Fruit trading company Fruchtgarten Bayreuth has recently moved to a brand new location. "We now have a total area of 2,500 m2 at our disposal, which is roughly double the capacity at the old location. About a quarter of this comprises the cold storage area, while the rest functions predominantly as a cash-and-carry store, which was also much smaller at the old location," Managing Director Marco Kübler explains.
In recent years, the wholesale business has become an established contact point for restaurateurs and retailers. In addition, a delivery service and fruit basket service are also operated, which is why the move was a logical and necessary step. Kübler says, "Our basic assortment has grown considerably during the pandemic; in addition to fruit and vegetables, we now also offer a selection of catering supplies, packaging materials and special items such as flour. The basic requirements for further growth were simply lacking at the old location, and the lower capacity also meant we had to buy in more frequently, which in turn meant more effort and higher costs."
Left: Marco and Liyana Kübler run the business together
Right: The new company headquarters front
Gastronomy recovery & extreme price fluctuations
After the difficult pandemic years, demand in the catering industry has recovered, Kübler continues. "The order situation is extremely gratifying, but what is causing us and especially our catering customers problems are the extreme price fluctuations. The snack bars have to keep updating their dockets, as they are already lapsing within a month. That means we, as well as the restaurateurs, have to be very careful not to miss a price increase, which in turn comes with increased pressure in our day-to-day business."
Italian stone fruit is currently trading briskly.
The price increases run across the board, according to Kübler. "There just aren't any noticeable discounts. In the past, you could occasionally sell tomatoes for 2 euros/crate, but such extremely low-priced promotional goods have now become an absolute rarity."
Regionality and seasonality
Otherwise, regional gastronomy has increasingly embraced the core values of regionality and seasonality, observes Kübler. "The modern restaurateur is trying to make his menu as regional and seasonal as possible, but that is challenging at times. For example, the asparagus campaign ended exceptionally early this year, with the last regional produce arriving in early June."
Supply situation for overseas produce remains tight
When it comes to overseas produce, however, procurement is all the more difficult, he said. "Commodity supply - especially for Asian products - is very slow at the moment. Since we also procure our goods through importers, it is probably difficult for us to assess the factors to which the tight situation is attributable."