The Bulletin – Spring 2021 Edition

The Bulletin

Roland Foods Updates

Global News

Euro vs USD

Roland Foods’ item portfolio includes a vast assortment of products from Europe. Since the start of the pandemic, the Euro has appreciated 12% vs. the USD. With the potential passage of the Biden Administration’s Covid-19 $1.9 trillion stimulus package, along with other economic factors, the U.S. dollar could further weaken vs. the Euro in the coming months. Our team continues to monitor these currency dynamics and evaluate financial strategies to minimize impact on cost to our European imports.

Freight Rates

Spot ocean freight rates from Asia have been at record high levels due to an import surge that has continued into 2021. Despite carriers adding capacity with extra-loader vessels, the East Coast spot rate has continued to jump, and is now up 72.5% from last year, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index.

Roland Foods has worked hard to soften the impact of the current market conditions by maintaining a strong matrix of contracted ocean freight rates with major carriers. These efforts have resulted in Roland Foods’ spend running >40% below the average East Coast spot rate during this period.

While we expect to face challenges due to shifts in freight rates and currency, we are committed to make every effort to ensure our customers experience a minimal effect. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through future uncertainties.


Regional Market Report News
Major Weather Conditions

Crops affected – Water Chestnuts

The Water Chestnut harvest in the Winter of 2020 was particularly fruitful due to a rainy growing season. The fruit grew to a larger than average size, which is seen as especially valuable by the fresh market. Farmers therefore allocated a larger supply of material to the fresh market, causing a lower availability of product to the canning facilities. Despite this, Roland Foods has secured a steady supply of Water Chestnuts for the 2021 season.

Crops affected – Anchovies

Supply of Anchovies in Peru are predicted to be relatively stable throughout 2021. Due to the upwelling zones within the Humboldt (Peru) current, biological diversity is extremely rich in Peru. The current is considered a Class I, highly productive ecosystem, and enables the area to catch around 5.000 million kgs of fresh Anchovies per year.

Crops affected – Artichokes

Spanish Artichokes suffered a low peak harvest period (December and January) due to cold weather that caused a significant portion of the raw material to freeze. The unseasonal climate, in addition to the change in foreign exchange rate, has impacted pricing for the current season.  To discuss potentially affected items, please contact your Account Manager.

Crops affected – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The 2020 Extra Virgin Olive Oil harvest in Italy was abnormally sparse, which resulted in only a third of the expected production and potential cost increases. Our team is partnering closely with our suppliers to minimize any interruptions and hope to see reprieve during the next harvest (March and April).


Product Spotlight

Roland Foods offers a wide selection of products in our Kalamata category, including both Kalamata and Kalamon varieties. Kalamon and Kalamata Olives are similar in taste, color, and texture, but Kalamon Olives are sourced from Turkey and Kalamata Olives from Greece. They are both black olives with a deep purple color, almond shape, plump texture, and rich, almost fruity taste. Produced in the Mediterranean region, these olives are typically found in traditional dishes, such as hummus and Greek salads, but are a delicious addition to breads, grain bowls, pizzas, sandwiches, and more.

In past seasons, the Kalamon Olive market has remained relatively stable, while the Kalamata Olive crop has experienced several challenges. However, in the 2020/2021 season, Kalamata Olives have been especially fruitful, closing the gap in cost between Kalamon and Kalamata Olive products.


News at Roland Foods


Roland Foods Partners with Acosta, Inc.

As of December 2020, Roland Foods has appointed Acosta, leading sales and marketing agency in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry, as the broker of record for all Roland Foods’ domestic retail products. With Acosta’s extensive U.S. coverage and deep retail experience, supported by data-driven intelligence, this partnership will enhance Roland Foods’ ability to deliver continuous value and growth to its trading partners while bolstering its commitment to superior service and support.

Read more about this partnership here:

Check out our revamped Amazon storefront page here:

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