At Taste Up in Belgium, they can feel Christmas approaching. "The demand for herbs has been noticeably increasing since the end of last week," says Jorne Leemans.
"Sales peaked at the start of this week. These will slow down a little over the next few days until after Christmas. Then it will pick up again until the end of the year. This year, Christmas will be celebrated differently."
"Most people will have a small celebration at home. They will do most of the cooking themselves. New Year's celebrations will also be different. Again, in smaller groups at home, rather than big parties. We expect the demand for herbs to increase then, too," Jorne says.
Jorne Leemans and Jolien Vanden Berghe
“Hospitality sector demand is not bad"
“The demand for herbs from the hospitality sector is remarkably reasonable. We'd expected it to decrease somewhat since the restaurants closed, but it's not been too bad. Restaurants have recently been focusing on takeaways, and wholesalers are selling to the general public. We think many people will opt for caterers or takeaways during the Festive season. These initiatives mean the situation is better than expected."
According to Jorne, the classics are popular during the Festive season. "Chives, dill, tarragon, thyme, and rosemary always sell very well at this time of year. These herbs complement winter dishes well. There's also a higher-than-expected demand for edible flowers. It seems people are making an extra effort in how their dishes will be presented during Christmas dinner. If you want to make a dish extra festive, you have to, of course, include edible flowers."
“It's important that people start cooking with herbs at home. Especially now that the hospitality sector is closed. We need to continue encouraging people to use herbs in the kitchen. They're indispensable in many dishes. Herbs complete the dish, and they're very healthy to boot," concludes Jorne.