22 Feb 2024

Slomp: costs rise but consumption of berries is increasing in 2024


The year 2024 has started with a stabilization of prices and an increase in consumption. Therefore, we open with optimism, waiting to see the production trends in spring and summer. In this exclusive interview with Italian Berry, Stefano and Nicola Slomp comment on the berry consumption trends of Italian households in 2023, recently published by Italian Berry and Gfk. They also look to the future with a particular focus on the needs of end consumers.

Slomp is a family-owned company established in 1957 that, based in Trentino, has expanded its horizon to berries worldwide. The brothers and owners, Stefano and Ivano, mainly handle the commercial aspect, while Stefano's children, Tamara and Nicola (pictured), oversee the administrative and research and development aspects.

How was your 2023 performance for berries?

The products on which we specialize and stand out are primarily berries, strawberries, and cherries. 2023 was a unique year, whether we look at volumes or prices that the different berries we work with had throughout the year. From our experience, it's challenging to recall years where constant consumption difficulties persisted for such a long period, along with a significant increase in costs and consequently prices.

This dynamic was evident both in times of full local and national production and in months when most of the product is imported, across almost all the products we handle.

Looking at individual products in the category, which one has stood out the most?

Among the items that have performed well in terms of volume throughout the year, blueberries have certainly stood out, followed by blackberries and raspberries, albeit at a distance. 

Blueberries have defied the trend of the rest of the category and have grown significantly, while blackberries and raspberries have confirmed market interest despite a challenging year in terms of consumption.

Italian Berry - GfK data show an increase in penetration and buying households despite a rise in prices. Do you also see a growing interest in berries among Italian consumers?

In 2023, in continuity with previous years, we have witnessed a further increase in the contact that end customers seek with us, or even further upstream with our partners. We increasingly receive inquiries, clarifications, or curiosities about the fruits being purchased, and this is evidence of the growing interest in a category that has much to offer. T

oday, it is important for us not only to offer a product that meets all the desired characteristics but also to ensure a comprehensive service for our customer, as we are a B2B company with a constant focus on the needs of the eventual consumer."

What are the prospects for 2024 that has just begun?

Taking a look at 2024, although it can hardly be statistical, we are observing a settling of prices and a return to volume growth. This gives us hope for the future, although it will be necessary to see whether production will respect calendar forecasts or encounter difficulties that will make the spring and summer season unpredictable.

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