Nougat makers expect a slight decrease in orders this Christmas

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An interview with the Ef Agencye, the general secretary of the Regulatory Council of Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) Jijona and Turrón de Alicante, Federico Moncunill, has stated that the campaign is presented with “some uncertainties” despite the fact that they are aware that they belong to a sector, the agri-food industry, that “is not being severely punished” by the economic and health situation.

Unlike other sectors, since the beginning of the health crisis, the nougat industry has continued “with its usual activity” because the measures adopted by the government against the coronavirus that decreed the cessation of activities considered as non-essential did not affect them because “the food sector was declared essential”.

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Before the strange Christmas of 2020, the representative of the nougat has admitted “a certain prudence” in the quantity of the orders they are receiving, despite which expects a campaign “more or less normal” although possibly “with some small decrease”.

Faced with this uncertain economic situation, the Council wanted to highlight that they hope that the consumption of nougat, an emblem of Christmas, will see an increase in its consumption in homes during these holidays of restrictions on mobility, as happened with the purchases of chocolate in confinement in March and April.

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Moncunill has stressed that, During this confinement, in the Jijona and Villajoyosa clusters, chocolate sales increased by 30 percent: “We produce 30 million kilos of chocolate per year“and what was observed was a” very significant increase. “

With this precedent, the Jijonenca industry shows hope that the behavior of nougat consumption will be similar in a year marked by restrictions and possible confinements, with foreseeable prolonged stays in homes.

The general secretary of the nougat is confident that “what is being lost in the nougat campaign” by the non-existent purchases of tourists, the drop in orders for batches of Christmas baskets and the drop in exports can “be recovered, in part, in the sale in supermarkets and on the shelves”, as happened with chocolate in March and April.

Based in Jijona, the Regulatory Council preserves the Jijona and Alicante appellations of origin and is a quality mark registered in Europe, a strong distinctive value worldwide, combining tradition and innovation.

From one of the economic lungs of the province, Moncunill recalled that they manufacture “20 million nougat bars with designation of origin from Alicante and Jijona”, which are the leaders in sales and that from the many factories in the area “they make 50 million bars of different varieties”, such as yolk or chocolate.

Regarding exports, the secretary pointed out that “a caution has been noted in the markets”, the same export operations have been carried out “but with a slightly lower level”, which is reflected in a 10 percent drop.

Regarding sales “online“, Moncunill has pointed out that they are going up although it is still “a very narrow channel still”, so it is a technological challenge that must be faced without losing the essence of tradition.

In the constant struggle to seasonally adjust consumption and that can be consumed throughout the year, the Council has presented a new product through a collaboration agreement with the French multinational Danone to market the yogurt “Oikos”, with nougat from Jijona certified by the Regulatory Council .

According to Moncunill, it is a very attractive opportunity to give visibility to this sweet that has been made for 500 years in Jijona and is linked to healthy eating.

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