Wouter Bellens, wholesaler Claessens:

“Demand for luxury vegetables is 20 percent higher around Christmas”

The Christmas period is upon us again. It’s the time of year people buy special products, and the same is true for potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Wholesaler Claessens from Antwerp, Belgium, works with the entire range of fresh produce.

Wholesaler Claessens from Antwerp.

According to Wouter Bellens from wholesaler Claessens, a shift in demand for luxury fresh produce can be clearly seen around Christmas. “Luxury products always do well around the holidays,” he says. “Products such as mini-vegetables, truffles, wild mushrooms and almond croquettes are just some products experiencing more demand. Besides an increase in demand for products, we also see that people buy vegetables such as salads and tomatoes less than outside the holiday season. The Christmas dinner is often a heavier menu than is normally the case. The current seasonal products are also very popular at Christmas.”

Yacon is popular
Traditional Christmas products such as wild mushrooms and almond croquettes always do well according to Wouter. However, he has seen a shift in the demand for Christmas vegetables in recent years. “Tuberous plants are becoming more and more popular,” he says. “Yacon, root parsley, rutabaga and parsnip chervil are good examples of this. Demand for these luxury vegetable specialities is about 20 per cent higher around the holidays, compared to the rest of the year. We also try to accommodate consumers in the form of convenience. For example, we offer pre-cut and pre-cooked vegetables. Nothing’s too weird at Christmas, everything is possible.”

The wholesaler’s fleet of cars.

Around Christmas, it's not just the luxury products which get more attention; charities get more attention as well. Wholesaler Claessens is committed to charities around the holidays. “Every year, radio channel Studio Brussel holds ‘The Hottest Week’ around the holidays,” he says. The Hottest Week can be compared to the Serious Request project of NPO 3FM in the Netherlands.

Studio Brussel strives to collect as much money as possible for charity. “We do that in cooperation with restaurant The Jane of chef Sergio Herman. In total, seven tables are auctioned off in the restaurant. For this action, we sponsor the vegetables, so that we can also contribute to the charity.”

For more information:
Groothandel Claessens
Kielsbroek 23
2020 Antwerp, Belgium
T: +32 (0) 3 237 44 29
F: +32 (0) 3 248 20 68

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