Loading…

Ryeco adjusting to new normal

ryeco33 Ryeco LLC has been in the produce industry for more than four decades and has been operating in the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market for almost a quarter century.

The company is a full line fruit and vegetable receiver and distributor handling product from five different continents with a mission to offer an extensive product line with excellent quality and aggressive pricing.

The challenge these days is trying to figure out customer buying patterns, which according to Filindo Colace, vice president of operations, is virtually impossible due to the coronavirus concerns.

“It’s very difficult to order and keep product stocked and fresh when you don’t know when people are going to flock to the supermarket,” he said. “We sell everything, and it’s very difficult to keep the delicate items stocked properly so we don’t miss any sales there.”

That has meant developing a new strategy, and the company is using a lot more team truck drivers so it can get produce to the facility quicker.

“We’re trying to keep inventory levels high, and if we have to, we’ll put a team on it and pay a little more money to get it here quicker,” Colace said.

Some items are trending hotter than others in these times. For instance, he noted that anything sold in a bag is doing well.

“Any common retail items are moving well, while anything that’s a common restaurant item is not moving well,” Colace said. “In our case, we have both wholesale and retail customers, so we’re just increasing more of the supermarket items and in some cases, we’re not handling those items we know won’t be taken.”

Before this pandemic hit, business in 2020 was off to a good start for Ryeco. That’s not the case now as there’s a lot of anxiety among customers.

“We have a lot of customers who do nothing but sell restaurants who have called us up and told us they don’t know when they will be able to order from us again and don’t know when they will be able to pay you again,” Colace said.

“That’s created a lot of uncertainty. Any money they get from the government now is going to allow them to pay for their employees, but we’re hoping the government lets everyone get back in business soon so we can get people buying again.”

Colace noted that another issue with customer ordering is that there’s no rhyme or reason to when people go to the supermarkets.

“People buy everything and go nuts for three to four days and then they don’t buy nothing for three to four days, so that inconsistency is tough. It’s hard to plan for the unplannable,” he said.

“Because our market is in a big metropolis, and this is where most of the higher cases are, I don’t see restaurants in this area opening for at least a month or two. I don’t see how they’re going to let them open and getting back to normal for a while.”

But the company needs to be prepared for when it is, and that’s the challenge of it all.

One thing it has done recently is it’s installed a warehouse management program, improving traceability and increasing the speed it serves its customers.

“It’s important to service your customers on a daily basis, giving them a value and making sure there are no surprises,” Colace said. “When you take care of people, they come back.”

Ayco reports jump in bagged asparagus sales
Ayco Farms is experiencing a substantial increase in bagged asparagus sales to some of its largest retail customers as consumer trends are changing in today's economy. “Bagged asparagus grabbed attention and seems to have kept traction due to consumer trends and the convenience of packaged produce,” said Avi Nir, Ayco Read More ...
Natural Grocers announces new director
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. announced that David C. Rooney was unanimously elected to the company's board of directors on Aug. 5. Rooney's election filled the vacant seat on the board created by the previously announced retirement of Michael T. Campbell, which was effective Aug. 5.  Rooney will serve an initial Read More ...
New cold storage and cross-docking operation Glacier Peak opens in Washington
Randy Hartmann, co-owner of Glacier Peak, a new cold storage, packing and cross-docking operation in Wapato, WA, announced its acquisition of the 55,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse Washington Harvest. Hartmann shared that "the purchase of this cold storage and packing operation is intended to provide for greater capacity and Read More ...
Keep on organic summer fruit for September success
Summer is cruising by and Stemilt’s Artisan Organics peach and nectarine season is doing the same. Now is the time to plan and push sales starting Labor Day and through the remainder of September, according to Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s senior marketing manager. Retailers should plan ads and focus on creative displays to show off Read More ...
Kroger launches contactless payments pilot in QFC division
The Kroger Co. launched a contactless payments pilot across the QFC division, located in Seattle, WA, allowing customers to use their mobile device for a more seamless checkout experience. The pilot includes the acceptance of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, mobile banking apps and contactless chip cards, Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse