In these times of pandemic and lockdown there are significant shifts in the German market for fruit and vegetables. Delivery services and food retailing (thanks to increased cooking at home) are gaining; other areas, such as gastronomy and traditional office lunches, have seen a significant decline this year.
The family-owned company Uhrbach Gemüsinis began harvesting pumpkins last month. The autumnal vegetables are, among other things, peeled and sliced and sold through the cooking-box service HelloFresh. We talked to the Uhrbachs about the cooperation: "We approached HelloFresh with our product years ago, but at that time there were no peeled and cut vegetables in the range. Gradually, however, convenience became a more important part of the fruit and vegetable business in Germany as well, so the cooperation started a good three years ago.
Now Uhrbach Gemüsinis sells goods to HelloFresh every autumn in monthly promotions: "So far we only supply our pumpkin to HelloFresh, but we are definitely seeing growth from year to year. In this season this has increased even more. In October and December the orders are currently at about normal level, for our upcoming promotion in November the quantities are much higher".
The Covid-19 pandemic clearly has an impact on the Uhrbachs' sales markets, at least in the subscription box segment. Overall, however, the curve is rather seasonal: "We supply our peeled and cut vegetables to large retail chains, such as HIT and tegut..., but also to bulk consumers and soup producers. The soups in particular are usually a classic lunch for the office, so the pandemic is clearly noticeable. The same applies to our bulk customers from the HORECA sector. Of course, sales are also seasonal: Less soup is eaten in summer than in autumn and winter.
Now, things are slowly getting better again: "Our season runs from September to March. At the end of the year, we can look back and see exactly how it went, and rather estimate which curve the sales took over the year, or what Corona owes and what the normal seasonal course is.
The company started harvesting and processing pumpkins in September, but there are four more packages of peeled and cut vegetables in the range: turnips, vegetable fries (kohlrabi, sweet potatoes and yellow carrots), a mix of colorful carrots, and sweet potatoes.