Welcome to the September issue of Wholesale Manager, our first in the new A4 format under our new publisher Glen Izzard. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this first issue possible and hope you enjoy reading it.


A combination of market consolidation and technology is ushering in a new era for wholesaling. In our interview, Tom Gittins, Foodservice Business Development Director of Confex reveals they are developing an app as a sales tool for members, the only Buying Group offering one at present.

There’s more talk of IT In our ‘Supplier Spotlight’ interview with Gary Black, Sales Director for Wholesale and Convenience at Coca-Cola Enterprises UK. Gary updates us on the progress of CCEP’s Total Beverage Company vision becoming reality and how they are helping wholesalers maximise the opportunity in their business, including through technology.

Wholesaling is all about spotting profit opportunities. Spanning confectionery, chocolate and grocery, with its Nuttella spread, the combined Ferrero portfolio offers ‘double bubble’ profit potential all year round for wholesalers and cash & carries, as Jodie Wood points out in our other ‘Supplier Spotlight.’

With autumn looming, we have seasonal features on Halloween & Bonfire Night and OTC Medicine & Winter Remedies plus in-depth specials on Breakfast, Personal Care and Frozen Food. With meat-free the fastest growing part of ‘frozen,’ in our Meet The Marketer section we hear from Jennifer Shepherd, UK Brand Manager for Quorn, fastest mover in the UK’s top 50 grocery brands.

The wholesale industry is dusting itself down after a turbulent few months, most notably the Tesco/Booker deal. Booker was already enormous before Tesco bought it.

Booker had been out shopping, snapping up Makro’s UK branches and buying the Budgens and Londis chains from Musgrave. It’s likely Booker Group will now continue as it is, with Booker Wholesale supplying independent retailers, grocers, pubs and restaurants: Makro supplying caterers; Booker Direct supplying large businesses like leading UK cinemas and prisons: Classic Drinks supplying pubs and bars, and so on.

Meanwhile there are still plenty of opportunities for independent wholesalers. Speaking after Blakemore Wholesale’s remaining depots closed, Landmark MD John Mills said the wholesale and cash & carry sector was under immense pressure and called for a strong and vibrant independent wholesale channel. Hopefully the proposed merger between Landmark Wholesale and Today’s Group will help achieve just that. We look forward to bringing you more news.

A ‘Wholesale’ New World “A changing publication for an ever evolving industry.”

Charles Smith Editor