Welcome to the March issue of Wholesale Manager. The post-lockdown return to normality has led to growth in the convenience channel, where sales are up +2.1% compared with the same period last year, when shoppers in lockdown opted to visit larger stores, less often, and to stock up online, reveals new data released by NielsenIQ. The growth in the convenience channel is also a result of consumers shifting their spend back to shopping little (and more often), continued home working as well as the return to school and commuting.

READ THE MARCH ISSUE HERE

Bestway Wholesale, the UK’s largest independent food and drink wholesaler, has partnered with Innovative Technology to pilot the Convenience channel’s first use of age verification technology. The regulatory ‘Sandbox’ trial, which is part of a Home Office programme, will run until May 2022 across three Bestway Retail stores in Leeds. Developed by Innovative Technology, the ICU age verification technology is the most accurate independently tested system worldwide and is tailored to help retailers avoid selling alcohol and tobacco products to underage customers.

Jisp is strengthening its ability to engage with a far wider convenience audience through the launch of an online version of the app. Shoppers will now be able to use the full services available from Jisp via their local store without downloading an app, from ordering their favourite groceries for delivery, to saving on big brands in store with Scan & Save.

Within the Tobacco market, which is currently worth £14bn (before tax) per year, there is almost a 50/50 market share split across Factory Made Cigarettes (FMC) and Roll Your Own (RYO) categories – at 53% and 47% respectively. Overall, we’re seeing continued movement towards low priced propositions across the entire category as consumer demand for value continues to drive tobacco purchasing patterns, says Tom Gully, Imperial Tobacco Consumer Marketing Manager UK in a Meet The Marketer interview.

Owned by global beverage company Refresco, Mr Freeze is seen as one of the company’s star brands, which is impressive given their portfolio of household name brands. The company’s brand portfolio covers all drink sectors from mixers to functional energy drinks to juices, CSDs and water, with brands like Mr Freeze dominating its category, Terri Cooper, Senior Commercial Manager at Refresco, tells our Meet The Marketer page.

The UK wholesale and retail sector faces one of the hardest journeys to decarbonisation, according to a new report. The Journey to Net Zero report, commissioned by insurer Zurich UK and conducted by the University of the West of England, identifies retail as one of the top six sectors that will struggle most to reduce their emissions and meet UK Net Zero targets, as covered on our Special Report page.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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