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Maurice A. Auerbach stays strong with garlic

By
Keith Loria

Maurice A. Auerbach Inc., is a known and trusted name in garlic, having been one of the East Coast’s top garlic companies for more than eight decades.

Packing its products under the AuerPak brand name, the company imports garlic from all over the world, including organic garlic from California and Mexico, bringing in Spanish-peeled, California-peeled and Mexican-peeled garlic.

“Things are looking really good around here; we’re receiving garlic from many different countries,” said Bruce Klein, director of marketing for the Secaucus, NJ-based company. “The California garlic right now looks to be very good and pricing is probably going to be a little higher this year.”

For the fall, Mexico garlic will wane, and then California followed by Spain will take over from there, and then Chinese garlic will be available as well for customers who want it.

“The only challenge we face concerns logistics — getting the product on time,” Klein said. “Trucking has been very expensive. Boats have been late or misdirected to other ports. Those logistic challenges, combined with higher costs for all kinds of shipping, create issues.

While Maurice A. Auerbach specializes in garlic, the company also deals in shallots and other specialty items, including tropical, Asian produce and tofu.

But it’s been the garlic demand that has grown the most in recent years, especially during the pandemic when more people were cooking at home and people were looking for healthier ingredients in their meals.

“There’s definitely more garlic being sold, with many of it sold in pure garlic form, besides the bulk garlic,” Klein said. “You’re seeing growth in the peeled garlic, we have a diced garlic that is triple-washed, and more of our foodservice operators are taking that item because it’s less work involved. All they have to do is open the package, they don’t need to clean it or chop it or anything.”

Speaking of packaging, Klein noted a lot of garlic packaging has gone to plastic bags, especially from California. It’s less expensive than the jars and also friendlier to the environment, so a lot of younger people gravitate toward that.

More and more consumers these days are asking for organic garlic, and Maurice A. Auerbach is ready to fill those needs.

“We cover both bases — conventional and organic,” Klein said.

With a customer base that reaches all segments of the industry, retail, wholesale, foodservice, meal kit companies and even some industrial products that use garlic as an ingredient, the company prides itself on its long-lasting relationships with so many.

“We listen to our customers and we provide great service,” Klein said. “If a customer calls us in the morning, we can deliver that afternoon. Service, quality and price is what keeps us successful.”

And he doesn’t feel that garlic sales will be dropping anytime soon.

“There is no real substitute for garlic; if a recipe calls for garlic, you have to use garlic,” Klein said. “I think more people are cooking whether with meal companies or on their own and just using more garlic.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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