One month in and 2019 has started very strongly for the wholesale sector. Especially for JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based delivered wholesaler and cash & carry. Filshill were named Scotland’s best wholesale business at the SWA ‘Achievers’ awards at the end of January and also won three other categories, Best Delivered Operation (Retail), Best Symbol Group with its KeyStore outlets and Best Licensed Operation. We have a report from the Achievers in our news pages and an interview with Craig Brown, the company’s Retail Sales Director, carried out before they swept the board at the awards.
Also in our news pages A.F. Blakemore Chairman Peter Blakemore reveals how their long-term strategic investment plan is enabling the family-owned business to maximise growth opportunities across the convenience, wholesale and specialist food sectors.
On the foodservice side we interview Nick Redford, MD of Caterforce, one of Britain’s biggest foodservice buying and marketing groups, with a turnover of over £500 million. We also interview Terry Larkin, Group General Manager at national wholesaler JJ Foodservice, celebrating its 30th anniversary.
In our features, as we long for spring on cold winter nights, Big Nights In become increasingly appealing as customers stay at home and crave comfort, great news for Britain’s independent retailers and wholesalers.
In our Sugar Confectionery feature Mark Roberts, Trade Marketing Manager at Perfetti Van Melle says this is another category impacted by the healthy living trend, as we’re drawn to lower sugar options. Despite an annual sales decline of just under one percent, sugar confectionery remains in the top four purchases in convenience.
As consumers realise the benefits of feeling fit and alert, sports and energy products have gone mainstream, attracting big brands with huge budgets alongside smaller niche brands. Speaking of which, there’s always room in the wholesale market for excellence. In our Supplier Spotlight interview Boost Drinks has made its name as an innovative and independently owned energy, protein and sports drink producer which keeps close to independent retailers and wholesalers. Its best-selling Boost Original Energy 250ml pack is the number 2 largest Sports and Energy SKU.
And in our Rising Stars interview we meet Gina Geoghegan, Founder of Wild Fizz Kombucha, a natural sparkling soft drink made from fermented tea. Brewed in the UK, Wild Fizz Kombucha is available in cans and bottles, targeting both take home and out of home sales. The kombucha category is growing globally, but in the UK there’s a way to go. Give it time!