At the beginning of the Corona crisis, there was some speculation about the impact that the pandemic would have on the online trade in fresh food. In some places there were several weeks of waiting time for orders - the trade was obviously not prepared for the onslaught and did not have the necessary capacity. However, the boom of recent months could have been exactly what online trade needed to gain a foothold with the German consumer.
Franken-Gemüse Knoblauchsland has been operating an online shop for several years now. Last year, during our visit to Nuremberg, we spoke to Managing Director Florian Wolz about the development - and the preferences of his 100 or so customers per month.
In 2020, things will look very different: "The Corona virus hit like a bomb and we were able to increase our sales approximately tenfold during the months of the lockdown. From around 100 orders per month, we reached a peak of 120 orders in just one day." At this point in time, business has settled down again, but he hopes that the Knoblauchsland-Gemüse Shop will retain one or two loyal customers.
"We are very satisfied with the current development. Even though orders have declined somewhat, we can see that 30-40% of our customers are placing repeat orders with us," Wolz proudly states. "This brings a little more life into this project, which previously had somewhat sluggish results. Now we have the opportunity to invest and experiment."
One of these experiments is the smoothie box, which will soon be added to the shop's product range. "Our smoothie packs are a convenient way to make fresh smoothies at home. We supply the necessary fruit and vegetables, along with small recipe cards." Mainly regional products are used, from tomatoes and strawberries to spinach.
In the normal day-to-day business of the producers' cooperative, one notices not too many effects of the pandemic any more. "In general, the season is going well so far. The production volume at the producers is good and sales are also going well. Due to the March hoarding, the farms had planned for larger volumes if possible - now that sales have returned to normal, so this leads to a slight surplus. This in turn makes for favourable prices."
It was important to Wolz right from the start not to contribute to the panic-mongering among consumers: "There was talk of scarcity and high prices, but in the end it didn't really happen. All in all, everything went quite smoothly."
"There were still certain cycles, weeks of excess supply and some worse weeks." However, there was a slight shift: "Traditionally, the week after Easter is a real sales slump. This was not the case this year. We assume that this was because people couldn't go on holidays."
All in all, a lot of things are now returning to normal. This is of course good, but it is also causing problems: "We often have to remind people to stick to the measures. Hygiene rules and distances are things that are still important. We must remain vigilant and avoid problems in our sector."