The dried fruit sector is struggling with stratospheric costs for renting shipping containers from abroad. The trend in the sector has been upwards for many years, but Covid has messed up well established plans.
"The dried fruit market is still growing and offers great opportunities. Only around 30% of consumers eat it regularly, while the remaining 70% is entirely untapped. That said, the most popular products are the mixed packs and the classic ones such as walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.
Aurelio Manuzzi in an archive photo
However, the pandemic has led to major fluctuations over the last year and has entrenched a two-tier market. "As the large-scale retail trade increased orders, also those who work in this channel have continued to grow; while the HORECA channel, and those who are mainly involved with bars, have recorded significant losses.
Another issue is that of freight rates for the import of exotic nuts. "From South East Asia some rentals have increased by 3 to 5 times. These are considerable costs, which affect all companies in the sector. Delays from the US are also causing problems and additional costs. It is not an easy moment on the logistics side.