Four Spanish production companies have joined forces in a consortium to position themselves in the premium market under the Fruta de Autor brand. "Although the project has just been launched, both the companies that are part of this group and the sales people have extensive experience and background in the sector," says Manuel Baides, general director of Fruta de Autor.
“Our goal is to position ourselves in brand-oriented markets. We are already competing with the major brands in terms of quality and service. I think there is a big difference between the price of the most recognized brands and that of the standard ones. There is an interesting gap to fill in the premium market, which we have managed to gain access to thanks to the verticality in the process. As producers, we are able to manage the product ourselves and save on intermediaries, achieving quality and a fair price for the final consumer. This is the niche we want to exploit,” says Manuel Baides.
Despite the fact that the creation of this new company has taken place in a difficult situation due to the current health crisis, Manuel Baides says that finding this market niche has, so far, brought success. “It was a surprise. Despite the fact that many companies in this sector are suffering, we and our clients are very satisfied with the results. If we had more volumes, we would sell them quickly. The good thing about being able to sell premium with our system is that we can select very high quality fruit at a reasonable price. The problem about producers striving to offer a cheaper product is that the selection criteria suffer and the market is corrupted. If the fruit does not meet the conditions that make it premium, we prefer not to sell it.”
In the coming months, Grupo Autor will announce the incorporation of a large company in the Extremadura stone fruit sector that will allow the brand to have a wide range of products, some of them available all year round.
“Our main products are melons and watermelons, which we produce mainly in Spain and Brazil and can be supplied all year round. Citrus fruits and kakis are also very representative products for us; in fact, we are working to incorporate a new citrus partner for the off-season, in order to be able to supply during the 12 months of the year. We produce and sell citrus fruits with and without leaves. The range includes clementines, oranges, lemons and grapefruits. Although it is very rare to find them in supermarkets, we are going to bet on the lemons with leaf, which we believe will truly stand out. These are subject to no treatments, so both the skin and the leaves can be used, mainly in confectionery. In the future, we also plan to add berries to our range.”
Besides Fruta de Autor, the company also works with other brands of the companies that are part of the group, such as Princesa, Roxo, Foodie watermelon, Melón de Autor or Algitama, which it markets both nationally and internationally, with shipments by road, sea and air.
“We have a strong presence in the wholesale markets of Spain, France and Italy, although we are also achieving success with container shipments of kakis to Hong Kong and of oranges to Dubai and Canada, for example. With this new consortium, we want to enhance the visibility of our brands outside and within Spain, striving to market them with the prices they deserve.”
"Our objective is also to increase our presence in supermarket chains, which seek a reliable service, with as many products as possible supplied by the same customer," says the representative of Fruta de Autor.