Chicago Know Your Market business updates - The Packer

Chicago Know Your Market business updates

12/07/2012 03:52:00 PM
Tom Karst

Agrow Fresh adds lay-flat packaging

Agrow Fresh is going toward packaging that is easier and more efficient for retailers to display, said Ed Romanelli, vice president of sales and marketing for the Chicago-based potato and onion marketer.

“We are working on a lay-flat package for a 5-pounder with one of our customers,” he said.

The 5-pound lay-flat package doesn’t have the wasted plastic “flower” of a typical poly 5-pound bag, he said.

Romanelli said the private-label business is very strong for Agrow Fresh, with about 80% of volume devoted to that business. Among its private-label customers, he said the company packs private-label potatoes for Jewel in Chicago and Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh.

The company ships potatoes and onions to the East Coast and to Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Anthony Marano Co. expands within facility

Anton Marano, co-owner of the Anthony Marano Co., Chicago, said the firm now uses 420,000 square feet of its 500,000-square-foot facility. The firm moved to its building in 2000.

“When we first moved into our building, we were 240,000 square feet, and we didn’t know what we were going to do with that. Now we are at 420,000 square feet,” he said.

The company does retail and foodservice business and offers seven specialized commodity departments for buyers to come and look at product, with departments including Western vegetables, potatoes and onions, tomatoes, melons and fruit.


Coosemans Chicago adds seasonal product

Coosemans Chicago Inc., has evolved from a specialties-oriented wholesaler serving white-tablecloth restaurants and higher-end retailers to a bigger niche, said Mark Pappas, president of the company.

“We still do that, but over time those items become commodities,” he said.

Pappas said Coosemans has evolved to become a supplier of seasonal and regional produce, including shippers from Michigan and Florida.

The firm also has increased its specialty focus and handled dragonfruit out of Vietnam. Bigger volumes of dragonfruit have made the fruit more accessible to consumers, he said.


Dietz & Kolodenko works with retailers

Providing more service and forward pricing to independent retail customers is an emerging trend for Dietz & Kolodenko Co., said Nick Gaglione, president.

Independent retailers now are looking for similar kinds of advance pricing for ads that previously were only demanded by larger chain stores, he said.

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