"The difficult context of these months has put a strain on the entire agri-food chain. The high cost of fuel translates into tangible logistical difficulties, raw materials are not able to cross the borders of the East, as in the case of pumpkin seeds, of which Ukraine is our main supplier, or of Goji berries of Asian origin," according to Carmela Ragosta, quality control manageress of the Italian company Mocerino Frutta Secca.
Mocerino Frutta Secca Srl is a family-run company, founded in 1957 in Somma Vesuviana (NA). Now in its third generation of entrepreneurs, it is one of the main operators in the sector, both in Italy and abroad.
The product range under the brand Mocerino Frutta secca is wide, including walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, but also products for daily wellness, such as ginger and dehydrated fruit, as well as the varied world of the best berries: goji, blueberries and many others.
"The challenges of finding auxiliary products - explains Carmela Ragosta - have compromised our production processes, in particular the increase in the price of seed oil by about 16% compared to last January has led to a decline in the processing of fried foods, especially peanuts and cashews. In spite of the energy crisis that has affected companies and families, the threat of closure of borders due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for products stored in the warehouses of large-scale retailers."
There is a great demand for maxi formats that go from 400-gram packs of almonds, to maxi kilo stock packs of walnuts, both in shell and shelled. In order to absorb the onerous costs of transport, palbox packaging has proved to be an advantageous solution, because twice as much product is packed on a single pallet.
Dried fruit, growing nutritional and healthy proposals in single-portion packs
"We are witnessing a replay of the pandemic context. The sales curve is growing by 30% for flours, particularly almond, hazelnut and pistachio flours for confectionery. Coconut flour also reached the top of the sales charts. Coming mainly from Indonesia, this derivative of the coconut - which undergoes slow drying processes - finds a growing demand during the Christian Easter holidays. Our flours are naturally gluten-free and suitable for the diet of celiacs."