The U.S. sweet potato season, for both local and export sales, is back in full swing at Spot. "The first containers arrived a few weeks ago, and the demand for the U.S. sweet potatoes has been good," says Nick Bakelaar, this Dutch company's commercial manager.
After a not-so-good season, things are looking up for growers. "The quality of what we've gotten so far is as it should be. We visited growers in the United States in week 38 and, then, too, saw that the grubbed sweet potatoes looked good, both quality and size-wise, for the export market. However, few smaller sizes are available, which could give next season a unique slant."
"Besides those sweet potatoes, we're still well busy with Egyptian sweet potatoes. These are also of excellent quality this season; we're delighted with that. When we were in Egypt in week 42, we saw availability would be much lower and spread throughout the season. The season should end a little earlier this year, and, thus, demand for U.S. sweet potatoes should begin rising, and the switch made sooner," says Nick.
"It's the same for our Spanish sweet potatoes, which we still carry too. Sales of these are increasing locally, though. Plus, the acreage in Spain has shrunk, so there are fewer sweet potatoes available this season. That, together with Egypt's situation, means demand for sweet potatoes from the U.S. will start climbing once these two origins send less."
"Sweet potatoes are generally something that's mostly eaten when it's a bit cold. We're already busy preparing for after Christmas; normally everyone in the fruit and vegetable sector is busy with Christmas. There's a slight increase in volume around these days, but next year's colder months are when sweet potatoes will be especially popular. That's often because of New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, and sweet potatoes are super healthy," Nick concludes.