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People are eating more expensive pepernoten in the run up to the annual Sinterklaas celebrations on December 5. The traditional small spicy biscuit will be superseded by popular new variants such as the chocolate coated pepernoot, Oscar de Lange, director of pepernoot market leader Van Delft, told news site Nu.nl. The pepernoten wholesale sector took a hit last year when public Sinterklaas celebrations were cancelled across the country because of coronvirus restrictions. However, more pepernoten were sold in shops. Pepernoten sales totalled € 36m last year compared to €35m the year before. ‘The reason is that more people are buying the chocolate-coated ones, and they are twice as expensive,’ De Lange said. He said he expects the sales record will be broken this year. The season traditionally runs from September 1 to December 5, although pepernoten were spotted in shops as early as August. Van Delft, which claims it produces seven out of every 10 pepernoten sold, said more companies are entering the pepernoten market. ‘World players want to get in on the act,’ he said. Designated pepernoten shops have also begun to appear in the high streets, some twenty of which are run by Van Delft. ‘These will remain open all year long. We won’t be selling as many of course but people will want to buy them for Christmas and Mother’s Day, for instance,’ De Lange said. Healthy vegan pepernoten are also now available.

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