Aledo table grapes from Spain around Christmas, but Lacour chose to work exclusively with Sicily for two main reasons. “Sicilian grapes are some of the first from the northern hemisphere to be available on the market. It is also a product that meets the expectations of the French market perfectly, since they are very colorful grapes,” explains Antonio Morales, of the same company.
This year, in addition to being early, the season is looking very good in terms of quantity and quality. “The weather conditions this year have been particularly favorable to obtain qualitative grapes. The volumes are also very satisfactory during the current campaign. Overall, it looks like this season will be much better on those two levels than last year, which had started with low sugar levels and lower volumes.”
“Even when the market is less dynamic, we stand out thanks to the quality of our products”
As for several other summer products, the difficult weather conditions of the last weeks do not favor a particularly dynamic consumption. “The demand is good, but it is not exceptional. First of all, the grapes may have arrived too early this year, but the weather is not making things easier. However, thanks to the quality we offer, we manage to stand out and maintain a good price average. We are not worried because our clients are satisfied with the product, and consumption will get a boost as soon as the nice weather returns.”
Besides, Antonio adds that the exceptional post-Covid situation also brings a lot of uncertainty regarding consumption behaviors.
“This year, we wished to renew ourselves by segmenting our offer”
The year 2020 is marked by a certain number of innovations for Lacour. “We wanted to expand our production calendar and our varietal offer, in order to better meet the needs of our clientele. For example, we have segmented our grape offer in four categories. Therefore, in addition to our conventional range (Picolino), three new lines are also available: the organic PicolinoBIO, the eco-friendly Alternea and the high-end Gustave Legout.”
“The demand for watermelons in May was exceptional”
Besides grapes, Lacour also markets watermelons, one of its key products. “Watermelons are among the star products of the summer. We import them mainly from Spain, but we also offer the Moroccan and Italian origins among our 75 references. We obtained incredible volumes this year, of excellent quality despite the unfavorable weather conditions in the production regions during fruit set.
The demand was exceptional in May, but unfortunately faded in early June when the weather worsened.”
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