The increase in the cost of living is affecting consumption and the lifestyle of families. People tend to save more, also when it comes to grocery shopping. The trend was already perceivable in previous months with different products (such as strawberries, cherries and other stone fruits) and now seems to affect table grapes as well.
Luckily, however, the retail channel is doing better than the general markets. FreshPlaza has talked about it with Domenico Pernice from Pernice Srl, a company specializing in the production, processing and sale of table grapes in Italy and Europe.
"The big retail chain is getting more and more lively with a few dozen pallets a day leaving from our warehouse in Turi (Bari). Of course things have slowed down compared to the past season, but the difference with the general markets is striking, as supplies to the latter have dropped by as much as 20-25%. Demand from supermarkets is stable."
"Prices are still not stable: we are talking about €2.00-2.50/kg for table grapes, while seedless grapes reach €4/kg. We are talking about Extra quality produce, selected in the vineyard, with a high Brix level and excellent color. Quotations are very similar to last year despite the increases in energy, packaging and fuel prices. Of course profit tends to diminish this way, but it would be helpful if all actors along the chain limited their profits, not just producers. The solution to push consumption during this difficult period could be to limit the price difference between the field and the table."
Three varieties are currently on sale (seeded Victoria and Black Magic and seedless Millennium), which will be followed by multiple productions of white, red and black seedless grapes as well as Italia grapes, which will then be available until December.
"We supply grapes to many brands and markets in Italy and abroad, mainly in northern regions and northern Europe (especially Germany). Pernice-branded grapes are packaged based on client preferences in either 5 kg cardboard crates (30x40 cm) and 7 kg wooden crates (30x50 cm)."