With six decades of professional history, the company from Madrid has managed to adapt to the times and is making an important commitment to produce that is closely linked to its surroundings
As occurs every year, Ibérica de Patatas becomes the main marketer of the earliest Spanish potatoes, produced in Malaga, with forecasts for 600,000 kilos.
Pablo Jiménez, manager of the company, explains how this product was introduced into the supermarkets thanks to its differentiation and today is widely valued and expected. “During many campaigns we carried out promotions at points of sale and we explained to consumers that it was a fresh product; now the marketing threads are moved by specialist cooking bloggers who receive our potatoes and cook with them for their followers.”
The company moves over 125 million kilos per year that are completely destined to the home market. This scale is only possible thanks to a very high specialisation at all levels, from the fields to the warehouse, with the implementation of the best varieties, the highest technology, great flexibility in all kinds of packaging and the best commercial distribution.
“We like to call ourselves suppliers at source and destination,” Jiménez explains. “We are source because we have associated farmers who advise us about the purchase of seeds depending on our clients’ requirements and to whom we offer complete support with our team of technical engineers.”
The production by Ibérica de Patatas is diversified by the different producing regions, ranging from Castilla Leon as the main supplier to areas in Malaga, Murcia, Seville and Castilla-La Mancha. Including all these regions, 65% of the total supply is reached and the remainder, 35%, comes from France.
Ibérica de Patatas started its differentiation or segmentation with regard to cooking uses years ago and, today, this added value continues to be offered: potatoes for boiling, for frying or for garnish are some of the most common uses.
“The latest specialisation now includes the offer of Agria throughout the year, since it is a variety that has high quality when frying, one of the most popular uses. It is not very attractive, but for frying it is the one that gives the best results,” the executive explains.
The Horeca channel is another of the company’s strong points, reaching sales of 7 million kilos in fresh cut and peeled potatoes, with a shelf-life of around 7 to 8 days. Since the very beginning in 2005, this category has grown at top speed. Today, it is the most consolidated category, but research towards new packaging continues to be its spearhead. “We know that it is a category for the future and we want to be at the forefront.”
But without any doubt, the commercial lines that are most consistent with the consumers’ current aspirations include local, seasonal produce. “Accordingly, 5 years ago we started up the production and marketing of ‘Patatas de Madrid’, which is now the Especial Castiza brand name with the M for Certified Food Product of the Community of Madrid that has over 700,000 kilos. Its productions are small, but these have been given an added value due to their local origin, their collaboration with the sustainability of the environment due to the CO2 reduction, thanks to proximity in transport and consumption in a populated area such as the surroundings of the Spanish capital city. Potatoes from Malaga also have the uniqueness of being a local product that is very seasonal. Both lines are framed in our work line, strengthening national produce,” Jiménez concludes.