Importaco expands its sunflower seed production to face growing demand

Tuesday 27 of October, 2020

Importaco invests in its Sagunto plant, which was opened in 2020. In 2020, the company is investing an extra €4M to install three new production lines that will double the plant’s capacity in processing and packaging sunflower seeds, from 8M kg to 17M kg. Also, the company said that these production lines are equipped with the latest technology and are connected to ensure real-time monitoring.

According to the data published by Nielsen, sunflower seeds showed the highest food consumption rate in the dried fruit category, making up 30.4% in volume (5.3% more than in 2019) and 17.6% in value (+0.7%). This growth is in line with the comfort food trend boosted by the pandemic this year, as it is related to the consumption of products that produce comfort and entertainment, such as sunflower seeds and popcorn.

The benefits of specialised plants

The Sagunto plant specialises in producing sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. This 12,000 m2 plant required an investment of over €30M to build and equip its facilities, and €17M of the total investment were paid in 2019. Having specialised in these two products, the plant will now be able to remove the warning of “tree nuts” and “peanut” allergens from its labels, explained the company.

Importaco is the first operator within the dried fruit category in Spain to produce a volume of 92,481 t (+6%) and its turnover for these products amounted to €519M in 2019, out of a total €584.5M. About 75% of its turnover comes from its Spanish retail operations, especially its sales to Mercadona after qualifying as a “Totaler Supplier”.

Article published in Alimarket.