NEW YORK CITY – As Marissa DeMaio provided a tour of Atalanta Corp.’s event booth at last week’s Specialty Food Association Summer Fancy Food Show, she noted that smoked food products, like cheeses, are “on trend” right now.
DeMaio, vice president of marketing at the largest privately-held food importer in the U.S., also talked about larger industry themes, such as how innovative products are right for companies like Atalanta.
“We want to be able to offer our customers something that they’ve never seen before,” DeMaio told The Food Institute. “Innovation is always at the top of our list for core products and making sure that our customers are confident that those core products are going to go a long way – especially in foodservice – from appetizer to entrée to every menu touchpoint possible, that they can use it four or five times. It’s key.”
DeMaio said her company is also striving to offer cost-effective products as inflation rages on.
“In times like now…we also want to bring that unique item to the table that’s also cost effective,” she said. “We still have to have experiential moments in the store or at a restaurant, but we have to make sure that we’re giving our customers a value right now.
“So, can we bring them an experience that’s at not such a premium price during a difficult time like this? That’s important.”
DeMaio also touched on efforts to help customers with labor costs. She said Atalanta is especially focused on products like pre-sliced cheeses to help its customers be as efficient as possible during a time when staffing is short in retail, foodservice, and most American businesses.
Providing every bit of labor savings possible, DeMaio said, “has been huge for our customers right now. These are core products that you’re going to put on sandwiches. But, if we could take the slicing out of the back of the house and give them something to save them time, it has been a key item for them this year and will continue to be.”