Fruit Today talked to Antonio Guerrero, manager of the Grupo Guerrero, about the future of the wholesale markets and how to adapt to the new realities.
Some people are not boding a very promising future for the wholesale markets due to the boom in modern distribution. In a similar way to what has happened in northern Europe.
I don’t share this idea. My experience tells me that wholesale markets and their dealers are constantly reinventing their work. We have always looked for any cracks in order to maintain our activity and even increase it.
Currently, corridor sales having nothing to do with what they have been previously. Now, work lines have appeared that didn’t exist decades ago: the Horeca channel, large communities or the small, regional supermarket chains, in addition to traditional fruit and vegetable stores. We must characterise ourselves by offering what the large organised distribution does not offer and, above all, high quality standards. Today, in our group, we work with products that we couldn’t even imagine back in the 1970s. The idea is to keep watching the trends and adapting to what customers demand.
Specifically, how has the Grupo Guerrero carried out this continuous adaptation over the years?
As a family-run company, when we started our activity we were closely linked to fruit and vegetable production in Almeria, then with Valencia because we had some stands in the wholesale market there. When we set up in Madrid, the produce from both areas continued to be important and we started incorporating new imported produce, such as French apples and kiwis.
Following this, we were pioneers in the introduction of French walnuts onto the Spanish market, and today we have a very important business line of dried fruit and nuts including all the different types. We have an excellent selection of suppliers, both national and from outside Spain
Mehadrim Israel is one of our most important allies, with which we are working for this project. We have an exclusive contract for all their produce in Spain.
Some of these products are marketed under our own brands “Gloria Bendita” and “DSC”.
More recently, tropical fruit imports from overseas, both by air and seas have greatly grown in importance.
One of our star products is the Orri mandarin from Israel. After over 10 years’ work, we are the leading importers of this product.
But, which is the line that really stands out from the rest?
I think that it is a generalised element. Overseas tropical fruit, particularly by air, are taking off very well. Air-freighted mangos have revolutionised the market and show an important difference compared to fruit arriving by ship. The public is delighted.
How have the wholesale markets’ customers changed?
The large supermarket chains were our largest customers. Now, some of them are choosing other work methods
We must help our small clients to be able to compete with these important chains and the only way of doing this is by differentiation in produce and quality and it is our obligation to get these products to their establishments.
Buying in these establishments must become an experience full of sensations, which impel you to buy.