Spanish consumers love Belen cakes, and Mercadona is partly to blame

Spanish consumers love Belen cakes, and Mercadona is partly to blame

In recent years, Spaniards we have included among our tourist destinations the neighboring Portugal. Apart from getting to know its streets, monuments and cities, one of the most amazing moments is Portuguese cuisine. Of all the products, the most in demand Belen traditional pastries or Pastéis de Belém, also called cream.

Such is the success of these Portuguese sweets that the Portuguese themselves sweep them away in specialized stores opening in Spain. In addition, supermarkets Mercadona or Alcampo They rely on this typical pasta, which has taken a significant niche in the national shelves.

Belem cakes take over Spain

“Our most requested product is cream cakes, better known as Belen cakes. In particular, we sell 600 pieces a day from Monday to Friday, about 1,000 on Saturdays, and between 1,200 and 1,500 on Sundays,” he says. Eleanor Castro, owner of A Casa Portuguesa, located in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. These sweets are worth 1.40 euros per unit.

Assortment of pastries from Belém / PEXELS
Assortment of pastries from Belém /PEXELS

But the demand for it is growing not only in Portuguese grocery stores. More and more restaurants and bars order them. “Pastel de nata sells the most, but all portuguese pastry it is highly valued by the Spaniards,” emphasizes Rui Brito, commercial director of Luso Foods, a company specialized in the distribution of these products in Spain. In particular, areas bordering the neighboring country such as Extremadura, Galicia and Castile and León are the communities where they are most in demand, although demand from Madrid and Andalusia also stands out.

Portuguese confectionery keep tradition alive

Although both Spain and Portugal are Iberian countries and their gastronomy is very similar, there are certain features that make them different. And it is precisely in these features that his formula for success lies. “Portuguese sweets still follow the processes manual developmentrespecting the know-how of its origin. This gives them a different personality and flavor. With all the observance of the recipe, pastel de nata, prepared in Portugal by pastry chefs with many years of experience, does not have the same taste as cooked outside the country, ”explains Brito.

Bowls with the necessary ingredients for making Belen cakes / PIXABAY
Bowls with ingredients needed to make Belen cakes /PIXABAY

Another important factor that makes these delicacies irresistible in the eyes of Spanish consumers is raw material. “At the level of baking, the Portuguese are richer than the Spaniards. This traditional product saves more than the one made by the nuns. And the star ingredients are egg and sugar“, explains the owner of A Portugal House.

Cheese and wine, other “bestsellers”

In addition to baking Serra da Estela cheese and green wines and the rest are natural bestsellers Portuguese. “The value for money between Portuguese and Spanish products is very different. For example, a Portuguese wine for 6 euros is a good wine, and a Spanish one for the same price is not so good. Less than 20 euros Spanish wine is not very good,” says Castro.

Two bottles of Portuguese green wine / PEXELS
Two bottles of Portuguese green wine /PEXELS

Vinho Verde, named after the lush landscape of the Minho region, is actually a fresh white wine. The cheapest thing you can buy in a Portuguese house is K.M. 2018 how much does it cost 19 euro. For its part, Serra da Estela is a buttery cheese that this Catalan shop sells for around 500 grams for 18 euros.

Prominent role of Mercadona

But not only cakes live a man or a woman. “There are more products that make sense to be on the shelves of Spanish supermarkets. Mercadonahaving stores in Portugal, they include them in Spain,” says Brito.

New Lemon Lizards Mercadona / MERCADONA
New Lemon Lizards Mercadona /MERCADONA

Thus, since Mercadona started selling the Portuguese range in Spain, the most lemon lizards and pastries with cinnamon, both manufactured by Confeitaria Carlos Goncalves. According to Mercadona, up to 6,500 packs of these lemon biscuits are sold per day. The price of each half-kilogram bag €1.55.

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Mercadona supermarket with a wide range of white brands / EP

Alcampo also has a Portuguese offering.

Mercadona confirms global consumer that “the company has been working with Unileite-LactAcoresspecialized supplier Flamengo Cheese Açores Hacendado, a traditional product from the Portuguese country, which is presented both in the form of a ball, and in the form of a bar, slices, cubes or grated. “Cooperation with this supplier has allowed us to improve this product not only on the supermarket shelves in Portugal, but also, thanks to its quality and traditional character, in some areas of Spain, thus contributing to the export of one of our favorite cheeses. the Portuguese.” Expenses 1.60 euros per room.

And Alcampo also follows Mercadona’s strategy. It also offers a small range of Portuguese products, including a box 6 Belen frozen cakes for €3.29 and various Vascos green wines for €5.94.

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