Fine food distributer Cotswold Fayre is reporting a spike in sales of chilled products, as consumers respond to the Covid-19 pandemic by treating themselves more at home.

Paul Hargreaves, chief executive at Cotswold Fayre says: “We see chilled as a real growth area, and one that is set to continue as restaurants are likely to remain closed for some time. There is a real opportunity here for retailers to provide a range of chilled options to enjoy at home and cater for a variety of tastes and dietary requirements.”

Convenience retailers, in particular, have a chance to really capitalise on this opportunity, with a higher percentage of fridge and chiller space than any other stores.  Paul Hargreaves, chief executive at Cotswold Fayre continues: “When thinking about the chilled offering, convenience retailers should consider options beyond the ‘grab and go’ products associated with after work purchase, and look to good quality skus as more customers seek out more premium restaurant style foods to enjoy at home. It could be pizza, gluten free meals, or indulgent comfort foods. The main thing is to offer choice.

“Sales of houmous are currently booming, as are olives and soups – which perhaps doesn’t come as a surprise, in line with the country staying at, and working from home. These of course make for great snacks and lunches.  We’re also seeing growth in sales of smoked salmon, and brands like Meatless Farm’s range of mince, burgers and sausages, as well as White Rabbit Vegan Pizzas, which perform incredibly well.  When looking at the product mix, retailers should also consider longer life dairy products, like Greek yoghurt and clotted cream, which are both luxurious, and last in the fridge!

The top 10 chilled products, supplied by Cotswold Fayre and currently available in convenience are:

  1. Mash Direct – Mashed Potato – 6 x 400g
  2. Meatless Farm Co, The – 6 Meat Free Sausages – 4 x 300g
  3. The White Rabbit Pizza Co. – The Smokin’ Vegan Gluten Free Pizza – 4 x 353g
  4. Tims Dairy – Greek Style Honey Yogurt – 6 x 175g
  5. Moorish – Smoked Houmous – 6 x 150g
  6. Buxton Pudding – Real Vanilla Custard – 8 x 365ml
  7. Mattarello – Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce – 6 x 250g
  8. Higgidy – Feta & Red Pepper Veggie Rolls – 4 x 160g
  9. Cartmel – Sticky Toffee Pudding – 6 x 250g
  10. Yeo Valley – Natural Kefir – – 6 x 350g

With the change in season, there are plenty of new products and trends to look out for in the autumn/winter chilled range from Cotswold Fayre, including:

  1. A range of sought-after kefir products from Biotiful Dairy
  2. The addition of the Coconut Collaborative boosts both the vegan and yoghurt range
  3. Get on trend with flavoured butters from Posh Cow
  4. Much anticipated pates from Lecale Harvest in response to customer demand
  5. Former Cotswold Fayre Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Tigg’s salad dressings
  6. Ready meals from The Wild Hare, and meat selection packs from Grasmere Farm and Winterbotham Darby
  7. An addition to the ‘deli range’ of olives, peppers, pesto and paste from TOM& OLLIE
  8. And an enhanced range of cheesecakes from English Cheesecake Co. featuring new flavours and individual slices!

The growth in chilled is not just down to the global pandemic, overall year on year, Cotswold Fayre has seen a 45% increase in growth of value sales and 48% in volume.  In the period January to March 2020 cases shipped are up 84% on the same period in 2019, with March 2020 marking the biggest ever month for volume and sales.

The new Cotswold Fayre Chilled catalogue will be available to download from early July.

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