After beating the drought, the Lithuanian carrot and onion harvest has reached the store shelves
Despite the hot and dry summer that made growing carrots and onions more difficult, fresh Lithuanian vegetables have already reached the store shelves. According to the data from Maxima's market researchers, Lithuanian onions were available in supermarkets a week earlier than last year, and carrots just a week later. Retailers have noticed that buyers are especially fond of fresh vegetables grown in Lithuania, which they buy plentifully as soon as they arrive on the shelves. According to data from the largest national trading network, the demand for Lithuanian carrots and onions has grown by one third in the past year, a press release from the Maxima retail chain states.
"We heard from the Lithuanian farmers supplying fresh produce that the yield of onions and carrots would be lower than last year due to the arid weather. Therefore, to make sure that there would not be a shortage of these vegetables for our customers, we ordered them in larger quantities. You can buy fresh Lithuanian onions and carrots in our stores today – both in simple weighable amounts, as well as in prepacked and organic bundles. We have noticed that the demand for Lithuanian vegetables is growing every year, so we make sure that our buyers can always find them in our stores," said the Maxima Chief Commercial Officer, Vilma Drulienė.
According to her, there are over 150 types of Lithuanian vegetables in the Maxima range, which are supplied to the chain stores from almost 100 Lithuanian farms.
According to the Lithuanian farmers engaged in agriculture, although some of the fields yielded fewer carrots this year and the onion farmers struggled to water their crops in time, the quality of the Lithuanian vegetables remained just as high as last year.
"Not only in Lithuania, but also across Europe, we are seeing that the farmers who were able to invest in irrigation equipment that ensures sufficient soil moisture are the ones who got the most out of this hot summer. Although local yields will be lower than last year due to the arid weather, the quality of the vegetables has not suffered. Some vegetable crops had trouble sprouting, but they then matured and grew really well," said Lina Šateika, a farmer who supplies the Maxima chain with carrots and onions.
According to the Maxima Chief Commercial Officer, the fresh Lithuanian vegetable yield began earlier than previously due to the warmer weather and has also become more popular than last year.
"This year, we have noticed that the demand for potatoes has grown significantly with sales increasing by 12 percent, and potatoes have even become more popular than the short cucumbers loved by Lithuanians. The Lithuanian raspberry tomatoes have also received special attention from consumers, but are ahead of the sales of local yellow tomatoes by only a few percent. This year, buyers are also much more interested in buying Lithuanian strawberries," said V. Drulienė.
It is estimated that Maxima is currently responsible for about 50 percent from the total sales of vegetables of a Lithuanian origin.
The strengths of the traditional Lithuanian Maxima chain are low prices and a wide choice of goods, in particular Lithuanian. The networking manager Maxima LT is the largest Lithuanian capital company, one of the major taxpayers and the largest employer in the country. At present, there are 245 Maxima stores in Lithuania employing more than 15 thousand of staff. The stores are visited by more than 550 thousand customers daily.