PFG/Roma no longer authorized to sell Grande?

Just got a letter in the mail today from Grande saying that Performance Foodservice/Roma will no longer be authorized as a distributor of Grande Cheese effective 6/1/12.

Obviously a big deal. Anyone else get this letter?

I got the letter too and contacted PFG/Roma. The response I got from upper management is that they are trying to work out there differences. I can not see where this is a good move by either Roma or Grande.

Very bold, arrogant move by Grande if they are still negotiating.

Can’t see this being good for either. Roma will lose customers that are Grande loyal and Grande will lose some Roma loyal customers.

I’ve been talking to my rep that has basically said to plan on either switching cheese or getting Grande from elsewhere come June 1st.

A bizzare decision if the Grande people are doing this. The distributor is the one with feet on the street. That is a huge advantage with the customer. On the other hand it may be Roma beating Grande up to get more realistic on prices. (after all it is still just cheese!)

I am looking at switching to Bacio. I have been a loyal Grande customer for 5 years, but I am impressed with Bacio. Bacio is $8 a case cheaper and has a good melt and taste.

Something tells me Grande needs Roma more than Roma needs Grande.

My independant Roma rep (vs the contract I have through my chain) i had with my sub shop told me this almost a year ago and that is when they began to start pushing their brand with the kiss of buffalo milk…the name escapes me right now…claiming it was same quality as Grande.

It may have the same flavor profile but is more closely related to QLC cheese than Grande for quality.

That would be Bacio

What are the thoughts on Bacio?

I’m gonna have my Roma rep bring in some cheeses and try them out. Can’t see switching from Grande.

Might have to use GFS for my cheese and then Roma for the rest…

I have tested Bacio against Grande and was pleased with the results. I plan on having some of my better customers in for a taste testing and if there is no big measurable difference I will be making the switch to Bacio. Bacio is $8 a case cheaper plus you get a $100 rebate for every 35 cases, so basically I will be saving $10 a case.

I’ve been using bacio for the past few months and have been blown away by it. I’ve used grande off and on and it never did anything for me. This week I think I paid 2.19.

There are different ways to test reaction of your clients…Most will do a blind taste test and this may not result is a receivable difference in the minds of your customers…So far, so good…

But many use the Grande name in their marketing…If you tell your clients which is which sometimes their perception gets confused a bit…That is where it gets harder to switch without your customers noticing…When they see the branding gone they will ask…

Royster, maybe I’m missing your point and, if so, I apologize, but that’s why you don’t tell them which is which. That’s the whole point of a blind taste test. If a significant number of customers prefer one brand of cheese over another, then that’s an easy sell. “9 out of 10 people prefer brand A to brand B”. “Brand A is the newest, latest, greatest”, blah, blah, blah. So, if you are so inclined, switch to brand A and advertise the crap out of it.

The average customer has no clue who that is. There is a shop here that uses Grande and sells their 2 topping 8" pizzas for $9 each (I cant afford to try anything larger) and although they pitch everything under the sun about highest quality, not once have they wasted their time telling people they use “Grande”.

I’m not surprised. I’ve been using grande for many years and have had noting but success with it. Last year my Roma rep started pushing bacio on me like it was the second coming. When I explained to him that I am happy with grande and give an order for at least ten cases a week he said to me that he makes no money on grande. I then explained to him that without the grande he wouldn’t get the other 20+ items that I order. My other rep (from a small italian dist) showed me the grande shred that helped me reduce my food cost that was out of control. He has his own cheese too but has never asked me to try it. Grande has been around longer then I have been alive I am not Putin my lively hood on the line for someone else’s paycheck.

A blind taste test only works if the Grande name is not prominent in your marketing…If it is, it is more difficult to change without folks noticing…

I advertise MY brand not some cheese company. Despite the chatter in the industry, the consumer is not buying cheese, they are buying PIZZA. If your customer has heard of Grande, it is just because YOU spent YOUR money telling them.

If you use your money to advertise for your vendor, all you are doing is locking them in to your business plan and helping them to sell cheese to your competition. Screw that.

If a cheese vendor wants to be part of my advertising they have to pay to play. Let’s start with about 10-20 cents per pound and then we will talk about including them in some of our marketing. It is called co-op for a reason!

In our other business we do a lot of this (10-15K per year in vendor co-op contributions). The vendor pays for HALF the placement cost of the ads we run featuring their brand along side ours. That half is limited by agreement to a max percentage of our purchases from them. That percentage ranges from 3 to as much as 10%. We will not make the deal for less than 3% and we mostly get 4-5%.

Sooooo… if a cheese manufacturer wants to kick in at 10 cents per pound, let’s talk (even I have to like the product and the price must be competitive). Otherwise I am not taking the message to the consumer. Doing so benefits the cheese supplier, not me!

I agree with the entire post! My point exactly and this applies to more than cheese. Even advertising “Stanislaus” would be meaningless. Advertising the benifits of them and how it affects your food - priceless.

I have Stanislaus posters and the mock article they gave me after touring the fields and plant in Modesto in one of my shops and my customers are blown away that we use such a great product. But on my menu it just talks about the vine ripened packed fresh, etc.

I agree, also.

I’ve never seen any data to back up a claim that customers prefer some brand of cheese or other topping on their pizza. I don’t think the average customer could correctly determine a cheese brand by a taste test if their life depended on it.

We have to care about how it tastes, how it cooks, how it looks and how much it costs. You choose a brand based on those qualities, not based on making it fit into your menu.

Bacio is a superior cheese to Grande.