Nuts and dried fruit - such as walnuts, dried figs and apricots, and dates - are traditionally a must on the Christmas table. How is the market developing, a good month before the winter festivities? We spoke to Seyfettin Kaplan, a specialized delicatessen trader at the Karlsruhe wholesale market, about the current supply and price situation in this product segment.
Seyfettin Kaplan runs a delicatessen at the Karlsruhe wholesale market site.
As a delicatessen specialist at the local wholesale market site, Kaplan sources most of his dates from two countries, Israel and Mexico. "The supply of Israeli dates of the standard Medjoul variety is meeting demand, and prices are by and large stable. Soon, we expect to get the first batches from Mexico; the season there is taking off much later this year." In general, he said, demand for dates so far has been slightly lower than last year.
Israeli dates are available in two varieties, the market-standard Medjoul and the fancier and thus somewhat more expensive Black Diamond.
High price level for dried fruits
In addition to dates, dried figs and apricots are primarily among Seyfi's top sellers. Kaplan: "The harvest in Turkey, the country of origin, was rather poor this year, which is why supply is limited and prices are considerably higher than last year. For walnuts from Chile, prices and demand are rather stable."
Sun-dried apricots and figs from Turkey. For both dried fruits, the supply situation is rather restrained due to crop losses.
Furthermore, dried ginger and mango are well received at Christmas, according to Kaplan: "The advantage of dried fruit is that the product is not as time-critical as fresh fruit, which is why we can stock up with the appropriate quantities well in advance, before demand increases."
Changes within the customer base
Kaplan's tried-and-true business model has remained about the same in recent years. Goods are sourced primarily from large Dutch importers, and are distributed in bulk to weekly markets and delis in the wider area. "The clientele and its preferences are inevitably shifting, and as a specialized trader I have to respond to these changes accordingly."