Though customers during the past couple of years seemed to be weaning away from the category, distributors say sales are starting to rebound.
Demand varies depending on the season, said Alfie Badalamenti, vice president of Coosemans New York Inc. Badalamenti said demand increases during many ethnic or religious holidays such as the Jewish New Year.
Coosemans prides itself as being one of the last produce houses on the Hunts Point Terminal Market that focuses on specialties, he said.
“Specialty items use to be hard to source 25 years ago,” Badalamenti said.
“But as the years go along, people see a good thing and want to jump on it, as you see more conventional fruit and vegetable houses carrying specialties. They supplement their regular items with a few specialties.”