"We have witnessed the big role retailers played within normal trade during the pandemic, as consumers chose them for various reasons. Specialized shops and high-quality street vendors have a key role in brand promotion," reported Stefano Soli, director of Valfrutta Fresco, during the "Dalla competizione tra canale moderno e normal trade, quale futuro per i mercati all'ingrosso" (Competition between modern channels and normal trade, the future for wholesale markets) convention organized in Rimini on October 20th, 2020.
Some of the participants of the online convention. Over 70 operators attended.
"But retailers need to be retained, so much so that we have implemented the 'Maestri della frutta' (Masters of fruit) project to involve operators. Wholesale markets are an important channel for us but, at the same time, we must not try to hide the fact that there are problems when it comes to organization, chain control and non-compliant packaging."
After the greetings of Caar president Gianni Indino, Alegra vice-director Enrico Bucchi described his experience with big retail chains. "There are precise rules when dealing with the big retail chain. They demand the maximum punctuality as well as a whole series of services, but it all depends on the chain. They also look for partners that can assure continuous supplies."
"We must always remember that there is not one single type of consumer, but many consumers. Those selling fresh produce must know who to contact, they need to know operators as much as they need to know consumers."
Antonio Giovanetti, sales manager at Marr (a company with a turnover of €1.7 billion in 2019), talked about the H&R sector. "The past few months have been difficult, but we are positive than consumption will go back to normal levels. We have witnessed it already during the third trimester, when people went back to eating out almost normally."
"The future will see an increasing specialization of the produce destined to the H&R sector. Our approx. 45 thousand clients need vast assortments and a lot of specialization. What is more, high-quality needs to be constant."
"Of course it will be impossible to go back to how things were before the Covid emergency. We will not be caught unprepared. We need to react and reorganize as, while things are uncertain at the moment, we need to think about the future."