This month, Spanish wild strawberries appeared again in herb and edible flower merchant Van Laethem's assortment. "These have been an established part of our range for several years. As soon as the first ones are ready for harvest, we offer them," says Niel Van Laethem of this Belgian company. "Also, these days, more people seem to be getting to know these strawberries."
Wild strawberries are, as the name implies, cultivated strawberries' wild cousin. Its taste is often described as sweet and intense. "Our direct line means we receive these about six times a week, so we can always offer the strawberries fresh to our customers. We have them in 100g trays until about the end of May."
"Sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little shorter. That depends on what Mother Nature does. The volumes have been increasing in recent years, also because their popularity grows year after year," explains Niel. Van Laethem's sells most of its wild strawberries to higher-end greengrocers.
Despite inflation seemingly affecting consumer buying behavior, the trader sees increased sales of these wild strawberries. "Somehow, that makes sense because these days, everyone's doing their utmost to spoil their clients as much as possible. With such a high-quality, exclusive product, one succeeds very well in this."
According to Niel, the trend to add an extra dimension to dishes is noticeable in every category of the family business. "Our edible flowers are a fine example. In the past, using edible violets was a good move to take a dish to another level," he says.
"Nowadays, you can go so deep and wide, it's not only a plus visually, but it also adds a dimension in terms of taste experience. This is especially highly appreciated in the hospitality industry. Our end clients get our sales representatives/advisers to help figure out particular dishes," Niel concludes.
For more information:
Niel Van Laethem
112 - M27 Werkhuizenkaai
1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 256 95 265