Fresh produce foodservice business recovers in Twin Cities - The Packer

Fresh produce foodservice business recovers in Twin Cities

05/18/2012 01:08:00 PM
Tom Burfield

There’s still a lot of junk food available, he said, but even pizzerias “keep upgrading their salads like crazy.”

G.O. Fresh customers are buying high-end products and are more health-focused than price-focused, said Brent Beckman, sales and marketing director.

When Beckman visits chefs, he said they’re now seeking more healthful options, such as salad blends.

McElroy sees the beginning of a movement toward more healthful dining, but he’s not sure it’s set in stone yet.

“I think (healthy offerings) are being added to menus more rapidly than they’re being added to guest orders,” he said. “It’s the beginning of a trend, but it will take some time.”

Good customers, lower prices than its competition and a team of outside salesmen to pull in business has helped Restaurant Depot succeed, Jacobsen said.

Customers have to come into the store to buy their product, but they get to choose the produce they buy, Jacobsen said.

Maintaining strong personal relationships is important for foodservice operators and for foodservice suppliers alike, Owen said.

“People want to be serviced,” Beckman said. “We strive to serve customers as restaurants do.”

G.O. Fresh, which focuses on fresh-cut products, tries to help customers control their costs by entering into contracts with suppliers to keep prices from fluctuating throughout the season, he said.

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