Welcome to the November Wholesale Manager. This month sees the celebration of the centenary of the founding of the FWD, Britain’s food and drink wholesalers’ trade body. Marking our changing times, a record number of women are finalists in the FWD’s Gold Medal Awards presentation on 29 November.
Also in this issue, the ‘track and trace’ proposals in the EU Revised Tobacco Products Directive come into force on 20 May 2019, putting in place a new method of tracking legitimate tobacco products in the supply chain. We hear from BAT, JTI and Imperial Tobacco about the changes in the law and how they are helping retailers and wholesalers comply.
In another major change, UK wholesalers are actively integrating digital technology into their businesses, ensuring their continuing success in today’s competitive environment. We interview Andy Pratt at Business Computer Projects (BCP), whose software solutions specifically for wholesalers and foodservice businesses include the Accord supply chain system and Oporteo PIM ecommerce platform.
As our Lunch & Food–to-go feature confirms, we’re working longer hours, making it vital for wholesalers to make sure their retail customers have a perfect food-to-go offering. As Ross Davison, Convenience Controller at Kepak Convenience Foods explains in our Supplier Spotlight interview, Rustlers’ recent launch of the ‘All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin’ helps wholesalers and the convenience retailers they supply target ‘F2G’ and Quick Hot Breakfast sales.
In our Meet The Marketer interview Hannah Haas, Marketing Director at Aunt Bessie’s says the traditional Sunday roast habit has declined, but roasts midweek are up, as consumers recognise frozen food’s convenience for ‘proper’ meals after work.
In these hard working times many of us don’t go out much, preferring Big Nights In with friends and family, as our ‘BNI’ feature reminds us. We still like to enjoy ourselves but with health and wellness topping the agenda, we’re more mindful about what we consume. In our ’Rising Stars’ interview we talk to sisters Christina Veal and Niki Jenman, Joint MDs at New Forest Ice Cream, who are scooping a growing share of premium ice cream and sorbet sales in retail and foodservice. Reflecting the demand Christina and Niki are developing some vegan ice creams for launch next year.
Finally, in our Hot Beverages feature all eyes are on Coca-Cola. After rolling out RTD tea and coffee brands and buying Costa Coffee’s outlets to sell them in, will they march into hot beverages in 2019? We’ll have to see. But before that, with Coke’s 2018 Christmas ad campaign now imminent, Christmas is almost here, so it’s time to start looking forward to the festive season. Have a good month.