It’s here! The 2011 Annual Retail Market Study for the 55 counties Food Trade News covers is ready for consumption. As much as the retail landscape in our market changed last year, this year it has changed even more. A new retailer entered the market and old stalwarts exited. No matter what category of the food industry was making news, we were there to make sure our readers knew exactly what was happening with clarity and correct information. Not only do we continue to be the definitive word in the retail food industry, we are also the “go to” publication whenever expert opinion is needed. Our publisher, Jeff Metzger is quoted on a regular basis in other publications across the country. Quite often Jeff talks about those with a 30l pound brain, and modestly never mentions that when it comes to the food industry, his brain weighs at least that much, perhaps more! His interpretation of the numbers combined with his vision and deep understanding of the retail food industry is what has made this issue a must read and keep for many years.
To Terri Maloney, our VP/editorial director; last year it was a thousand thank-yous, this year I think I am up to at least a million. Putting out 24 regular issues and various special sections each year takes more than just work. It’s planning, investigating, researching and executing, to give you our readers a publication we’re proud to deliver. Terri never fails to deliver and keeps us on task, focused and enthusiastic about each and every issue.
A “thank you” shout out goes to Beth Pripstein, our office and circulation manager who keeps up with all the details at Best-Met. Always there to lend a hand and send me information with the blink of an eye, Beth gets it done. Thanks to Matt Danielson and Jenny Jones at Eink who do the graphics for both Food World and Food Trade News. Their creativity and attention to detail makes each page shout “read me.” To our newest team member Karen Fernandez, who arrived as we started to put this issue together, I hope you made it through without any bumps and bruises. We’re glad to have you onboard. I also send a tip of the hat to Dick Bestany, our chairman emeritus who continues to enjoy writing about the food industry and stay informed.
Most importantly we thank you our loyal readers and advertisers for your support with this Market Study issue. To our advertisers, at every event we attend throughout the USA, we get requests from industry members asking to become subscribers. You can rest assured that your message will be received by those who need to get it. To our readers, your thirst for knowledge and desire to know your market is what keeps us going. With this issue in particular, we compile the data you need to know to make your business and marketing plans for the Mid-Atlantic market. Grazie!
The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) held its annual “State of the Food Industry” Trade Relations Conference at the Borgata in Atlantic City May 31 followed by a round of golf at Galloway National Golf Club on June 1. Larry Brown of Snyders-Lance was the recipient of the Max Stone Award for 2011. Larry has been in the industry for more than 30 years, most of them spent with PepsiCo. The Max Stone Award is named in honor of the longtime trade relations leader for Best Foods, CPC in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations in New Jersey. The keynote speaker for the evening was Kevin McDonnell, chief merchandising officer, Fairway Market. Fairway has entered the suburban NY Metro market with a store in Paramus, NJ and more plans to “go larger as quick as possible,” McDonnell said. For the first time ever, the NJFC awarded college scholarships to deserving young adults. The educational scholarship program was created to promote future leaders and support the food industry as recommended by the NJFC trade relations committee. NJFC president Linda Doherty said, “This new NJFC program grants three scholarships each year that will allow us to provide an important member benefit and invest in the future of NJFC families.” The Thomas Infusino Scholarship was awarded to Hagar Kidare, a junior at Rutgers University, who is employed by ShopRite of Phillipsburg. The Founders Scholarship was awarded to Andrea Robicheau, a freshman at Johnson and Wales University, who is employed by Stop & Shop. The Student Scholarship was awarded to Alexis Winterborne, a freshman at St. Joseph’s University, who is employed by Wawa, Inc. The scholarship selection committee included: Jody Avallone, , Nestle DSD; Linda Doherty, NJFC; Jim McCaffrey, McCaffrey’s Markets; and Mike Murphy, Quick Chek. Doherty stated, “Since this was the first time NJFC is making scholarship awards, the committee was overwhelmingly impressed with the quality and number of applications. Our scholarship winners and all applicants are a shining example of the youth of today and their goals to succeed in today’s competitive business climate.” Each recipient was presented with a $2,000 scholarship check. Congratulations to all!
Always trying to promote industry camaraderie, the NJFC’s annual golf outing will be held on July 18 at the Suburban Golf Club in Union, NJ. This magnificent course is more than 100 years young and the fairways and greens are well trapped and surrounded by many mature indigenous trees. “This event is one of our most popular programs for our trade and retail membership.” said Doherty. “The mix of trade and retail members who attend as well as legislators and government representatives creates a networking opportunity and atmosphere that is totally unique to this event,” she added. Please call Anne-Lorraine Sweeney at 609-392-8899 for further information, sponsorship opportunities and registration.
Two long time Philadelphia institutions have opened brand new state-of-the-art facilities this past month. The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) opened its doors for business on Sunday, June 5, about seven months behind schedule. Multiple issues came up during the final phases of construction and installation, but when trying to refrigerate a warehouse comprised of 686,000 square feet, it’s better to do it right the first time. And, I can tell you, it was well worth the wait! The facility is chilled to perfection and awash in natural sunlight. “We are thrilled to be officially operating in our new market,” said Sonny DiCrecchio, CEO of the PWPM. “The years of planning and building have certainly been challenging, but in the end, we have a one of a kind facility that is open and ready to service customers.” I went for my first visit just after they opened during the heat wave two weeks ago. With the state-of-the-art cold chain management system in place, the facility maintains temperature effectively, thereby supplying customers of the PWPM with fresher products and a longer shelf life. For me, the best part of the trip was actually seeing that cold chain management system in action. The fruit wasn’t sweating, the lettuce wasn’t wilting, and the customers were smiling! The merchants were beaming. Business is booming, I heard more than once. The PWPM is safer for us pedestrians too, with low neon yellow metal fencing to keep us in the walkways and the forklifts in the traffic lanes. Indeed, there are even stop signs for the riders and striped walkways for walkers. I think a Segway station would be a good idea for quick transportation around the market. Public restrooms are available in many locations throughout the building and there are wi-fi hot spots. Fear not, Norm and Lou’s Restaurant has made the transition to the new building and will be opening soon. I hear they’re cooking up some pretty nice new digs. In July’s issue of Food Trade News, we will be highlighting the 26 merchants who make up the PWPM and the products they carry.
Also, Penn Jersey Paper Company (PJP), and DP Partners, a member of Dermody Properties, opened their 255,000 square foot new corporate headquarters and distribution center. The project in Northeast Philadelphia, a hop, skip and a jump from the old warehouse is designed to be LEED Silver Certified and has allowed PJP to remain within the city of Philadelphia rather than relocating in the surrounding area, retaining 250 jobs in the city that will benefit the regional economy. The new facility will also allow PJP to expand its operation in the future, creating even more jobs. The official LEED Silver Certification should be awarded by this summer. “Keeping Penn Jersey in Philadelphia is a great indicator of the City’s economic vitality, and DP Partners was honored to be able to play a role in keeping those jobs here,” said Stephen G. Bailey, DP Partners’ eastern region partner. “Our team is proud to have worked with PJP, PIDC and the City to turn a very challenging land site into a state of the art distribution facility that will allow PJP to efficiently serve their customers and expand as the company continues to grow.” Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter also commented on PJP staying within the Philadelphia city limits. “I am delighted to celebrate the completion of Penn Jersey’s new headquarters, which will keep hundreds of jobs in the city. I want to thank PIDC for being such an important partner by working with Penn Jersey, a family-owned business, and helping them to expand in Philadelphia,” he said. “Philadelphia is a growing city and more and more businesses know this is a smart city to locate.” To commemorate the opening, Dermody Properties made a $5,000 donation to both Multiple Sclerosis and Autism Speaks and the employees of PJP planted a tree on the property.
AMR/MAFTO has announced that Redner’s Markets will be honored at its seventh annual dinner dance weekend at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, November 4 -6. This event is always a crowd pleaser, and this year participants will be treated to the smooth sound of the Sensational Soul Cruisers while enjoying delicious food and exceptional food industry networking. Stop in for Sunday brunch to finish off this relaxing social weekend. An additional event has been planned by the folks at AMR/MAFTO. Tickets for the Night at the Phillies game on Friday, August 12 against the Washington Nationals are now available. The price includes ticket, ballpark food and beverage 90 minutes before the 7:05 p.m. game time. It also happens to be Phillies Wall of Fame Night. Tickets are limited so sign up online now for a great night of Phillies baseball! For more information about both of these events, please go to www.amrmafto.org
The Eastern Frosted Foods Association (EFFA) held its Spring Dinner to celebrate a successful “March is Frozen Food Month” on June 7 at the Marriott Glenpointe in Teaneck, NJ. Executive director Mike Ryan explained that the Blue Penguin Awards are presented to those companies whose outstanding efforts have been recognized by the EFFA’s panel of judges. This is a great night for all participants to share together in the excitement that the Festival Program generates. For 2011 the Blue Penguins were awarded to: in the broker category, first place to Douglas Sales and second place to Acosta Sales and Marketing; in the manufacturer category, direct sell, first place was taken by Nestle USA and second place went to Edy’s; in the broker represented category, first place went place to Athens Foods and second place to Mrs. T’s Pierogies; in the retailer category, fewer than 50 stores, Kings took first and Dan’s Key Food Store took second; more than 50 stores, first place went to Krasdale Foods and second to A&P; and finally in the cooperatives category, first was Wakefern and second was Foods Stores. The evening also honored six retiring EFFA members and food industry veterans. Bill McVey of White Rose; Hank Richardson of White Rose; Gil McNeil of Foodtown; Rich Zeldenrust of Kellogg’s; Ray Patnaude of RDD and Steve Branca of C & S. Each was given a commemorative penguin along with standing ovations from the crowd in honor of their many years of service to the food industry.
We send out our condolences to Nate Ostroff, Network Food Brokers, and his family on the death of his mother, Rita Ostroff on June 2 after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Continuing the circle of life, on June 7 Charles Mallowe, Jr., American Beverage Marketers, and his wife, Alison welcomed their first child, Charles Mallowe III, into their family. Charles III’s aunt, Courtney Mallowe, Campbell’s, tells me everyone is doing well. Baby Charles is also the grandson of retired SJU Academy of Food Marketing executive director, Charles Mallowe.
Birthday shout outs for June is dairy month go to: Jeff Geiges, Acme Markets; Tom Morrison, Integrity Food Marketing; John Sottile, Strategic Alliance Group; Tom Canuso, Turkey Hill; Brian Chick, Charles Ritter, Inc.; Nancy Rodgers-Fluharty, Dawn Foods; Mark Tarzwell, free agent, Barry Kahn, Food Scene, Best-Met’s editor extraordinaire, Terri Maloney; and a very happy “milestone year” birthday to our publisher, Jeff Metzger. Buon compleanno a tutti! Celebrating marital bliss in this beautiful month of June are: Food World alum Carol and Joel Cherington; Charlie and Pat Poletti, Acosta; Curt and Trish Gruber, Acosta; Ron and Michelle Benjamin, Pro-Star Marketing; and very special anniversary wishes to my parents, Mario and Rosalie Maggio. Congratulations!
Quote of the month: “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy