Migel Srl

Struggling market for Sicilian pomegranates

"The citrus fruit season in Sicily has started late when it comes to both normal and Tarocco blood varieties. There has been a 25% drop in volumes on average and grades are medium-small due to the prolonged drought. In a situation characterized by the crisis and price hikes that affect the purchasing power of Italian families, the processing industry is also working with low margins and is finding it difficult to balance the books. We specialize in the processing of lemons and pomegranates, from which we obtain juices, purees and semi-processed products," explains Vincenzo Mirrione, owner of Migel Srl with his brothers Alessandro and Francesco. The company was founded in the Eighties by their father Pasquale Mirrione. 

Migel was born as an ice-cream distributor business, with important clients such as Algida and Findus. In 2002, is started operating autonomously with a small laboratory for the processing of local and Camarosa strawberries. It now covers an area of over 20,000 sq m in the Carini industrial area (Palermo).

The facility is large and well-equipped, boasting five cold-storage units, packaging machinery, quality check and distribution systems that can intercept specific needs and market opportunities. The company also processes (for third parties too) large quantities of Akko and Wonderful pomegranates as well as a wide assortment of other local fruits, including: lemons, blood and blond oranges, tangerines, watermelons, strawberries, prickly pears, black mulberries and peaches.

"Over the past few weeks, we finished processing Sicilian pomegranates with volumes that exceeded the actual market demand. Many young orchards planted over the past six years have now reached their production peak. We start with the Akko and Parfianca varieties and continue from mid-October with Wonderful. We recently introduced prickly pears, which we process to obtain purees. The fruit is much appreciated and is gaining a large share of the market thanks to its excellent nutritional characteristics."

"As for pomegranates, although considered a superfood, demand is not comparable with that for orange or lemon juice especially in 2022, proof that it is a struggling market with abundant volumes and slow demand. Although the purchasing price is much lower than in the past, demand from wholesale markets is also slow, maybe because it is a seasonal fruit that is not easy to squeeze. Pomegranates started becoming more popular in recent times in Italy, we are talking about ten years ago, and it takes time to change people's habits." 

"We do not process mass products (citrus fruit, pomegranates, prickly pears), we focus on quality. Yields are low, it's true, but we maintain the organoleptic qualities unaltered. The products are commercialized all over Italy, with small quantities exported to the US for ice-cream parlors, patisseries and niche bars. We cannot be competitive abroad with the prices, both due to the high quality of the raw materials and our artisanal processing methods. Just think that we pick and select lemons by hand," concludes sales manager Franco Milazzo.

Vincenzo Mirrione:
Migel Srl
Via Ercole, 99
0044 Carini (Pa) - Italy
(+39) 091 8691204
(+39) 335 6385955

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