The Corona situation and the associated restaurant closures and emergency measures have had a serious impact on out-of-the-home consumption levels. This is also being felt in the marketing of ready-to-cook fruit, vegetable and potato products. "We, too, suffered severe sales losses in the pre-cut produce sector at the time of the lockdown. Overall, however, there has been a rapid increase in demand in recent years, which is clearly related to the shortage of labor in the catering, canteen and commercial kitchen sectors, says the management of Ludwig Schenk Ltd & Co, a specialist processing company at the Karlsruhe wholesale market.
Unprocessed and pre-cut products are transported by the company's own trucks to customers throughout southern Germany.
The traditional company has been based at the Karlsruhe wholesale market site for 50 years now. It recognized the trend towards convenience and ready-to-cook products early on. "About 10 years ago, we started producing pre-cut products on a small scale, and over the years we have expanded our premises accordingly - in parallel with the increasing demand," says company salesman Ismail Güldal.
Until a few months ago, Ismail Güldal was based at the Karlsruhe wholesale market as an independent potato and onion trader. Since the handover of his business, he has been working in the sales department of Schenk.
Market leader in southern Germany
In the meantime, the company is one of the leading suppliers of kitchen-ready fresh products in southern Germany and the high-quality pre-cut goods are delivered as far as Freiburg im Breisgau and Munich. "Among the perennial favorites are, for example, packaged potatoes, whether peeled, sliced or diced, in 5-kg units. But we ship zucchini, onions, peppers and carrots in sliced form as well. In addition to this, we count many Chinese restaurants among our clientele, which is why mushrooms, bean sprouts and Chinese cabbage are also being ordered a lot."
Images from the wide range of pre-cut goods: carrot slices and fruit salads.
"What also sets us apart is round-the-clock delivery, which is why our order windows are flexible and demand-driven. Regional cash & carry stores of Metro AG have also recognized this added value for themselves and make use of our ready-to-cook products."
The refrigerated warehouse at the wholesale store in Karlsruhe.
Regional sourcing of raw materials
Although the delivery of in-house pre-cut products accounts for the lion's share of sales, the classic pick-up market at the local wholesale market still forms the company's second mainstay. "There tend to be fewer walk-in customers now, the weekly market traders being the only exception."
The production facility for convenience goods.
With the Christmas season just around the corner and the difficult general conditions in these times of Corona, the procurement of goods can be a delicate issue. "Procurements are increasingly planned far in advance, so that we do not run out of goods and a continuous supply is always guaranteed. At the same time, we strive to offer our customers regional products as much as possible."