Despite the corona crisis and the disappearance of trade with market vendors and the catering industry, sales at The Nuts and Dried Fruits Company continued to go on. “The retail sector has performed very well in recent months, which has enabled us to absorb the loss of certain customers,” says Jan Jelders, producer of granola products, wholesaler of nuts, dried fruit, seeds and superfoods. “Thanks to the collaboration with the meal box supplier Foodbag, we have also been able to take advantage of the growing popularity of meal boxes. That market has picked up considerably during corona times. Another positive effect of the crisis is that entrepreneurs are obligated to think about certain things, like packaging, assortment and processes. ”
"Portion packs an excellent solution"
“Now, the markets, as well as the catering industry and caterers, have been given the green light to continue their activities again. To a limited extent, but everything is slowly getting going again.
"Nevertheless, we still see some reluctance among wholesalers, because they stocked up before the lockdown, and this must be sold first,” Jelders continues. “Although the lockdown is over, we still need to adhere to certain measures. Normally at pubs there are jars of "loose" nuts served on the table with drinks, but that is a bit difficult in this post-Corona era. However, we can respond well to this with our portion packs, which we have had in our range for years. Portions provide a certain amount of safety that people find so important right now. This will only become more important in the future. If we want to prevent further outbreaks and pandemics during these corona times, our portion bags are the perfect solution ”.
Organic and gluten-free
Trends that had started earlier but were reinforced by the crisis are healthy snacks, organic and gluten-free. “In that context, in addition to our conventional range, we also have certification to offer organic and gluten-free products. These are areas that we will continue to focus on in the coming years. We also see a lot of potential in granola, which we have been producing ourselves for about three years. We currently make a lot of granola for private label, but we want to strengthen our position by also offering organic and gluten-free granola. In order to expand that production, we will double our site in the short term. This expansion is planned in early 2021,” says the trader.
Growth of superfoods stagnated
“A few years ago, we saw the demand for superfoods grow very strongly. That hype has now passed and growth has stagnated. The range is still important, but there is no longer any major growth. We also see that the demand for traditional products, including hazelnuts and almonds, has fallen slightly. These nuts are certainly still consumed, but are nowadays often used in compositions or as processed products,” Jan observes. “We have had freeze-dried products in our range for two years. These are very interesting products that are sure to have a breakthrough. ”
In the short term, The Nuts and Dried Fruits Company wants to create a platform for B2B to reach delicacies and specialty stores directly. “For example, these companies can order products that are not so easy to find at wholesalers. In addition to focusing on these customers, we also want to broaden our focus internationally. At the moment, exports are still limited, but we want to expand our exports considerably in the future. We mainly want this for our granola products, because we produce them ourselves. First of all, we want to focus on European countries,” Jan concludes.
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