MARCH DIGITAL EDITION – Exciting times for wholesaling

Faced with a possible £4.5bn in lost revenue after Brexit if wholesalers and retailers aren’t prepared, there’s good news in the CMA’s Sainsbury’s-Asda report. The final decision is due in late May but the merger now looks unlikely, so independents and wholesalers won’t be squeezed as feared.

READ THE MARCH ISSUE HERE

The CMA’s report offers breathing space to a host of people – wholesalers and buying groups, independent retailers and symbol groups, and the suppliers and their logistics partners. Expect plenty of talking and plotting as they assess the opportunities which the parked merger presents, followed by some exciting developments.

Meanwhile life goes on. Bestway Wholesale has announced its Performance Awards. The SWA is preparing for its annual conference, which Bestway’s Dawood Pervez is also involved in. As business embraces Diversity and Inclusion, there’s a conference at Wembley with Tesco, CCEP, Mondelez and others sharing experiences. And registration is open for the next Women in Wholesale event.

On the supplier side, Müller has launched a £100m cost and margin improvement programme and vaping challengers JUUL are tripling their sales force. Things certainly aren’t grinding to a halt.

Staying with suppliers, we interview Darryl Burgess, Head of Sales at Weetabix Food Company. Britain’s breakfast habits have undergone a seachange as our lives become busier, and Weetabix have embraced the challenge.

We also speak to Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, the UK’s second biggest snacks manufacturer and a Great British success with a long list of iconic brands. Backed by a £4m campaign, new McCoy’s Muchos is KP Snacks’ biggest ever NPD launch. With so much talk about healthy living, KP Snacks are seeing significant growth, driven by Better for You snacking.

In our Meet The Marketer interview we talk to Holly Sparrow at Radnor Hills, who recently introduced the Radnor Plus Energy range of lightly sparkling natural energy waters, bringing Radnor’s unique touch to the functional water category. And in ‘Day in the Depot’ we talk to Matt Lewis, who runs Castell Howell’s Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire depot.

In our features, as our lives get busier, Food 2 Go gets ever stronger, driven by consumers wanting ever greater variety and convenience. Similarly, in Ice Cream a stream of innovation is keeping consumers excited about take-home and impulse ice cream, even with snow on the ground.

The UK beer, lager and cider market is undergoing a quiet revolution, with an explosion in new tastes and flavours, which consumers are enjoying in local pubs and bars and seeking out in retail outlets. Finally, in our Petcare feature, Britain’s moggies and pooches have never had it so good. Consumers see their pets as family members and are happy to pay premium for natural ingredients, mirroring their health-conscious attitudes. Woof woof!