The so-called 'potato road' at Munich's Sendling wholesale market is normally very busy at this time of year. Just before Christmas, traditionally tons of potatoes and onions are handled here. But at the moment it is very quiet at the ramps on the outside area due to Corona, says Rudolf Lamprecht, Managing Director of B. Hornburger, located there.
Rudolf Lamprecht during FreshPlaza's visit in the winter of 2017.
"Wholesale trade is currently at almost zero," says the long-established potato trader. Due to the closure of the hospitality industry, the volume offtake in this division is very low, and marketing is also running rather quietly in other sales areas, Lamprecht said. "We still supply regional specialist retailers and weekly marketers. The latter are now gradually taking their winter break. Alternatives in the food service industry - such as to-go services - are also merely drops in the ocean for us."
All in all, the total sales of the traditional company have slumped by about 40 percent, they confirm. Even in the last weeks of the year, the company no longer expects a significant increase in sales, he said. "At some point, there will be an upward trend again, but I am also rather skeptical for the first two months of the new year," Lamprecht explains.
Premium table potatoes of the private Mona Lisa label are currently hardly in demand.
The potato trader has responded as well as it can to the exceptional situation. "We have minimized our stocks at the wholesale stand, because sales of table potatoes - our main product - are currently very low. Our premium, exclusive Mona Lisa brand potatoes, for example, are normally in high demand, but there's hardly any demand for them at the moment."
The company sees a similar situation with typical gastro items such as butcher's onions and large-caliber tomatoes. "However, classic Christmas products - such as Brussels sprouts - can still be sold well, even if only in December."