Presentation on Future Challenges for Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Dealers

The study, which Mercabarna commissioned to a specialist consultancy firm, was carried out on the basis of interviews with customers and potential customers of the precinct’s wholesale businesses.
The study revealed that, even though more fruit and vegetables are being produced and consumed, the fruit and vegetable wholesale channel is losing market share. Major distributors buying at the source, the rise in packaged, ready-to-eat fresh and prepared foods and the rising demand for locally grown organic fruit and vegetables are some of the reasons for this drop in market share.

With these factors in mind, the study proposes a number of strategic challenges to galvanise business competitiveness. One could be to reposition activity to offer solutions to the hospitality channel. Another challenge for wholesalers might be to create a specialised retail chain in areas across Spain where the model is not as well developed. A third possibility would be to establish a central purchasing and services facility –if necessary, by clubbing together with other wholesalers– to supply traditional retailers and specialist channels as well as the hospitality sector. A further possibility is to work with cooperatives to take their products into new areas, as wholesalers could provide an enhanced customer portfolio and certification that could even facilitate exports.
In any case, finding partners that enable the wholesale businesses to expand into new fields is one of the keys to guaranteeing business continuity.

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