Front Line Flour - Keeping the Supply Chain Stocked
With offices and a warehouse in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, Eurostar Commodities has maintained a strong supply of ingredients for both consumers and businesses alike during lockdown. Consumer demand for quality flour during lockdown has been so high that the businesses’ online shop has been run off its feet to fulfil orders.
Though foodservice and the hospitality industry have been forced to close, other channels are facing an unprecedented demand for product. As the exclusive distributor for Grandi Molini Italiani, high quality Italian flour, Eurostar Commodities have found themselves at the centre of the ‘Revenge of the Flour’.
The term is coined by TV news channels in Rovigo, Northern Italy where traditional mills are recording a year on year doubling of production. Manufacturers estimate that for domestic flour Italian families buy 10 packs (1.5kg packs) per year. This has switched to 10 packs per month since February.
Philip Bull, Managing Director, Eurostar Commodities agrees; “We have experienced unprecedented challenges during the last three months but our main priority has been the health and safety of our staff and customers. We felt from the very start that we had a role to play in ensuring that our part of the food supply chain remained intact. I’m delighted to say that through hard work we’ve been able to deliver a large volume of products throughout the lockdown.”
“We have had a massive rise in demand for flour of all types. In particular the high quality Italian ‘00’ flour that we import from Grandi Molini Italiani has been flying out the door. Pizzerias have been able to maintain some service with convenient home delivery throughout lockdown. Our online consumer shop is now supplying home bakers with products which we would only have supplied to high end pizzerias and chefs before.”
Daniele Ruggin, Director, Grandi Molini Italiani, Rovigo, Italy said; "The flour continues to come out of our plants regularly. What happened is that it disappeared from the shop’s shelves, because suddenly everyone in Italy (and beyond) put themselves into the kitchen. We have had to double production."
The business has seen an increase in demand across all flour and yeast products, and with gluten free baking also standing out as very popular. Their range of three Gluten Free chapati flours is extremely popular, as is the Spiffing brand of flour and rice. A new self-raising flour that is of extremely high quality has just been launched. The lockdown has led to a further sophistication in the UK market where people are requesting specific flour for the specific products that they are making. The entire UK population has thrown themselves into preparing their own bread, pizzas, cakes and even pasta forcing manufacturers into overdrive with mills in Italy operating 24 hours a day to satisfy consumer demand which has increased by 30-40%.
Eurostar Commodities has run a safe and socially distanced staff policy moving administration and sales staff to home working and with reduced warehouse staff working to strict healthy and safety regulations.