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The patterns of perishable product consumption vary according to season, and Christmas is the greatest proof of this, with a highly defined profile.

More shellfish! The consumption of perishable products at Christmas

Perishable products Christmas

“More wood!”, shouted (more or less) the Marx brothers in the West. Spanish families seem to yell “more shellfish!” when the biggest party of the year draws near: Christmas. Street lights, decorations in shop windows and advertisements for toys and perfumes are not the only things that change and increases at this time of the year: patterns of consumption for perishable products change, too.

If all patterns of consumption shift at this time of the year, the boom experienced by perishable foods at Christmas is simply incredible. Well, not all perishable items: just some. Let’s take a look at what those products are and why temperature-controlled transport is crucial for a large number of businesses and food stores.

Shellfish and fish, but not only…

Yes, there is no doubt, shellfish and fish are the star attractions on tables at Christmas and they take the lion’s share of family’s budgets. Crustaceans are represented by clams, king prawns and crayfish, and seafood by hake, sea bass and, last but not least, sea bream.

Meat (principally lamb and kid goat) is the other perishable food whose consumption shoots up during the festive period. Whilst other meat products are also consumed on a massive scale without posing problems of how to preserve them (serrano ham is the best example), we Spanish still prefer to buy fresh meat at the last moment.

And let’s not forget the popularity of those other high-range delicatessen products that tend to appear in homes only at this time of year and which require refrigeration. For example, premium cooked sausages and fresh cheeses; semi-preserves such as smoked fish, anchovies and caviar; and all types of pâtés.

Of course, some types of almond nougat also require refrigeration.

Monitor the cold chain!

If these products (and especially fish and shellfish) have something in common, it is their high degree of perishability. They don’t last long in a good state. This fact, together with the convenience of acquiring them on dates near their consumption, means that special attention needs to be paid to their ideal cold chain storage.

No, it’s not enough for it to be snowing outside. We have to be serious about this to ensure that our customers consume refrigerated perishable products in perfect condition in order to avoid health risks. Respecting transport, storage and labelling protocols, both for the refrigerated and frozen product, is crucial.

Suitable insulating packaging is… what is suitable.

During the entire journey that the food item takes from its place of origin to the diner’s plate, there is one factor that is crucial: isothermal packaging for foods that are sensitive to changes in temperature. It not only ensures safety for the retailer and their customers, but is also an important factor in the growth of the business and contributes added value in terms of packaging.

Whether for refrigerated or frozen foods, the ideal type of packaging for controlled temperatures will depend on the characteristics of the product and the logistical circumstances (times, distances and stages). In many cases, disposable isothermic packaging will be required, whereas in other cases temperature-controlled re-usable containers may be used.

 

Merry, fresh and well-preserved Christmas!

Christmas being as merry as we want it to be depends, amongst other things, on us consuming perishable products in perfect condition.