With summer drawing to a close and the weather turning, Dutch wholesale markets' offerings are changing, too. "Many items like stone fruit and cherries are falling away, and soft fruit sales are noticeably declining. People have been eating those fruits all summer, so they're ready for something new again," says Michel van den Berg of De Best AGF.
"The weather determines sales, though, so this summer's lesser weather was unfortunate. We rely on the beach restaurants being full. Hospitality suppliers are taking much less and many of our customers are market vendors who display their goods in the open. The rain doesn't help their sales either; people are then more likely to go to the supermarket."
"Besides market vendors, we try to focus our wholesale on smaller stores and hospitality suppliers. The small stores are getting busier preparing meals again. But the market will retain its function. Money is tight now, so people visit markets to find bargains," Michel explains.
"Take something like sweetcorn. That sells very well and, strangely enough, especially at markets. Overseas Nadorcott mandarin sales are also going well."
"They're delicious, too. Oranges, too, are selling well, but juicing oranges are very expensive and so, harder to sell," Michel continues.
"I got the first Spanish leaf mandarins this week. They're being sold, but not by Dutch greengrocers. Also, the first Spanish greenhouse vegetables are already available."
"Those are things like bell peppers," says Van den Berg. "But as long as there are still enough Dutch fruit-vegetables available, clients prefer buying local products."
The number of wholesalers at Forepark in The Hague, where De Best AGF is, has plummeted over the years. "There's still Dick de Vries, Heemskerk, and Fresh Food, each with its target group. I have confidence in the future for those who remain. However, in all honesty, it's getting increasingly difficult in the winter. You see the same thing in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where there have also been shifts due to things like acquisitions. I don't think that has to be a bad thing. You're stronger together, after all," Michel concludes.
For more information:
Michel van den Berg
De Best AGF
Tel: +31 (0) 623 728 028