Welcome to the May issue of Wholesale Manager. The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has expressed its shock and dismay at the Tobacco and Vape Bill Committee’s decision not to invite the vaping industry or vapers to give evidence, calling it “fundamentally undemocratic.” The political website Guido Fawkes reported its surprise at seeing that the 16-member committee contained no MPs who voted against it.


Between October to December 2023, the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association commissioned a nationwide poll of 12,000 smokers on their attitudes, awareness and understanding of illegal tobacco. 80% of those surveyed bought tobacco in the last year that was not subject to UK tax (that’s a 6% increase since 2022 – and even higher than the ‘pre-Covid level’ of 76% in 2019). Nearly three-quarters of respondents have seen an illegal 20-pack of cigarettes priced between £3.00-£6.00 (compared to the mean average RRP of £15.26 for a legally priced 20-pack of cigarettes).

Nisa retailer NP Group has donated £1,800 to three local causes through the symbol group’s Making a Difference Locally (MADL) charity initiative. Three donations of £600 each were granted to the Darwen Food Larder, Darwen Rotary Club, and the Darwen Heritage Centre. The initiatives play a crucial role in supporting the Darwen community on a regular basis – something NP Group are determined to support.

Kitwave Group, the delivered wholesale business, has acquired Total Foodservice Solutions, a leading independent food wholesaler in the North of England for £21 million. Established over 130 years ago, Total Foodservice delivers wholesale catering supplies of around 4,000 product lines including chilled, frozen and ambient food, non-food and cleaning products. Ben Maxted, Chief Executive Officer of Kitwave, tells our Who’s Who in Wholesaling page what made Kitwave want to purchase Total Foodservice and what his plans are for the combined business.

Households are still concerned about the cost-of-living crisis and consequently have had to tighten their belts. With this in mind, Aston Manor continues to push its value brands, such as Crumpton Oaks. Calli O’Brien, Head of Marketing at Aston Manor Cider, tells our Supplier Spotlight page what are the major trends and developments affecting the cider category and how the Crumpton and Frosty brands will be supported this summer.

The Lanes Health story began over 90 years ago in 1930 with Gilbert Lane and his wife Grace, who founded the business. Lanes Health has always had the ambition to grow its business and achieve its goals while always staying true to the principles that the company was built on. Jonathan Groves, Executive Chairman at Lanes Health tells our Supplier Spotlight page what are the biggest challenges and opportunities presented by running a family business.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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