Simcha Weinstein, director of marketing for Albert’s Organics, headquartered in Santa Cruz, CA, told The Produce News that while still a relatively small portion of the company’s business, foodservice “is an area where we are currently focusing a lot of attention and seeing some of our strongest growth. We distribute our foodservice items nationwide.”
The firm is a full-service organic produce wholesale distributor that carries a complete line of fresh organic produce.
Mr. Weinstein added that most of Albert’s foodservice customers fall into two categories. “Those looking for premium products and those looking to accommodate a lifestyle food choice that their customers have shown an interest in,” he explained. “We have seen that while there is no definitive study that proclaims that organic foods actually taste better than their conventional counterparts, many chefs across America definitely believe that organic foods translate to a better eating experience. We are seeing many higher-end restaurants go that route. Additionally, we have had excellent success with colleges and universities. Many students who are now in college come from Baby Boomer families and were raised eating primarily organic and natural foods.”
He added that many universities today are realizing that pizza and fast-food options are not going to be the best choices for a growing segment of the student population that was raised with a strong preference for organic and natural foods.
Mr. Weinstein said that he thinks it is fair to say that the weakened economy has affected most areas of business — and certainly the foodservice industry is no different. “I think there is a tendency, however, to want to generalize and assume that in most cases the economy has forced businesses to simply cut back and spend less,” he said. “That is certainly the most publicized response. But we are also seeing a type of change — and a response — to the economy that is a bit more philosophical. This economic period also seems to help businesses, particularly food-oriented businesses, to get really clear on what it is that they are promoting. Are they just another restaurant, a foodservice business offering food, or do they somehow work to distinguish themselves from their competitors? We are seeing a fair amount that have chosen the latter and are looking to distinguish themselves from the pack. A very nice way to do this is to offer healthy, organic fresh foods.”
Albert’s Organics is a full-service distributor of organic produce with nationwide distribution. The company carries over 350 organic fruit and vegetable items in virtually every category.