Published on January 14, 2022 in Fresh Plaza

Henk Vlaeminck van Van Dijk Foods:

"Seedless grapes more popular every year"

ARRA Varieties was recently featured in Fresh Plaza.  Click here to view the original article.

Peruvian grapes are currently selling particularly well at Van Dijk Foods in Belgium. “There’s a nice supply of good quality Peruvian grapes,” says the company’s Henk Vlaeminck. “They’re selling extremely well. That’s despite the higher prices, partly caused by container transport costs. These larger, plumper grapes are still outperforming the varieties from South Africa.”

White seedless grapes are flying especially quickly off this company’s shelves. “We’re getting good volumes too. There’s perhaps a slight shortage, which has pushed prices up a little. However, there’s still enough on the market. It’s selling very well. I think supplies should begin to pick up soon as well.”
There is a shift in popularity from seeded to seedless grapes, says the trader. “Seedless grapes are becoming more popular every year. That, while the demand for the different seeded varieties is steadily declining. In seedless grape cultivation, growers’ main priority used to be to ensure that there were, indeed, no seeds in the grapes,” explains Henk.
“Nowadays, however, the newly developed varieties are increasingly cultivated according to taste. The ARRA varieties are of an especially high standard. These are beautifully shaped and very tasty. Because of this, seedless grapes are starting to gain ground over their seeded counterpart.”

According to Henk, ease of use plays an important role in this. “These days, youngsters are growing up with seedless grapes. Parents are increasingly aware of seeds’ choking hazard.”

“So, they give their kids seedless grapes. When they’re older, they then prefer these. So, from generation to generation, use shifts more and more in that direction.”

Aside from grapes, the company also imports lots of Spanish vegetables and herbs. “Here, we certainly don’t have any complaints either,” Vlaeminck adds. “Of course, the COVID-19 restrictions don’t make it any easier. We take it week to week, but we’re generally satisfied.”

“Sales were good between Christmas and New Year. That trend is continuing. There have been bad weather and transport issues in Spain. The vegetables are, therefore, slightly pricier. Nonetheless, everything keeps selling. We’re looking forward to April. Then we can again add beautiful Spanish stone fruit to our assortment,” concludes Henk with satisfaction.

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