While the domestic leafy greens are now increasingly on sale, the marketing of Italian arugula, baby spinach, and baby leaf continues to run at full speed. "We can look back on an extremely gratifying campaign with good volumes and equally good qualities. At the moment, the availability of arugula in bunches from southern Italy is visibly decreasing due to the heat, but demand meanwhile remains high and stable," says Georg Steinkeller, specialized importer and owner of Munich-based Giocola e.K.
At the beginning of the year, demand for arugula, a classic gastro article, had dropped slightly due to the Corona crisis. Says Steinkeller, "In the meantime, the demand for goods has almost normalized and settled down to pre-Corona levels. Fortunately, the summer prices were set shortly before the Ukraine crisis began, so the war situation has only had a slight impact on quotations. Due to the increased transport costs, our prices are about 5% above last year's level. In view of the current situation and the additional costs for styrofoam and wooden crates, we too will certainly have to accept huge price jumps in the fall, i.e., during the next price negotiations."
Continuity in quantity and quality
According to Steinkeller, competition with domestic leafy greens is rather manageable. "The domestic produce either goes directly to the food retailer or it is marketed through the wholesale market. We, on the other hand, focus on a completely different clientele, namely the regional gastronomy and the specialized retail trade. They particularly appreciate our continuity in terms of both quantity and quality. Of course, there are also occasional slight quantity restrictions with Italian imported goods, but overall we are always able to offer sufficient quantities even in the event of a tight supply situation."
Naomi Steinkeller, daughter of the owner, at the wholesale stand. Marketed are Italian arugula, baby spinach, and baby lettuce primarily in 8x125 gram bowls or loose in 1kg patties.
Slight increase in clientele
As a specialized trader, Steinkeller was for years at the helm of the established wholesale company Herbafrucht GmbH, which was taken over by Philipp Kahn in 2020. Since then, the vegetable merchant can be found under the new company name Giocola e.K. at the neighboring stand opposite. "I have even been able to expand my existing customer base somewhat since the new opening." That this is not a matter of course, especially in these times, can be seen from the current mood in Munich's wholesale market hall.