Pumpkin sales up but Halloween celebrations squashed

Best not eat these….Photo: Dutchnews.nl

Dutch pumpkin growers are seeing a peak in demand in the run up to Halloween but the Dutch are eating more of them year round as well, Nu.nl reports.

There are some 364 pumpkin producers in the Netherlands with 900 hectares between them, according to researchers at Wageningen University. One hectare is good for a crop of some 25,000 pumpkins.

Pumpkin producer Jeroen Robbers, owner of De Terp Pompoenen, told Nu.nl the pumpkin has become more mainstream ever since it stopped being the preserve of health shops some thirty years ago.

He warned that the orange pumpkin traditionally associated with Halloween is best kept for decorative purposes. ‘It’s edible but tasteless. You’d best not make it into a soup. The tasty edible pumpkin is green, grey or orange, and we prefer to call it a winter squash in the trade,’ Robbers said.

The Dutch market is pretty saturated, the grower said, but in the rest of Europe the vegetable is not available all year round. ‘That is where our growth potential is,’ Robbers said.

Increased marketing for Halloween by supermarkets, meanwhile, has increased his sales by 200,000 kilos.

Halloween, celebrated on October 31, is a relatively new phenomenon in the Netherlands. Celtic in origin, it travelled to the United States where it changed into a heavily commercialised and much-loved horror fest, which is the version adopted by the Dutch.

This year the health authorities in the Amsterdam region have urged people not to take their children trick or treating because of the risk of coronavirus contagion.

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