Paul Auerbach, president of Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., Secaucus N.J., characterized retail sales as consistent.
“Retail and foodservice is very steady,” he said.
“We have had a larger growth in our foodservice segment but that was because it’s a more developing industry for us. In the last five years, foodservice has caught up to be a very significant part of our business.”
Auerbach sells a full line of bulk and packaged specialty produce, garlic, asparagus, potatoes, snow peas and radicchio.
Ray Hernandez, a buyer for Coosemans New York Inc., characterized the 2011 holidays as the most difficult season the specialties purveyor ever experienced.
“I think people are more reserved and aren’t going out (to dine) as much,” Hernandez said.
“December was one of the slowest I’ve seen in a long time. The weather was great for November and December. With weather like that, people tend to go out and do more dining, but we haven’t seen that in the restaurant trade.”
Hernandez said he thinks shoppers focused more on electronics and gift spending.
Coosemans trucks specialties imported into airports in Miami and other areas.