The region’s independent operators are expanding, said Jeff Young, a buyer for A&J Produce Corp.
“The supermarkets are doing fairly well,” he said. “They’re expanding and providing more customer service. The solid chains are expanding. There’s also more depth of product.”
Ira Nathel, president and vegetable buyer of Nathel & Nathel Inc., said there are fewer green grocers in the city.
“They’re not like they use to be,” Nathel said. “You don’t see as much of the just-produce store. We had a big influx ... coming into the retail business 35 years ago. They were selling mostly produce. Now they sell mostly everything else.”
Mike Cochran, sales manager and vice president of Robert T. Cochran & Co. Inc., said retail sales remain consistent.
“They seem to be doing OK,” he said. “People don’t buy as much as they use to though, that’s for sure. It is noticeable.”
Bruce Klein, marketing manager of Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., Secaucus N.J., said retail sales are steady.
“They’re doing OK,” he said. “It’s just these high prices. The much higher prices in the stores slow business. Retail movement was certainly better before the January freeze.”
Coosemans New York Inc. sells to a variety of supermarket customers.
“They complain but they’re doing a little better, in terms of sales, than last year,” said Alfie Badalamenti, vice president. “They do a pretty good job displaying and merchandising the product.”