2020 was a terrible year for decorative cut flowers and edible flowers. Now, several operators of the latter business have told Efeagro that orders have skyrocketed in preparation for the upcoming holidays.
Laura Carrera, the CEO of Innoflower, a producer of edible flowers, said Spanish restaurants were demanding more and more edible flowers. Demand is skyrocketing this Christmas. As a result, Innoflower, which was launched in 2016, will end the year with a turnover of 500,000 euro, a figure similar to that of 2019. "We hope to double production in a year with the opening of new farms and we believe that, in the medium-term, sales could increase by five or six times," she stated.
The owner of Microgreens, Jose Angel Castillo, started producing organic edible flowers in Nerja (Málaga) in 2017 because the restaurants in the area asked for them. Now, he also sells his products in the markets of Madrid, Cordoba, and Jaen. "Edible flower consumption in Spain is going to increase. It's not a fad, it is a trend that is here to stay, as is already the case in France or Italy," he said.
Orders have not stopped growing since November, stated Castillo from his greenhouses, which in summer he covers with shade nets instead of plastics. "Now there is more demand than supply," he added.
Haute cuisine and Masterchef
According to the administrator of Garanfruit Agro, Vicente Ripoll, TV programs such as Masterchef and the rise of haute cuisine in Spain have promoted the knowledge and use of edible flowers in gastronomy during the last five years.
"It is not easy to find edible flowers in supermarkets and hypermarkets, but it is clear that their consumption is on the rise. The flavor of a dish is important but its presentation is also important. Its visual aspect has gained ground," he said.
Garanfruit Agro, which markets its products under the Innobrotes and Maycagreens brands from Algemesí (Valencia), has gone from having 400 square meters dedicated to the cultivation of edible flowers to 4,000 square meters in six years. In 2022 it expects to increase its turnover by 10 to 15% over this year.
The product manager of the fruit and vegetable wholesaler CMR Infinita in Mercamadrid, Jaime Muñoz, is also convinced that the edible flower business will continue to grow, with its specific sales peaks, which take place in Christmas and in summer move from the big cities to the coastal areas.
The rebound in demand is also marked by the celebration of weddings, communions, or Valentine's Day, he added.