JULY DIGITAL EDITION – Wholesale’s warming performance

This summer is dismal so far compared to 2018, but wholesaling is in vigorous health. Booker’s strong performance brightened Tesco’s damp first quarter, with sales up 12.4% to £1.51bn. Meanwhile JW Filshill is relocating to a new-build DC near Glasgow Airport, Scotland’s largest industrial pre-let in years.

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Many talented people work in wholesaling, but few have CVs like Dr Andrew Kemp, Bidfood’s Group Sales and Marketing Director, made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, as mentioned in our news pages. Over his career Andy has been involved in fighting for the protection of free school meals, work on holiday hunger and advocating and ensuring a better future for vulnerable children. He has also researched the dangers of antibiotics and hormones in food.

In another high-profile example of industry involvement in social action, GroceryAid’s 2019 Impact Report shows the numbers receiving support rose 8% last year. Crisis grants rose 40% and Helpline use grew 10%. GroceryAid’s Welfare Director Mandi Leonard and Steve Barnes, GroceryAid’s Chief Executive spoke to Glen Izzard at the recent Barcode Festival about what this event means to the charity and their plans for 2020.

When the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan on September 20th, Brits will be pulling on their rugby shirts and cheering their team with a drink or several, at home or in the pub. As our feature reveals, it adds up to a hefty opportunity for wholesalers in categories from beer, cider and wine, including low and no alcohol versions in our health-conscious era, to barbecue sauces, frozen potato sides and Japanese Gyoza bar snacks.

There’s more news from Japan in our Snacking feature. Calbee, Japan’s No.1 snack maker bought Bradford-based Seabrook Crisps last October to further its objective to establish a foothold here with the combination of Seabrook’s, Britain’s fastest growing crisp brand and Calbee’s ultra-healthy Yushoi oven baked pea snaps.

Chilled food has stolen the show recently, but in our Ambient Food feature tinned food and other ambient products are winning new popularity and sales are rising as consumers reassess their convenience, quality and value credentials.

In breaking news, UK wholesalers and suppliers stand to benefit from multitemperature supply chain operator Oakland International expanding its Corby site from 6,000 pallets to 15,000 pallets capability, aided by Jungheinrich’s material handling and intralogistics solutions.

Finally, in our Meet the Marketer interviews we hear from Claire Hoyle, Head of Marketing for Goodfella’s, the fastgrowing frozen pizza brand, expanding its vegan offering as consumers embrace meat-free. We also talk to Kat Jones, General Mills’ Marketing Manager, Ice Cream & Snacking, responsible for Nature Valley cereal bars and Häagen-Dazs. Enjoy!

Charles Smith

Editor