December is usually an important month for stewing pear sales. "The peak is no longer as big as ten years ago. But we still have double the turnover in November and December than in other months," says Ranfru's Gijsbert van Randwijk. He has been growing and producing stewing pears for more than 25 years. He is now the ready-to-eat stewing pears market leader in the Netherlands.
Gjisbert van Randwijk
Of course, the hospitality sector demand for stewing pears is lagging this year. That is due to the lockdown. But the huge demand from retailers is making up for that, says Gijsbert. "People clearly want to still eat well at home."
"Sales of unprocessed Gieser Wildeman pears to greengrocers and wholesalers are, however, currently lagging. Those sales should actually be rising now." He estimates that stocks are slightly lower than last year. "But it's a good thing that the cells aren't full to bursting. That keeps prices at an acceptable level," adds Gijsbert.
The COVID-19 measures have had a side effect, he says. Developments have stagnated somewhat. "Eatery owners are doing everything they can to keep their businesses running. And because of increasing sales, retailers are concentrating on the basic range. That's all very understandable. But, it's resulting in new developments fading into the background."
Van Randwijk is, however, optimistic about stewing fruit consumption. "Along with our sales to retail, we also serve the industry, food service, healthcare, and confectionery sectors. Processed stewing pears sales have risen slightly. Senior citizens make up a large group of very loyal buyers."
"And, fortunately, there are also many young people who eat stewing pears. Immigrant buyers are less familiar with stewing pears. They, however, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. So, there's growth potential in that target group," Gijsbert concludes.