As our new Prime Minister takes on Brexit, Britain’s wholesalers remain confident. A.F. Blakemore has signed on a new multi-temperature distribution facility. Confex reports +8% growth in gross sales value for the half year to June. Bidfood has added Elite Fine Foods to its delivered foodservice network and Sugro has recruited 8 new members, bringing £133.5m in turnover.
Andrew Selley, Bidfood Chief Executive told the BBC UK menus will return to the 1700s if we must rely on more domestic produce after a no-deal Brexit. In our Meet the Marketer interview Alam Ameer, Wanis’ Operations Director, says 8 in 10 of us are choosing global cuisines, so we won’t be happy.
Overseas producers remain buoyant about Britain. 2019 is proving another outstanding year for California Walnuts, with shipments to Europe and the UK continuing to grow and a busy marketing program here, with their new UKfocused website central to their strategy.
Digital is where the action is in wholesale. As more ordering happens through apps or online, in our IT feature vendors like Business Computer Projects and RNF have solutions for wholesalers’ needs.
As another school year starts don’t miss our Back to School feature. Susan Nash, Mondel?z’s Trade Communications Manager says 85% of consumers are making their diet healthier, with 46% of parents choosing healthier school lunchbox snacks.
Sharing packs of snacks, confectionery and drinks come into their own with the start of the Big Night In season, also covered in our features. In our Bread & Bakery feature differentiation is key, taking in taste credentials, breath of range, convenience, versatility and health benefits.
In our interviews summer and autumn see the biggest sales weeks for lager, beer and cider in convenience and independent retail, prompted by sporting highlights like the imminent Rugby World Cup. Toby Lancaster, Category and Shopper Marketing Director for HEINEKEN UK talks about the seasonal opportunity, including no and low alcohol products.
Speaking of which, soft drinks continue to be one of the most profitable categories all year round. After Vimto sales jumped £10m in a year, Nichols is building on this success with a £3.5m investment, says Becky Unwin, Vimto Soft Drinks’ Senior Brand Manager. We also talk to Steven Simpson, National Impulse Sales Controller at Barr Soft Drinks, marketers of IRN-BRU, the UK’s No.1 Flavoured Carbonate.
And finally, don’t miss our interview with Dr Andrew Kemp, Bidfood’s long-serving Group Sales and Marketing Director, awarded an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours in June. Dr Kemp, who prefers to be called Andy, insists no-one was more surprised than him.