Something in the food industry that is often overlooked is the importance of customer service. From the supply side, customer service means going above and beyond for those you distribute to. While I cannot speak as a buy-side operator, I can testify to the outstanding service I experienced while visiting with Nicolas Castro, Culinary Group of Gardel’s Fine Foods, at the recent Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS). The company was showcasing its new BBQ Sauce Flight, and I had the opportunity to go down the line and taste each product. From the brief amount of time I spent at that booth, I quickly recognized the unmatched customer service that Gardel’s provides.
“The key element to our incredible growth and success over the past 10 years has been our readiness to view each retail and foodservice partner as precisely that, a partner,” Nicolas began. “Our President, Gerard Bozoghlian, has made it a cornerstone of our service approach to learn, assess, and develop a support system that allows each partner to receive the nourishment they need. Whether it is through promotions and demos, scan backs, EDLP's, TPR's, or billbacks, we invite our Category Managers to take the lead and help us build a roadmap to success.”
Prior to the creation of this new line, a major California grocer had been using Gardel’s chimichurri sauces for foodservice. It approached Chef Gerard for an exclusive partnership, asking him to create a line of sauces for its wing bars in all stores. The chain’s one directive was to create a distinct series of sauces that cannot be found anywhere else. From that directive, the Asador line was born.
“Chef Gerard has created a line of artisanal, clean-label sauces that marry timeless grilling traditions with exciting Latin-inspired flavor combinations, encouraging consumers to rethink all that barbecue can be,” said Nicolas. “These are clean-label, naturally sweetened sauces featuring uncommon but inspired flavors like New Mexico hatch chiles, habanero, and chipotle. They are not as sweet as most BBQ sauces can be, nor overpowering.”
The new line features BBQ sauces flavored with Sweet Chipotle, Bourbon Maple, New Mexico Hatch Chile, Mango Habanero, and Mexican Sweet and Sour. According to Nicolas, discerning BBQ sauce consumers demand variety, originality, and delicious culinary execution with sustainable, better-for-you ingredients. The Asador line delivers all four, creating a wide array of BBQ sauces unlike any others.
“We took a close look at retail and foodservice BBQ sauces; frankly, we were blown away by the length of their ingredient declarations, their sugar content, and their use of artificial flavors, colorings, and preservatives. A good sauce doesn’t have to be that way, and we're here to prove that,” Nicolas proclaimed. “Our 23 years of culinary experience in our Michelin-recommended Los Angeles Steakhouse have given us the skills, expertise, and confidence to deliver such an elevated condiment experience.”
The packaging features an iconic homage to grill and pit masters everywhere with a special nod to Asadors of Argentina whose knowledge of quality meats and the science of maintaining heat and fire make them unparalleled grill masters. The line began and continues to grow in foodservice with 4/1 gallon packs featuring the 24 unique BBQ flavors. The launch at WFFS showcased Gardel’s retail lineup currently consisting of five flavors available in 12oz jars.
Nicolas concluded by describing the overwhelmingly positive responses to these products from the foodservice and retail sectors alike. For those looking to switch up their flavor profiles in an unprecedented way, consider tapping the outstanding customer service at Gardel’s Fine Foods.