We continue to highlight some of our premiere clients. “Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.” Join us as we get an inside view of our fellow business owners’ struggles, strengths, and experiences!
This week’s interview is with:
Dovi Levi, Financial Manager, Kayco
Starting from humble beginnings delivering tea biscuits and grape juice off a truck, Kayco is a family-owned company that is the merger of Kedem Foods, Kenover Marketing and B&W Foods, made to incorporate hundreds of food products. Kayco is unique in its ability to handle a portfolio that includes over 100 brands (some of them competing products) that create added value for the consumers while maintaining a competitive edge.
It seems that Kayco acquired many successful food brands. Do you have any competition out there?
We did acquire many quality food companies, but we still have competition. Competition keeps us on our toes and us makes us work harder to be even better.
What makes a food a “classic” that sticks around forever while other foods are fads that come and go?
There is no magic wand that tells us what will be a winner product. We focus on bringing good quality products that the market will appreciate, and the rest is from above. For example, the Gefen Organic Beets (fresh vacuum pack beets) is one of the best-selling products in Costco because of its superior quality. When we first introduced the product – our sales reps were very hesitant because they didn’t know how to eat it themselves!
Was there ever a product that you brought to market that was a total failure?
Absolutely! Many times. I’ll give you an example: when the price of Honey was skyrocketing we created a “Honey-Blend” product that is not 100% honey but tastes just the same. Turns out the consumers did not like the idea and preferred 100% Honey rather than a less expensive honey-blend.
When we were dealing with one of the largest food retailers in the US they asked us ‘what is our fail rate?’. They wanted to hear a high number! To be innovators in any industry you have to be willing to take risks and the failures that may come with it.
As the leader in Kosher Grape Juice for over half a century, what would you say makes Kedem Grape Juice a better choice over competing brands?
60 years of doing it again and again! Practice makes perfect. We are grateful to grace the table of every Jewish home and celebratory event. From the first drops a baby tastes at his Bris to the Kiddush Friday night; we are part of the family.
What is the most far flung place that you produce food in?
We produce in Spain, Thailand, El Salvador, and really all over the world. We source food from whichever location produces the top quality.
It seems that many large food companies process their credit cards with Banquest. Kedem, Astor, Gefen, Paskesz just to name a few. Is there some kind of food connection?
I guess people with a discerning palate like good service! We found that with Banquest we were truly educated on how the payment industry works. Most companies we’ve worked with in the past tried to make things as confusing as possible so we don’t ask too many questions. The Banquest team took the time to educate and helped us save tens of thousands of dollars. Another value Banquest has is the service continues long after the sale. Whenever there is an issue they respond within the hour!
Happy Tuesday & Happy Selling!