Ekrem Kusu of Oldenburg-based catering wholesaler Marina GmbH

"Our gastro customers always show themselves to be particularly competitive"

The pandemic has left deep scars on the German catering industry, and the after-effects of the crisis continue to be felt. "In particular, the uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic presented us with great challenges. However, we have still been able to cope with it, not least because our gastro customers have always shown themselves to be particularly keen to fight. There have also hardly been any insolvencies among our customers so far," sums up Ekrem Kusu, catering wholesaler and managing director of Marina Lebensmittel GmbH, which is based at Oldenburg wholesale market.

Ekrem Kusu (l) and his warehouse foreman.

The ongoing uncertainty in society is having a corresponding effect on consumer behavior, the catering supplier continues. "The consumer is showing more restraint, especially in the out-of-home market. Times are changing, and we have to adapt to the circumstances," says Kusu, one of four suppliers at the local trading site. Marina Lebensmittel GmbH primarily supplies restaurateurs within a 100km radius and carries a full range of products, including fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables and MoPro items, as well as dry goods and a wide variety of packaging materials and other catering accessories.

Spanish butcher's onions

Shortages and price increases
Among the year-round favorites, for example, are classic gastro vegetables, whether cucumbers, lettuces, carrots, or onions. Kusu says, "Due to the weather extremes, there have been increased shortages and price increases in the vegetable sector this season. Especially for salads, it was already particularly tight from the beginning. For certain lettuces, prices have roughly doubled compared to the previous year. This affects not only the German goods but also the Spanish and Dutch so that we currently lack an alternative source of supply. Nevertheless, the situation has stabilized slightly in recent weeks, especially in terms of sales volumes."

The company, founded in 2006, is based at the local wholesale market in Oldenburg.

The extreme fluctuations and challenging market conditions not only characterize the salads category but also other segments of the vegetable trade. "There is a similar situation in the tomato segment, where we are facing extreme price fluctuations this season. There are even suppliers who have already reordered tomatoes in Turkey, which is otherwise a rarity at this time of year," Kusu observes in conclusion.

For more information:
Ekrem Kusu
Marina Lebensmittel GmbH
Groß- und Einzelhandel
Großmarkt Oldenburg
Tel.: 0441 - 960 27 45 0
Fax: 0441 - 960 27 45 9

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