Many companies have had to make significant changes over the past twelve months to adapt to a world during and after the pandemic. More or less successfully, new business ideas have sprung up since March 2020 to address the change. One year of the Corona crisis: How did things go at fruit salad producer mirontell fein & frisch?
Part of the mirontell team at Fruit Logistica 2020.
"In 2020, the industry went through various phases, which we as a producer naturally had to adapt to," recalls Rick Marwitz. "In March, the market collapsed virtually overnight. Many of our customers then first tried to reduce their inventories as quickly as possible and sell the goods as best they could. Nevertheless, in order to continue to be there for our customers, and to better respond to the needs of the market in the lockdown, we have, for example, lowered our minimum order quantities."
Fruit salads are mirontell's specialty. They are sold through AmazonFresh and other outlets.
Then, in April and May of last year, there was hope again: maybe the summer holidays would see the restaurant business reopen. "Nevertheless, there was still a lot of uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and the ongoing measures. Hotels and restaurants with a buffet offer, i.e. traditional customers for our fruit salads, remained restricted." That, he says, prompted some fundamental thinking about the company's own business. "We quickly realized that new ways of doing business had to emerge."
The impact of the pandemic proved helpful: "The lower sales of our products gave us time to optimize our internal processes, administration and production. As a result, we were able to use all of our employees effectively last year as well; we did not have to let any staff go."
For almost two years, mirontell fein & frisch AG has been offering sliced strawberries with an extra long shelf life.
After the internal change, market needs were then re-evaluated, Marwitz explains: "The industry has changed due to the crisis, and some of these aspects will probably stay with us in the future. Almost every fruit and vegetable retailer has launched a delivery service, and online retail has seen 20% growth. These are just some of the (new) opportunities we have opened up to in the last year. They also include new projects and products; initial contacts became new sales markets and we were able to expand our product range."
Last April, it was still possible to debate whether the crisis would have a long-term impact on the industry and consumers. Today, after a year of Corona, I don't think anyone can deny it. "Market changes are very evident. So we've come into contact with completely different fields of the industry, and through countless conversations, many new fields of application for our sliced fruit have emerged."
Everything that mirontell fein & frisch tackled last year has now become so established that it will be included in the permanent range, Marwitz confirms. "We are currently working on announcing the new direction of our company - so wait and see!"