The corona virus shut down Denmark. For Danish Food Cluster member Gyldensteen, this led to a 70 % drop in turnover from one day to the next. Now the company is rethinking itself and hopes that the retail chains will step up.
It all started years ago when the 13th generation of the Gyldensteen-Bernstorff family, Peter Bernstorff and his wife Nynne Bernstorff decided to return from a suit-and-tie adventure abroad to start an apple-and-rubber-boots-adventure at the Gyldensteen estate on Fyn.
A successful apple adventure that came to an abrupt stop due to the corona crisis.
“Our customers are mainly hotels, foodservice and specialist shops and almost all of them have shut down due to the crisis. In total, this has led to an 70 percent decline in our turnover,” says Peter Bernstorff.
From B2B to B2C, from own funding to crowdfunding. This new reality has forced the company to reconsider itself in many ways.
“We have refocused our sales efforts on our webshop, and put a lot of effort into our social media channels. Moreover, we have sold products through the COOP Crowdfunding platform. In addition to new sales, this has brought us into more direct contact with the consumer, and their needs and opinions,” says Peter Bernstorff.
In these tough times, where the retail business is flourishing, Peter Bernstorff would have wished for an easier way pass the tough retail gate-keepers: The buyers.
“These times truly illustrate how difficult it is to be a small producer compared to the large retail chains. In the future I really hope for a shorter way to the retail shelfs – that the retail buyers are more open to new producers,” Peter Bernstorff declares and continues
“because there is no better substitute for the exposure granted by good placement on a Danish supermarket shelf, where products are seen by more people in a single day than our webshop gets in a month.”
Despite the retail chains showing public spirit, there is more way to come:
“The large chains have showed public spirit in these times by paying all their suppliers immediately, as many of them needed the money. This is truly a great initiative. But I still hope for easier access to the retail chains after this crisis,” says Peter Bernstorff.