Mini vegetables are enjoying increasing popularity in the German trade. Krefeld-based company Asia LLC has been specialising in this trading segment for several years now and is endeavouring to successively expand its product range in response to the growing demand, says Managing Director Hacer Temiz.
Graffiti and black aubergines in mini form
Currently, the supply of Spanish goods is running at full speed: "We have been supplying the graffiti mini aubergines for about three years, but this year the black version has been grown for the first time. We also offer white courgettes in both normal and mini versions. This variety is very popular on the market because of its mild flavour," says Ms Temiz.
White mini courgettes
In addition to Spanish produce, the mini-vegetables are obtained in part from Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. This means that a year-round supply can now be guaranteed. "We prefer to offer our customers Spanish goods, because firstly they are usually of better quality and secondly they come to us by truck instead of air freight. Our goal is to cover 100% of our future needs with Spanish products."
Steady development of the private label
Furthermore, the Cleopattra private label enjoys a high status in the German retail sector. "What once began with Piel de Sapo melons is now a recognized trade brand on all German fresh produce markets. Our main products include medlars, okra and beans. The latter we currently still obtain from Morocco, but soon we will switch completely to Spain for seasonal reasons. We also offer beans through our network in both countries 12 months a year."
Beans from Morocco. Soon the first Spanish shipments will arrive.
Asia LLC's trademark is the daily, fresh, 'just-in-time' supply of exotic fruits and vegetables. Early in the morning, the shipments are distributed via WhatsApp. Orders are accepted until about 12.00 o'clock. New shipments then arrive in Venlo, after which they are delivered to the customer. "The next step would be to expand our export activities. We see great marketing potential in England and Sweden in particular."
Indian okra of the Lady Finger variety: The variety was harvested smaller in close consultation with the local growers.
At the same time, the product range is constantly being expanded. "From September we will start with Spanish avocados. However, we want to add more exotics such as mini okra, green papayas and Chinese aubergines to the range. We already offer these products occasionally, but in the future we would like to offer them permanently under the Cleopattra brand."