The renewed closure of the hospitality sector and the second wave of the Corona virus is keeping suppliers to the catering and large-scale consumption sectors in particular on tenterhooks. The devastating consequences of the crisis are also being felt at FFD in Riedstadt, in southern Hesse. Nevertheless, the company is confident about the future, says Managing Director Michael Marx. A conversation about hope, flexibility and investments in times of crisis.
The revenues of the south Hessian freshcut specialist saw a substantial drop due to the first closure of the hospitality sector, but after this, sales were going up again. "Now we have again dropped back to about 50 percent of the normal levels. Nevertheless, compared to the first wave, we see a greater flexibility from our customer base. The catering trade is now better positioned and knows how to quickly put take-away and delivery services into practice."
FFD also serves restaurants and stores at Frankfurt Airport with fruit and vegetables. Only minimal quantities are currently needed there.
Noticeable market fluctuations
On the product level, the traditional seasonal change to imported goods is now imminent. Marx: "Due to the current situation, we need less imported goods and have therefore asked our producers abroad to reduce their production accordingly. Inevitably, the consequences of the crisis are already noticeable in terms of prices: "Limes - a typical article for gastronomers - are now traded very cheaply. I also expect sales problems for mushrooms, because many Christmas markets will not take place."
The FFD belongs also to the largest Freshcut manufacturers in the (hyper) regional periphery. At present, the focus of the enterprise lies on hospitals, take away services, schools and canteens as well as bakeries. "Despite Corona, new customers are still being added. But if there is a complete shutdown, only a few people from outside the city will drive into it, which is why the out-of-home consumption will be further reduced. In the end, the bakeries and other gastronomy concepts that we supply will notice this."
Managing Director Michael Marx
Investments in times of Corona
Despite everything, Marx looks confidently into the future. Especially in these times, he sees opportunities for take-away services with a simple concept and fair prices. The expansion of the in-house fresh cut production area will continue - despite Corona - with another 1200 m² being added. Soon a fully automated tomato cutting line, an apple peeling line, a fully automated peeling line for onions and carrots as well as a complete solution for fully automated washing and packaging of lettuces will be installed at the main site.
"We believe in expansion and we will continue our investments. From our point of view, the sales of fresh cut and convenience goods, as well as the usual business, will rise again from March/April onwards," says Marx. The investments on the part of the production are reflected also in the assortment. The product range has recently been expanded to include innovative salads. "The canteens are now mostly closed, but there is a demand for salads for in-between meals. That's why we have developed a total of six practical salad dishes in 300 gram packaging, both classic salads and fruit salads."
For more information:
FFD Frisch Fruchtig Delp GmbH
Tel.: 06158 188 60 35
Fax.: 06158 188 60 34