What does the future hold?

US (NY):Hunts Point Wholesale Market caters 22 million people

On Thursday, December 3rd, FreshPlaza participated in a tour to Hunts Point Terminal Market, the largest wholesale produce market in the world. It is located in the Bronx, NY on 113 acres of property owned by the city of New York. The wholesale market has been in its current location since 1967 when it was relocated from Tribeca, underneath the meatpacking district in Manhattan. Back in the day, 125 companies relocated to the Bronx and today, there are 35 companies left due to consolidation. In its current location, seven years are left on the lease. 

Core customers of Hunts Point Terminal Market are independent retailers and foodservice operators, including mom-and-pop stores, upscale restaurants as well as restaurant suppliers. “We rely heavily on these core customers,” says Matthew D’Arrigo with D’Arrigo Brothers New York. “Our main competitors include major foodservice companies and food retailers that have their own distribution systems and buy directly from the growers.”

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$2.4 billion annual sales
Hunts Point caters to the largest ethnically diverse region in the world with an estimated population of 22 million. “Within a 50-mile radius of the market, we feed 9 percent of the US population,” says Myra Gordon with Hunts Point Terminal Market. The market receives its produce from 49 US states and 55 different countries. Each year, a total of 210 million packages of fruits and vegetables are handled and the market generates $2.4 billion in sales annually. It employs 10,000 people.

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High demand for specialty produce in NYC area
D’Arrigo mentions that each wholesale market in the country is different. “There is a tremendous Asian influence in the Los Angeles market that we don’t have and we have influence from Europe and the Caribbean that the LA market doesn’t really have.” New York City has a sophisticated eating population and four specialty houses play an important role in meeting the consumer’s demand for specialty produce: Coosemans New York, Fierman’s Produce Exchange, D’Arrigo New York and S. Katzman Produce.

Required capital expenditures
Surrounded by a metal fence topped with barbed wire, the property looks more like a prison than a produce market that generates $2.4 billion in sales. “The market desperately needs renovation,” said Joel Fierman with Fierman’s Produce Exchange. “We need to make capital expenditures to make ourselves more user-friendly and conform to today’s legislations.” Is it worth making the investments if the unknown is what will happen to the lease seven years down the road?

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