By Zak Romanoff
While the dust continues to settle in the Metro NY landscape, independent retailers are looking to receive both the lowest prices on goods and the highest levels of service from distributors. America’s Food Basket, also known as “AFB” announced it has ended its wholesaler agreement with C & S and will now be pulling from SUPERVALU. The deal confirms AFB will receive meat, deli, bakery, grocery, fresh produce, frozen foods, and dairy from the supplier located in Lancaster, PA. Some members are expected to begin the transition before the end of December and the remaining will switch over in Q1 2017.
Americas Food Basket rebranded itself in 2012; it used to be known as “Neighborhood Supermarket Association”. Today AFB also includes two other banners; Ideal Food Basket and Superfi Emporium. Since then the co-op has nearly doubled in size and is continuing to grow at an amplified rate.
AFB warmly welcomes food companies to visit with them to design marketing programs. A challenge for some food companies is the fact that, aside from a few owners that operate multiple stores, the majority of America’s Food Basket’s 47 stores are held by owners that operate 2-3 stores. This can make introducing and gaining support for new items/programs time and labor intensive. However, with A&P gone from the market, AFB is a great opportunity for food companies looking to replace that business.
Stores are located throughout the 5 boroughs of NY and a few are in the New England area. Stores vary in size depending on the neighborhood. AFB stores succeed because they deliver specifically what their local neighborhoods desire. There is no ‘1 size fits all’ approach. Owners carefully track demographic trends in their customer base. What works on one side of the street may not work at all 3 blocks away.
Dan Cabassa is the CEO of AFB. Dan has a strong background in leading co-ops and leveraging the groups buying power to receive the best prices on goods.