Washed table potatoes share in Spanish supermarkets is growing CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY Automation of the business processes gets a lot of attention at Aquilar Patatas. between the local markets and the supermarkets. According to the FAO, the 46.5 million inhabitants consume 60 kg of potatoes – both fresh and processed – per head of the population each year. This makes the Spanish potato market one of the largest in Europe. ‘Since the economy has picked up again after the crisis of 2013, we see a change in sales, which is moving from the local market to the supermarket’, says the commercial director. Aquilar is already anticipating this change. Seventy-five percent of their turnover already goes to supermarkets, with 90 percent of that going to the Consum and Carrefour supermarket chains. In addition, the company supplies 15 percent of its turnover to the wholesale market. ‘We also have our own sales outlets on the wholesale market. This is an important market because the hotel and catering industry and its suppliers buy there. Spain has a large “out of home” market, where chefs prepare the potato in a great many dishes. Think of the famous Spanish potato tortilla’, explains the Aquilar manager. The trading company sells the remaining 10 percent of the turnover to the processing industry. These are mainly potatoes for processing the local French fries. The table potato market is changing rapidly According to Gascó, ten large packagers are currently active in Spain, supplying an increasing share of the Spanish table potato market, which is about 600,000 tons in size. Aquilar sells a total of 55,000 tons of potatoes per year. ‘Despite the increasing market share that goes to the supermarkets, we’ll certainly remain active in the various other markets. It’s important for us to spread the sales risks’, explains Gascó. ’The table potato market is changing rapidly and it’s a challenge to identify trends in time and to respond to them. As small packagers, we often have to switch quickly’, explains the table potato specialist. As an example, Gascó mentions the microwave packaging that the company has recently ‘Because our washer has also been developed and tested with the electronic potato, it’s excellent for washing delicate products’, says Tummers’ Hein Kortebos. Potato World 2019 • number 2 41 Pagina 40

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