The restaurant and hospitality channel, which has been highly affected by restrictions in Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic, is very important for fresh cut and ready-to-eat products. Despite this, companies such as the Surinver cooperative have achieved a significant increase in their turnover with these products, which gives an idea of their growth potential. Likewise, they have also managed to grow notably in the sale of BIO products, which still have plenty of potential for growth in the Spanish market.
"When the pandemic broke out, we noticed that consumers started looking for natural foods with a longer shelf life, mainly due to fear of shortages," says Javier García Linares, Surinver's commercial director. "Fortunately, we have a notable presence in large Spanish distribution chains with these products, and this year we have also started marketing them in expanding supermarket chains in Spain, such as Family Cash."
“Spanish supermarkets are starting to include sections of ready-to-eat dishes; a segment in which our products have a place. Our range includes grated tomato with oil, or with garlic, oil and parsley or oregano; roasted peppers; and caramelized bell peppers, onions or tomatoes. This has allowed our turnover to grow by 12% in 2020, despite the huge reduction in the activity of the Horeca channel. If this had been 100% open, the growth would surely have been much higher,” he says.
In this month of January, the company has carried out an expansion of the facilities for the production of ready-to-eat products, introducing also new packaging formats. “We believe that the consumption of these products will continue to increase, since they are natural, quality products that save you time. They are cooked and ready-to-eat and have a shelf life of 6 months.”
The balance of the 2020 campaign has been positive for Surinver. It has closed the year with a 4% growth in its global turnover compared to the previous year, thus consolidating its upward trend, despite the uncertainty in the agricultural sector due to the pandemic.
This Alicante-based cooperative was created in 1974 with the union of 70 agricultural producers. Currently, it has more than 400 partners and has a big presence, both nationally and internationally. Its product range has also evolved, adapting to new trends and needs. Proof of this is the firm's commitment to the implementation of integrated control, which has allowed its producers to become certified for organic farming. The results obtained during the 2020 financial year, which goes from October 2019 to September 2020, are also proof of this commitment, as Surinver has achieved a 31% increase in the
turnover of its BIO assortment compared to the previous year.
"Despite the fact that this health crisis is taking a toll on the economy, Bio consumers continue to demand these products. Although the consumption of BIO products is still much lower than that of conventional ones in Spain, we have observed a trend of steady growth,” says Javier García Linares.
"Following these positive results, we are facing the year 2021 with the focus on great objectives, such as ensuring the consolidation of the fresh production, boosting the upward trend of BIO and ready-to-eat products and continuing to strive for an increasingly sustainable agriculture,” he says.