Welcome to the November- December edition of Wholesale Manager. As the holiday season approaches, we wish all our readers a successful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. While the rest of the country comes to a stop, the UK’s delivered wholesalers and cash and carries go on working during the festive break, helping independent retailers, caterers and pubs stay stocked so their customers have the best possible time. Here’s to you!

When wholesale professionals aren’t either working hard keeping things going or taking time out to celebrate with family and friends, the end of the year is traditionally a time for reviewing and looking ahead. If you’re involved in your business’s finances, don’t miss our exclusive interview with Sukhjeeven Nat, Santander’s head of retail and wholesale sector. As the article confirms, Santander have a deep understanding of wholesalers’ concerns and work closely with them to put tailored financial solutions in place.

In our news pages we have stories from leading retail suppliers including Elizabeth Shaw, Kettle Chips, Ilchester cheeses and Florette and foodservice players Lantmannen Unibake, Brakes and McCain. In our Dairy feature, Dairy Crest’s Amy Fisher highlights the need for wholesalers to major on supplying local retailers with quality, wellknown dairy products as the trend for savvy consumerism builds momentum. Drinks are strong sellers in wholesale all year round but peak dramatically at Christmas and New Year. On the soft drinks front we hear from Radnor Hills about their Heartsease Farm premium pressé range and their new TETRA lineup, presented in cutting edge TETRA Prism packs. We also talk to Pernod Ricard’s James Middleton about the trend for spirits consumers to drink less but better and the need to capture the ‘Christmas moment’ in store.

Elsewhere in this issue, in our non-food pages we hear from Clipper, the smokers’ accessories supplier, whose new-look lighters are sparking the category. And in our warehouse section we update you with the latest materials handling and logistics stories.

Finally, in the season of goodwill, it’s time to remember the support Grocery Aid gives to thousands of grocery people, including former wholesalers, every year. Gillian Barker, the charity’s outgoing Director General retired at the end of November, just after the charity’s most successful Annual Sporting Heroes luncheon to date raised over £325,000. Gillian has spent her whole career in the grocery industry, starting as a Saturday girl then working in senior positions in Sainsbury’s and Safeway before joining Grocery Aid. We hope Gillian, her former colleagues and all of you have a merry Christmas and we’ll be back with our next issue in early 2017.

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