In view of the continuing shortage of personnel in the catering industry, a significant increase in demand for ready-cut products has been noticed compared with the previous year, says Manuel Pentz, business manager of Pentz & Co. "Our daily production has doubled, so we had to double our staff accordingly. Our main task in recent months has been to expand our capacity, which is definitely paying off now," Pentz says. Especially for time-consuming products, such as salads, or for products with a higher percentage of waste, such as cauliflower, broccoli, romanesco florets, demand has noticeably increased, he said.
Development of the premium sector
"Despite the crises, customers are still willing to spend more on higher-quality products. So the premium sector continues to be strong. Customers are particularly enamoured by the variety, such as the combination of different types of lettuce within our products," says Pentz.
The company has also been certified organic since November 2021. "We have planned large-scale projects with several growers, for example with Hokkaido pumpkins. Thirty percent of those were Class I commodities that we sold to food retailers, while we processed 70 percent in the form of pumpkin cubes for making soups, for example." However, Pentz notes that consumers are somewhat more cautious about organic produce from Germany. "Customers know that the German organic label is not comparable to the EU organic label."
Production up 125 percent
For a long time, the company purchased fruit salads, however, as of this year, it now produces this product itself. "We previously bought in finished fruit salads from a business partner, but due to a lack of a successor, he closed down the business. We took over the business and noticed that demand was much higher than expected," Pentz said.
The company has also seen an overall production increase of 125 percent, he said, with a production utilization rate of 90 percent at current capacity levels. "In the summertime, or during the seasonal business, we tend to keep a low profile in terms of new customer acquisition. At the same time, we are planning new projects that are to start both in the fall and at the latest in the spring. Especially the topics of automation and industrialization are in focus here in order to increase efficiency in our operations."
Out of respect for his customers, he said, he has not increased his sales prices to date. Pentz: "Prices for raw material procurement are currently still comparable to previous years. In addition to increasing efficiency, we have also boosted mass production and adjusted our delivery times, so we have been able to maintain prices as previously negotiated. We are striving to find a happy medium and transparently communicate to our customers what the additional costs are for each product."
Images: Pentz GmbH & Co. KG
For more information:
Pentz GmbH & Co. KG
Tel.: +49 (0) 7365 / 964 680
Fax: +49 (0) 7365 / 922 2132