Belgium: Get your fruit and vegetables at the butcher!

With the number of greengrocers in Belgium and Holland on the decline, wholesalers are increasingly looking for new outlets to supply with their produce. A peculiar new trend is the concept of one-stop-shopping: a store that offers all these fresh products on a single spot. We aren’t talking about a supermarket, but about a former baker or butcher selling fresh produce. Belgian wholesaler Yzewyn has been seeking out these settings for some time now.

“I see a lot of butchers going in this direction,” says Tim Yzewyn. “This idea of one-stop-shopping is really catching on. And for us it’s an increasingly interesting venue. These places don’t specialize any more, they diversify. It’s about fruit and vegetables, but also about bread, dairy, nuts. We often supply these new stores, mostly with our own brand, Fresh Pack. This is often complemented by cut vegetables from Vegrable and Fresh Quality. Also, we supplement our fresh concept with potatoes by CêlaVíta. Our customers can also contact us for sliced ​​vegetables in bulk. "

“But we don’t just supply, we give our customers advice on how to expand the store, and how to further market the concept. Besides potatoes, fruit and vegetables, we organise tastings on the shop floor. This way, the product is known to the customers of our customers and sales increase for the both of us.

One of the outlets adhering to the new principle is Het Vershuisje (The Fresh Cottage). Owner Stephanie de Cock has been doing business here for 7 years. Originally a deli, it has now become a large store with a complete range of products: fresh vegetables, fruit, bread, meat and delicatessen. Customers can enjoy home-cooked meals and fresh smoothies. "The most important development in recent years is that fewer and fewer people cook for themselves. They want easy, but also healthy. That is the group we are catering to. Take for example our purees. These are very popular. Especially the younger generation chooses more complete meals. And this concept is just perfect."

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