Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean



Fruit and vegetables, a loss leader for hypermarkets and supermarkets

Currently, large-scale retailers in Morocco are not suffering competition from the Internet. For Moroccans, the place of production or harvest is of great importance, as is the need to be able to look at, touch and smell the fruit and vegetables that they are to buy.

MOROCCO. Going directly to the place of sale enables consumers to be aware of the latest deliveries and promotions. This is one of the reasons why sales of fruit and vegetables over the Internet are extremely marginal in Morocco ! 

At the other end of the distribution chain, souks no longer attract the younger generations. In contrast to Europe, fruit and vegetables are considered loss leaders by Moroccan large-scale retailers as this department offers the housewife the benefit of finding all the fresh and dried produce that she needs in one place.

In order to guarantee the freshness and quality of the fruits and vegetables and thus attract customers, Moroccan hypermarkets and supermarkets source their supplies from local producers. Of course, the situation is by no means uniform, as where some stores have opted to buy 100% of their fruit and vegetables from local farmers, other stores almost exclusively use their buying groups.

Moroccan clients attach a great deal of importance to the places of production

At the other end of the distribution chain, souks no longer attract the younger generations. (Photo NBC)
At the other end of the distribution chain, souks no longer attract the younger generations. (Photo NBC)

Because, over recent years, buying groups have developed in Morocco, particularly in order to serve supermarkets located far from areas of agricultural production, the latter are in a strong position to buy cheaply from intermediaries or producers. They also impose extremely demanding specifications, notably in relation to quality control. 

Generally, the fruit and vegetables are to be delivered within one to two days of the order being made. Hypermarkets take account of this when organising their weekly schedules, making any modifications as and when required on the basis of sales. 

Today, Europe seems to be discovering short supply chains with the consumer enthusiasm for locally sourced produce. In Morocco, this aspect has always been a priority for the simple reason of quality.

Nathalie Bureau du Colombier

Monday, October 29th 2012

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