OCTOBER DIGITAL EDITION – A shot of stability

Welcome to the October Wholesale Manager. UK wholesaling needs a shot of stability right now, with the aftershocks from P&H’s crash last November still being felt. GroceryAid Welfare Director Mandi Leonard says her charity has been supporting ex-P&H colleagues with grants and coaching to find jobs. And there’s news just in that P&H’s poor product availability and range reduction before the collapse contributed to Costcutter’s sales falling over £100m.


In these tough times we welcome the agreement of Britain’s two major wholesale groups, Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group, to merge as Unitas Wholesale from 1 November and look forward to reporting more good news as Messrs Goldney, Mills and colleagues start this new chapter.

UK wholesaling has historically been male-dominated but Kate Salmon, the Scottish Wholesale Association’s Executive Director has seen women come a long way in her 35 years at the SWA. Currently just 11% of women working in wholesaling hold senior positions, but that’s set to rise as more fill these roles and the Women in Wholesale initiative empowers more women to apply for them.

In another story of evolution, in our Supplier Spotlight interviews Melvin Ruigrok, General Manager for Imperial Tobacco UK & Ireland reveals that while Imperial still retains deep investments in tobacco, it’s also focusing on vaping products, particularly vape brand blu. And Gavin Blair, FrieslandCampina’s MD, talks about the dynamic growth of sugar tax-exempt flavoured milk brand Yazoo.

Our Snacking feature shows health is driving purchases here too, but we still love our favourite snacks. Matt Goddard, PepsiCo’s Wholesale Trading Director talks about how their portfolio, including Walkers crisps, Sensations and Doritos, continues to generate excitement in this mega-category.

Speaking of excitement, in our Meet The Marketer interview Emma Sherwood-Smith, HEINEKEN’s Cider Marketing Director, reveals quirky New Zealand cider Old Mout is the impulse channel‘s fastest growing premium cider.

In our other features, as life gets ever busier, what better way to brighten your day than eating Biscuits and Cakes? Next, stocking Price Marked Packs across a spread of grocery categories is a powerful way for wholesalers to help c-stores reassure shoppers their friendly neighborhood retailer isn’t overcharging. And as the festive season approaches, in our two-part feature we explore the Christmas opportunity for wholesalers in retail and foodservice.

And finally, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Lord Digby Jones, former CBI Director General and now Chairman of OnLogistics, who provide warehousing, distribution and other services to wholesalers and their suppliers. A leading business expert, Lord Digby ends our conversation with his motivating thoughts on succeeding in business in the new era. Read and be inspired!

Charles Smith