Peter Hein (Bayerische Pilzbörse LLC) on the mushroom and sprout market in times of Corona

"We still only generate 70% of our normal revenues because there are no major events"

Sales of sprouts and mushrooms are still sluggish due to the corona crisis. "The low seems to have been overcome now, but we still achieve about 70 percent of our normal sales because there are no major events - such as trade fairs and the Oktoberfest -" says Peter Hein, Managing Director of Bayerische Pilzbörse LLC and wholesaler at the Munich wholesale market.

Employee Tim Hölgert shows a crate of white mushrooms during a FreshPlaza visit to the wholesale market in winter 2017.

The traditional company is dedicated to the marketing of regionally produced cultivated mushrooms and organic sprouts as well as the seasonal trade with wild mushrooms. A substantial part of the offer to be marketed ends up in the (super)regional gastronomy. "Towards Allgäu and Austria we can still sell good quantities, because many people stay at home now and spend their vacations in this country. Meanwhile, only 30-40% of the usual turnover is generated in the Munich canteens, as many office workers still work from home. Overall, the marketing situation is therefore anything but easy," says Hein.

Due to the difficult situation, the close cooperation with the Pöttmes production site has proven to be very helpful. "Due to the lack of personnel and the strict hygiene requirements (distance rule, mouthguards, etc.), production costs have risen considerably and therefore we would actually need more money for our goods than we ultimately get". Despite the great challenges, the situation also has a positive side, according to Hein. "The specialist retail trade and food retailing are profiting from the crisis - consumers are simply buying more goods to cook for themselves. Nevertheless, this increase in sales is not enough for us to compensate for the loss of sales in the gastrotomy sector."

Regional organic sprouts from Bavaria are usually particularly popular in the summer, he said. Due to the crisis-related slump in the gastronomy sector, however, marketing this year is rather sluggish.

Difficult wild mushroom campaign, high demand for King Trumpets
Besides organic sprouts and mushrooms, the product range of Bayerische Pilzbörse also includes wild and cultivated mushrooms. "The supply of chanterelles is already coming to an end. We still receive goods from Belarus, Russia and Poland, the quality of the current arrivals is now rapidly deteriorating. This is clearly due to the drought in the supply countries. Normally chanterelles are offered until October, but this year we have to expect an earlier end of the season".

At the same time, the marketing of porcini mushrooms is also running at full speed. The current arrivals come from the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland, among others. "We are currently seeing considerable price fluctuations - it goes up and down: last weekend the market recorded an acute price drop of 5 Euro/kg. Nevertheless, the prices per kilo are still within the normal range with a range between 15 and 20 euros."

Brown cultivated mushrooms from regional production.

The product selection of the large supplier is rounded off with fine mushrooms. "Shiitake run slowly because it is a typical gastro article and the private buyer does not really know how to prepare it in the kitchen. Herbal side dishes, on the other hand, are in greater demand than usual because they are also easier and more versatile for the end consumer to use."

For more information:
Bayrische Pilzbörse GmbH
Peter Hein
Großmarkt München
Schäftlarnstr. 10
Halle 2 Stand 47/48
Tel : +49 (0)89 746656-33 -34     

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