The second lockdown in Germany is still eating away at the gastronomy industry and the fruit and vegetable trading companies that supply them. Business ideas to save turnover are still springing up in many places, albeit with moderate success. We spoke to Birgit Kiesewetter of the eponymous wholesaler in Bullay.
Kiesewetter LLC had launched a box service in spring 2020 and had great success in the region. "At the beginning of the campaign, we sold between 150 and 300 fruit and vegetable crates. Despite a significant drop during the summer lockdowns, we wanted to keep the offer going. Now in the second lockdown, there are far fewer buyers and we are only packing 20 to 40 boxes a week."
The first boxes at the start of the lockdown
During the first lockdown, many consumers had avoided the big supermarket chains and discounters: "There was a boom in farm shops, but also butchers and other delivery services. In the meantime, the fear of contagion in the supermarket has probably diminished somewhat. We're not the only ones seeing this, but also many of our colleagues in the region, whose delivery and collection services have lost momentum."
With the shutdown of the hospitality sector, the Kiesewetters have lost most of their customers, and consider themselves lucky to still be able to supply hospitals and old people's homes. "We survive," she says, "thanks to hospitals, old people's homes and short-time work. But it's about time there was a relaxation again. We really hope that the hotels and restaurateurs can open again for Easter, otherwise there will be no one left for us to supply afterwards."