Welcome to the January/February edition of Wholesale Manager, the first issue of 2016 from the number one title for the UK’s cash & carries and delivered wholesalers.

The British convenience retail sector is going from strength to strength, supported by the wholesalers. We’re here to help you and your retail customers make the best of it by keeping you up to date on the news from the industry and the leading suppliers.

Chinese New Year falls on Monday February 8th, marking the start of the Year of The Monkey. We’re joining in the celebrations in our World Food feature. With people of over 270 nationalities now living in the UK, it’s well nigh impossible for a wholesaler to list foods from every single country! Thankfully, as our feature confirms, specialist importers and distributors have been bringing foods from overseas into Britain for many years and are well placed to advise on what to do. Wing Yip and others concentrate on Oriental foods, drawing on their in depth understanding of the needs of Chinese restaurants. Companies like RH Amar focus on foods from the Mediterranean, based on their expert knowledge of these cuisines. And Grace Foods, KTC, Wanis and others primarily target the Afro- Caribbean and South Asian communities, with which they have strong links.

In our second major feature, Vaping is one of the biggest consumer trends of 2016 and a massive sales opportunity for independent retailers and the wholesalers supplying them. In our report we hear how the e-cig category is growing meteorically and is continuously evolving with a stream of new products and introductions.

The big news in vaping is that from May 20th UK wholesalers and retailers must follow the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which places new regulations on ecigarettes. As we explain in the feature, TPD’s restrictions will increase costs, decrease choice and slow the rate of innovation, but as our article makes clear, TPD is not predicted to be the end of British vaping by any means.

Completing our line up of features is our spotlight on Spring Cleaning. After the long, dark winter months there’s nothing like a ray of sunshine to show up the dirt and dust and shame us into a bit of cleaning. Cleaning products are classic distress purchase items, which shoppers rush out to buy from their local independent retailer rather than wait until the next trip to the supermarket. Spring starts officially on Sunday March 20th and many consumers celebrate its arrival by dusting away the cobwebs around the home, so get your household cleaning section ready now for your independent retailer customers to stock up.

All the best for 2016.

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