"Consumers are increasingly using social media for shopping".
Alimarket FMCG: How is the fruit retail sector performing in the first half of the year?
Víctor González: We are seeing a slowdown in the point of sale, caused by rising prices and the constant increase in competition from large supermarkets, with new establishments opening all the time.
A.G.C.: How has the upward trend in inflation affected you?
V.G.: The increase in the price of the shopping basket has penalised consumption at the point of sale, with a contraction of around 10/12%.
In the short term, we don't foresee an end to this situation, because due to the exceptional climatic circumstances that the countryside is suffering, with the loss of production, there is a lack of produce and prices are continuing to rise.
A.G.C.: Has this situation affected the chain's expansion?
V.G.: Over the last 15 years, Frutas Nieves has maintained a strong and determined commitment to distribution throughout Galicia. We have created new routes, with daily service, with which we supply everything from shops and greengrocers to more professional clients in the Horeca channel. We also have a strong presence in the hospitality sector, where we currently occupy a prominent position.
A.G.C.: What about the product range and have you made any changes in recent years?
V.G.: We are a company that works with more than 200 references of fruit and vegetables and the introduction of new ones is a constant in which we strive daily. Our clients are the first to enjoy the new additions each season with the novelties that the market has to offer.
The sector that has changed considerably is the fine dining sector. Nowadays, the specialisation of new chefs requires us to have a wide range of products, such as edible flowers, sprouts, micro-sprouts, all kinds of herbs and exotic products of international origin, which we have already incorporated into our catalogue years ago.
A.G.C.: What is the consumer profile of Frutas Nieves?
V.G.: The consumer profile of Frutas Nieves is that of a demanding person, who looks for and puts quality before price. In their shopping experience, they prioritise fresh, local or Galician produce.
There are more and more big chains and their policy, based on purchasing power, is a far cry from traditional commerce.
Our way of distancing and differentiating ourselves from them has always been based on a strong commitment to quality, service and offering alternatives that create value. The loyalty of our customers, during the 40 years we have been in the market, endorses us.
Due to the current situation, consumers are increasingly using social networks for their purchases because they are channels where they perceive the proximity of the shops and the personalisation of services to a greater extent.
Trends also indicate that consumers are more sensitive to prices and promotions, which is why they go to department stores.
A.G.C.: What initiatives are you deploying at the point of sale?
V.G.: Throughout the year we collaborate with suppliers, carrying out promotional activities for their products in our points of sale, which are intensified in the winter months, as this is when sales slow down.
We do not carry out actions based on discounts, but rather we prefer to promote brands or products of proven quality, such as 'Pink Lady', 'Plátano de Canarias', 'Kiwi Zespri', 'Fontestad', 'Bruñó', etc., through tastings.
At Christmas or Mother's Day, we carry out specific campaigns in which we give our clients a gift of plants from our nursery. In this way, we make a difference and remind them that we are still their usual fruit shop and we continue to work with the enthusiasm to stay close to them on a daily basis.
A.G.C.: What are the company's upcoming projects?
V.G.: In the second half of the year, we will be promoting our "Club Vitaminas", with which we encourage healthy eating habits among children through nutritional workshops in a fun and educational way. In these workshops, a nutritionist and a person from our Marketing Department playfully carry out games, talks, gifts and competitions to try to instil healthier and more responsible consumption habits.
Another project we are very excited about is Frutas Nieves Online, which emerged at the height of the health crisis in 2020 and continues to grow year after year.