Today’s consumers are leaning towards smaller and individual formats, to avoid excessive handling of the produce.
The pandemic and the current economic situation have meant a significant increase in small and packaged formats. And, also, the new social demands require sustainable and biodegradable containers.
Eugenia Manguán, Financial Manager of Frutas Manguán at Mercamadrid, and Juan Manguan, Head of the plant in Pobla Llarga, indicate that “it is a trend that we have been observing for the past year and we believe that it is not just a result of the pandemic, where we all avoid touching the produce, but it is also a reflection of the economic uncertainty that we are experiencing.”
“The format is often smaller when a variety is expensive. What is happening on the supermarket shelves and the supermarkets’ marketing strategies regarding the unit of sale that they use is another question altogether.”
The executive explains that the citrus fruit campaign, which is in its last throes, has been very different to the previous one, with a slower demand when compared to last year. “We thought that we could maintain the same situation of very high demand, but this has not been the case and this year there are more stocks of fruit, therefore I think that the imports will start slightly later compared to the normal dates. It is also true that this year there has been more production in the fields compared to the previous one.”
The company is a producer and specialist in the citrus fruit category, established in Pobla Llarga, where its preparation plant is located and from where around 10 million kilos of citrus fruit are dispatched every year. All the produce that reaches its stands in Mercamadrid is also prepared and sent from here.
However, the family business is also based on other lines of work such as exports, sales to stockists and work with large retailers that allow a continuous flow in the offer. It also has six stands for selling produce in Mercamadrid.
2020, a year of challenges
2020 meant important organisational challenges due to the contagion prevention steps that were implemented throughout the entire food unit at Mercamadrid and which continue to be in use.
Eugenia Manguan, Financial Manager of Manguán, S.L., affirms that “it was a difficult year organisationally because many health measures had to be applied very quickly, but we tried to carry them out as smoothly as possible and offer the best service at a very complicated time. And to round it off, we had the storm Filomena, which brought us to a standstill for a few days, but the market quickly got back to normal.”
Although the star product on their market stands has traditionally been their own citrus fruit, they also offer a wide range in all the seasonal categories and even in sprouts and aromatic plants. “I think that we should pay attention to consumers’ new interests and integrate them into our service; otherwise the companies will have no future. Now the changes are taking place much faster and we must follow the new trends. The pandemic has made us learn that we must adapt to new situations quickly, such as online sales. Today, more than ever before, quality of service and food safety must be offered,” the executive explains.