In just four years, the brand Frutifresh, from the Valencian company Vicente Peris, has broken new ground to become a trustworthy supplier
The healthcare crisis has shown the value of certain types of packaging, such as shrink-wrapping and pre-prepared formats for life at home. Fruit Today talked to Christian Palacios, the company’s marketing manager.
How has the pre-prepared food sector evolved this year and particularly in this atypical first half of the year?
Some references in the pre-prepared range that are closely linked to cooking and life at home have been strengthened. There was a drop in results in the tubs for casual eating. We have also benefitted from the growing awareness of those in charge of the shopping regarding the importance of guaranteeing food safety and turning to specialists in fruit with guaranteed installations. Food safety that is now being taken into consideration more than ever before.
Is there a greater preference for shrink-wrapped formats due to the health crisis?
Yes, it is obvious that the fruit and vegetable departments of the supermarket chains have changed their working methods and they are looking for the support of our products for a highly significant part of their melon, watermelon or pumpkin offer.
What does your new melon with ham reference bring, compared to others already on the market? Do you use a specific variety of melon or a particular ham? Which customers is it aimed at?
We have been renowned specialists in piel de sapo melons for decades now. For this ‘Ready-to-Eat’ speciality, we have a 12 month-cured PGI Serrano ham that contrasts perfectly with the melon. We believe that it is a universal combination that everyone likes, but we are aiming at consumers who try all kinds of dishes such as salads, pasta, rice, soups in ready-to-eat formats. There is a new generation of people who eat these products every day.
Some specialists in the sector are predicting a highly promising future for watermelons in the pre-prepared sector; it is just a matter of time. What is your opinion?
Watermelon is one of the most delicate fruits within pre-prepared production. We are trying out new more compact varieties, with less water and a longer shelf-life, but there are still many points to be defined, growing areas to be tested, etc. There is also the fact that it is a fruit that is appetising with high temperatures; it is difficult to make a forecast.
Could you tell me if there have been any new developments in the company since we visited you last year (I am referring to machinery, refrigeration or new projects or formats)?
The chilling areas have been extended and new processing machinery has been incorporated, but essentially, we maintain the same physical structure.
You work with niche products, such as butter beans or roast pumpkin in the pre-cooked range. How are they behaving?
In roast pumpkin, we are the only ones who can offer fresh product all year long and however, in the heat, the sales are not very high. In the case of butter beans, the interest is increasing and it is difficult to find producers who work with dry product, although it lasts a long time and has more customers. Therefore, we, ourselves, are planting to cover the demand that is growing every year.