The Menthol Ban is finally here. Wholesalers and retailers can no longer sell menthol, or indeed any flavoured tobacco products. A fifth of the legitimate tobacco market has disappeared overnight, with no sell-through period. In our Industry Focus interview, Mark Yexley, Communications Director at JTI UK, gives his advice on how wholesalers can comply with the ban.

READ THE MAY – JUNE ISSUE HERE

The ban provides an opportunity for the vaping category as a third of all menthol smokers are now likely to switch to a new alternative, new research by Populous, commissioned by Philip Morris, reveals. Our Next Generation Products (Vaping) feature reveals how wholesalers can take advantage of this shift in consumer habits.

United Wholesale (Scotland) has been at the forefront of fighting the effects of Covid-19 to create a sanitised and safe environment, regularly updating customers through its website and social media to minimise the impact on key workers. The firm was the first in Scotland to utilise bio-fogging disinfection.

Chris Gallacher, Managing Director at United Wholesale (Scotland) is interviewed in our Who’s Who in Wholesaling page about how the industry has changed in the last two decades and how the industry is coping with the covid-19 outbreak.

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), the trade association for Scotland’s food and drink wholesale businesses, has said it is “bitterly disappointed” that the deposit return scheme (DRS) draft regulations have been passed by the Scottish Parliament during the coronavirus disruption.

Simon Gray, founder and managing director of Boost Drinks, tells our Supplier Spotlight page, how he built the brand from the ground up and how Boost has been supporting retailers during the Covid-19 crisis.

With summer here and lockdown measures starting to ease, the soft drinks category is set for a revival. Wholesale Manager’s soft drinks feature has all the latest activity from the manufacturers.

The latest figures show home baking has risen in importance during the lockdown. Wholesalers have reacted to the consumer needs and stocked the in demand products, our bakery, bread and home baking feature explains.

Mints and gums still have a key role to play in driving the confectionery category, representing a third of the market, as revealed in our mints and gums report.

Breakfast now accounts for 28% of all eating and drinking occasions, with consumers now trading up their breakfast choices at home on a regular basis, a key trend that has contributed to the £11.6 billion breakfast market in recent years. Our breakfast feature has all the details.

Costcutter has reported one of its best ever years, with sales increasing by 10% to £426m in 2019.

And locals living in isolated villages in the Cornish countryside are being well served by their local independent retailer during the lockdown. Gary Batten, who runs two stores in St Austell, is now seeing almost a quarter of his business going through home deliveries after launching same day deliveries in March.

It’s great to see the industry responding in such a positive way to the current challenges.

Until next time, all the best with negotiating the menthol free future.

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