The manager of Mercapalma, Jeroni Barbón, points to there having been a significant drop in sales because of the pandemic. He says that the general consumer food sector was comparatively unaffected last year but that sales to hotels, bars and restaurants were greatly affected, and these constitute Mercapalma's biggest market. The loss of tourism was clearly the principal reason.
A small part of the wholesale market's client base consists of neighbourhood stores and municipal markets. While these have helped to keep Mercapalma business reasonably buoyant, the main source has been the large supermarket chains.
For fruit and vegetables, there was a 20.4% drop in sales in 2020: 152,373 tonnes, as compared with 191,527 in 2019. With fresh meat, there was a 12.6% decrease to 14,040 tonnes. There was a particular drop in the sale of veal. This was down 24.9% to 2,193 tonnes. Frozen meat sales fell 22.2% to 14,474 tonnes. Barbón notes that most frozen meat is for the hospitality sector.
There was a four per cent decline in the sale of fresh fish, a decrease of 1,976 tonnes. Barbón adds that fish represents only four per cent of Mercapalma's sales, as La Lonja accounts for most fish sales.