November 30, 2009

AFI/PFG Looks to Expand Foodservice to Kosher

Newark NJ…With the runway at Newark Airport in sight, Chuck Cuomo proudly surveys the huge 300,000 square foot warehouse that serves a huge swath of Northeast territory. Mr. Cuomo is President of AFI Foodservice, one of the nation’s largest foodservice distributors. Just a few weeks earlier, AFI sponsored a one-day show at the Embassy Suites in Secaucus, showcasing many of the national brands that AFI distributes to hospitals, restaurants, universities and other institutions. The warehouse like the show includes a large number of kosher products, enough so that PFG-AFI produces its own Kosher Guide with literally thousands of products in every category, from fresh produce to prepared foods. The guide lists the kosher certification agency as well as indicates whether the product is pareve or dairy. In touring the huge facility, it was impossible not to notice the quality of the fruits and produce amongst the thousands of products neatly lining the shelves at the warehouse. Mr. Cuomo suggests that AFI/PFG could be an enormous asset to the kosher foodservice world. His large fleet of trucks (including refrigerated and frozen) can assure delivery almost instantly. But even more importantly he challenges anyone to compete with their prices.

Led by Mr. Cuomo, the AFI/PFG team toured Kosherfest in November and were struck by the size of the industry. But Mr. Cuomo emphasizes “just how important we have been to foodservice in this economic environment. A handful of his sales staff are already scouring kosher establishments to bring the national PFG/AFI brand to the kosher community. The tour of the warehouse was certainly convincing.