Welcome to the May-June issue of Wholesale Manager, the bi-monthly publication for UK cash and carries and delivered wholesalers. The heatwaves we usually expect at this time of year have yet to materialise: but don’t worry, our pages are full of warming stories from around the industry, and articles and features about hot sellers in the wholesale sector.
There’s always room at the top for innovative FMCG products, as our cover confirms. After launching Drink & Play fruit juices in April, Dream Drinks has introduced two new licences to the UK. Jurassic and Fairy Tale High are the latest themes joining Dream Drinks’ range of patented Drink & Play fruit juices – a unique kids’ playtime concept based on popular licensed characters with a collectable toy on the front of each bottle.
Also on our front cover is NRICH, the affordable, high quality flavoured milk drink packed with vitamins and minerals for consumers wanting healthier solutions. More and more people are picking up NRICH, and the brand plans to build on this success by stepping up sampling, PR and consumer engagement.
Staying with soft drinks, in our ‘Soft Drinks & Waters’ feature Gavin Partington, British Soft Drinks Association Director General, says the trend to ‘low’ and ‘no’ seen over the years in food categories like milk is now being mirrored in this category. The significant recent shift to low and no calorie soft drinks reflects the enormous effort made by producers to cut calories. The BSDA’s 2015 UK Soft Drinks Report reveals UK soft drinks sales hit £15.7 billion in 2014, bigger than the economy of Iceland.
Once treated with trepidation, international dishes are now consistently part of diets and menus across the UK, and a lucrative market for wholesalers and cash and carries. As a result, a growing number of world foods and alternative ingredients are entering the market, as Brian Yip, Director of Wing Yip, the Oriental wholesaler, confirms in our ‘World Foods’ feature.
Rising disposable income and consumer confidence make catering and foodservice a major opportunity for wholesalers. In our Catering feature Catherine Hinchcliff, Bidvest 3663 Head of Customer Marketing says the current value of the foodservice sector is estimated at over £76 bn and set to grow further by 2020.
Finally, as we closed there was speculation that the current e-cig boom could be stubbed out and a highly profitable and surging category all but lost, if the rest of Britain follows Wales and bans e-cigarette use in enclosed areas such as restaurants, pubs and workplaces. Catch our article in this issue, and watch out for our Vaping Special in July-August.