Welcome to the November issue of Wholesale Manager. One of Scotland’s largest wholesalers expects the country’s hospitality industry to enjoy a bumper period this Christmas – despite economic challenges including the cost-of-living crisis and rising interest rates putting the squeeze on consumers. Jim Rowan, managing director of Dunns Food and Drinks, believes demand for dining and drinking out during the festive season will remain steady year-on-year, with industry data suggesting consumer behaviour will at least match Christmas 2022, which was bolstered by the one-off winter football World Cup and a ‘post-lockdown bounce’.


Unitas Wholesale’s latest Focus On category guides are designed to help retailers drive sales and profits in the £2.47bn soft drinks market. Two Focus On guides, one on Soft Drinks and a deeper focus on its largest segment, Energy Drinks, are now available in selected member depots and for free online. Focus On Soft Drinks offers retailers an overview of the fastest-growing areas within the category, as well as revealing the top 10 bestselling Sports, Fruit Carbonates, Energy, and Iced Coffee brands.

With the goal of providing a digital connection and integration across their full portfolio of Members and Suppliers, Confex are excited to have launched the first phase of their ambitious and ground-breaking technology programme. “Confex Accelerate” will provide a dynamic platform for suppliers to provide real-time product, pricing and promotions to Confex Members, improving communication links, reducing admin and increasing business development and marketing activities.

Following a prolonged period of investment across Thomas Ridley’s 100K square foot storage and distribution site, which includes 20k square foot of frozen warehouse space, the Suffolk-based foodservice company has now achieved the BRCS globally recognised certification for storage and distribution. Mark Murphy, Executive Logistics Manager at Thomas Ridley, tells our Focus on Foodservice page what the firm had to do to achieve BRC accreditation and what was the most challenging part of the process.

Kent Frozen Foods (kff) is one of the country’s leading regional wholesalers, offering a wide range of around 4,000 products. Its sister company Medina Foodservice operates across the Isle of Wight and south coast. In a Focus on Foodservice interview, Phillip White, Managing Director at Kent Frozen Foods Ltd & Medina Foodservice, tells Wholesale Manager how he wants to make kff the most trusted, go to regional supplier in the country and to do that in an ethical and sustainable way.

Crisps, snacks and nuts are currently the fastest growing category in the independent convenience sector, at +18.6% YOY growth on a 52 w/e basis (to 10 Sept 2023), according to TWC. Within crisps, snacks & nuts, sharing bags account for almost 65% share. This sub-category is driving strong growth in independent convenience stores at +25.9 YOY, says our crisps & snacks feature.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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