At Tovano, in the Netherlands, the new inshell walnut harvest has arrived from Chile. "We've received both conventional and organic inshell walnuts," says Richard Strijbis. "These are a little pricey, but Chilean nuts are good value for money. All the logistical challenges make it hard to say when the first walnuts will arrive from the US. Then Chile is a nice alternative."
Richard with the inshell Chilean walnuts
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a considerable upturn in nut sales. That's the case this year again. "Sales to supermarkets have stabilized somewhat. But those to the hotel and catering industry have picked up again. Sales to the fruit and vegetable exporters and processors also continue to be good. We regularly say, 'from Christmas on, it's like Christmas'," says Richard.
Tovano has a relatively new product line: dried fruit from South Africa, with no added sugar. "We already had dried mango, banana, pineapple, apple, pear, and peach. Now we've added papaya, grapefruit, and orange. The mangoes are by far the top seller. But the other dried fruits are also selling well."
"Specialty stores can distinguish themselves with these products. And wholesalers and exporters can also offer something extra to their customers. More and more ethnic minority buyers are choosing this line. That's because of the flavor and health benefits. The typical South African presentation completes the picture," Richard concludes.