Other than during the storm, produce sales remained consistent, said Joe Granata, director of produce for RLB Food Distributors LP, West Caldwell, N.J.
“We had a nice little stretch last year but toward the summer, it tailed off,” he said. “The hurricane flew everything into a flux and it remained a struggle. It dampened sales around Thanksgiving and Christmas and affected everything here, not just the food industry.”
New York’s retail field remains highly competitive.
Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce and floral for Kings Super Markets LLC, Parsippany, N.J., notes new market entrants.
“You’re seeing companies like Fresh Market starting to come in a little more, Wegmans is building more and Whole Foods is building up. It’s a very competitive area ... but no one wants to see the competitive landscape overbuilt either.”
Mike Cochran, sales manager and vice president of Robert T. Cochran & Co. Inc., agreed demand hasn’t been noteworthy.
“Sales are OK and 2012 was kind of a quiet year,” he said. “Demand was just average. But everything was in ample supply last year.”