Corona update week 1:

No shelf space for kalettes, trouble over mandatory Corona testing and exceptional sales growth in food retailing

The second wave of the Corona virus and the subsequent lockdown measures continue to keep Germany and neighboring countries on tenterhooks. The first months of 2021 will still be temporarily dominated by the pandemic. Here are today's most significant developments regarding Corona with reference to the fruit and vegetable sector:

Saxony: trouble over compulsory testing for border commuters
Saxony's businesses have one week to organize tests for their border commuters from Poland and the Czech Republic, reports the Sächsische Zeitung. Poles and Czechs also work at the Lusatian fruit processing plant in Sohland, and new Saxon regulations will soon apply to them.

Starting next week, the commuters are to be tested for Corona at least twice a week. This is meeting with resistance from the management of the Saxon fruit processing plant.

Austria: "No shelf space for fancy vegetables".
Austrian food retailers have limited their fresh produce assortment to staple foods as part of the Corona requirements. This means that hardly any fancy products are now offered. Thus, the domestic Kalettes or 'Purple Sprouts' have also been discontinued for the first time after several successful marketing years. "The places on the shelf will be used this year only for the strongest sellers. Rarities are therefore not listed in times of Corona," a spokeswoman for the Austrian exclusive supplier Efko told

The Eferding-based company still successfully supplied the Kalettes to Maximarkt, Interspar and Eurospar stores last year. However, it is now necessary to play it safe in these times of crisis, it says. "But if this year had been a normal year, we would undoubtedly have been listed again."

German food retail records biggest sales increase since 1994
The German food retail industry has recorded its biggest sales increase since 1994 in the Corona year 2020, of all years. According to estimates by the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the food retail sector achieved an overall increase in sales of between 3.9 and 4.3 percent in real terms (price-adjusted) and between 5.1 and 5.5 percent in nominal terms (not price-adjusted) compared with 2019.

Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco in November 2020 were up 0.8 percent in real terms and 3.4 percent in nominal terms compared with November 2019, with supermarkets, hypermarkets and hypermarkets up 1.3 percent in real terms and 3.9 percent in nominal terms compared with the same month a year earlier. Specialty food retailers (such as specialty fruit and vegetables, meat, bakery products or beverages) turned over 3.1 percent less in real terms in the corresponding comparison. In nominal terms, the sector achieved the same result as in November 2019.

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