"In recent weeks, shipments to Austria and to countries of the former Yugoslavia have been steady. Some difficulties were encountered in the case of Hungary and Romania. Contrary to expectations, the Italian domestic market seems to be rather more static than that of the export market," said Roberto Boscolo, president of the Italian wholesaler's group Maap of Padua.
According to the president, the Covid impact om small retailers has now faded. The fewer restrictions, compared to 2020, have led consumers to return to their usual habits, without further food hoarding. The street vendors are suffering, and small stores are also feeling the effects of the hovering crisis.
"In addition, the Horeca channel is still not operational and will hopefully be reopened as soon as possible. According to Boscolo, Easter was fairly good, with lively sales. Some products were sold at very high prices, such as asparagus, while strawberries underwent wide price fluctuations depending on the quantities available. Moreover, low temperatures did not favor certain consumptions, including those of melons.
On the e-commerce front, "Many have set up their online shops, from large supermarket chains to small retailers. I think it adds another sales opportunity, but it's not a solution to the consumer crisis. In fact, with the easing of restrictions for the pandemic, online orders with home delivery have decreased. Consumers still prefer to see fruits and vegetables in person so they can evaluate the quality."