“In 2022, we see the rebirth of well-known and heavier pumpkin varieties”
At the very beginning of the year, FreshPlaza took the Hugo Da Mota of the 2022 season of the Pfalzmarkt für Obst und Gemüse squash. He is responsible for the distribution of this product within the company. The products of the ‘Gemüsegarten Pfalz’ are popular on the market. Wholesalers and retail customers are supplied throughout Germany.
Photo: Pfalzmarkt eG
Bestsellers: Hokkaido, Butternut and Halloween
“Among the three best-selling products grown by the company are the squash varieties Hokkaido, Butternut and Halloween, also called Ghost Rider,” said Da Mota. “Our offer includes around 14 different varieties, all from our own production. In 2021, Pfalzmarkt sold around 4 million gourds. Due to the very hot and dry summer, fewer the yield in quantity. »
As sales continued through December, the numbers are not yet final, but they show major trends and developments, according to Da Mota. “A comparison of cultivated areas and quantities sold gives a clear order: Hokkaido is about 117 hectares with 1.11 million tons, Halloween is about 51 hectares with 820,000 kilograms, Butternut which about 31 hectares with 362,000 kilos. »
Pumpkin novelties abound, according to the expert. “For these new things, it is always necessary that they establish themselves in the market. Because the customer prefers to buy the varieties he knows! But the positive development experienced by butternut squash in recent years is an exemplary example of how a variety can successfully establish itself in the market relatively quickly. »
From a demand perspective, Hokkaido and Halloween would have won in 2022. “These two types are well known. While they offer more for the same price, it responds to general consumer demand in times of increased price sensitivity and persistently high inflation. »
30-40% higher costs compared to 2021
“What makes the situation remarkable for most of the 120 growers at the Pfalzmarkt, including for other fruit and vegetable crops, is the steep increase in costs for the current season. Because of the war and inflation, they have to pre-finance about 30-40% more costs compared to last year for diesel, fertilizers, machinery and the increase in the minimum wage”, informs us. For squashes, the company saw only a very moderate adjustment in producer prices compared to 2021, which was not enough to offset the massive cost increase.
An offer until mid-December
“In the German market leader in self-produced fruit and vegetables, the pumpkin harvest usually takes place from the end of August to October/November. Since these cucurbits can be stored for up to five months, the sale can be extended without a problem. In 2021, the season ends at the beginning of November. In 2022, we were able to deliver until late! In December. In 2022, the Hokkaido squash harvest began in August. Pumpkin is a fall and winter product. Demand is highest in October because of Halloween. »
In terms of climate, the Palatinate, which is the largest region of vegetable cultivation in the open air, benefits from the advantages associated with this site: “Compared to other regions, the harvest of fresh vegetables and salads, is traditionally started up to four weeks earlier. Careful irrigation through sprinkler systems ensures the permanent availability of goods, even during droughts, and also extends the season by about three weeks in autumn .The weather is and remains the decisive factor influencing the cultivation of squash, especially regarding its quality and storage.
New pumpkin varieties illustrate market potential. Establishing them takes time, however, because the consumer likes to watch, but usually starts by buying well-known varieties. “It is certainly in these difficult times that German consumers are happy to literally have something new in their shopping basket. This is why we witness in 2022 the rebirth of well-known types and greater weight. »
Pfalzmarkt für Obst und Gemüse eG
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