Welcome to the October issue of Wholesale Manager. Encouraging to hear that grocery spend at UK convenience stores grew by +3.3% in the last four weeks ending 11th September 2021, outperforming the growth at UK supermarkets, which rose by +0.6% during the same period, reveals new data released by NielsenIQ. This shift toward the convenience channel is a result of a gradual return of prepandemic consumer habits. This comes as workers slowly return to offices, children are back in schools and there is less of a need to plan ahead for a big shop, with consumers looking to shop more locally, impulsively and ‘little and more often’.


Congratulations to Nestlé Cereals which has announced a new charitable milestone, having redistributed over 850,000 portions from 75,000 boxes of breakfast cereal in one year through its partnership with the UK’s biggest food charity, FareShare. Over the course of July and August, the business provided 50,000 boxes that will go to the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Alliance via FareShare. The HAF Alliance is a new coalition of 16 not-for- profits – including FareShare – formed to support the government’s £220m HAF programme, which provided free holiday clubs, food and activities to the UK’s most disadvantaged children during the Summer holidays this year.

Well done to JJ Foodservice which has invested in training eleven members of staff across ten branches to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders. The move is part of its investment into supporting and promoting the wellbeing of staff.

The cigar category has greatly expanded over the last year, driven by the rapid growth of the cigarillo segment. but further helped by the rise of the medium / large sector. Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG UK) is a major player, producing Signature Blue, the UK’s number one traditional cigar, Moments Blue, the fastest growing miniature cigar, and Henri Wintermans Half Corona, the nation’s leading medium/large cigar. Matthew Swinburne, Head of Key Accounts at STG UK, tells our Partners for Profit page what trends are driving the market and how wholesalers can merchandise cigars and pipe tobacco in depot.

The low and no alcohol category is in growth as consumers look for greater choice. Guinness believes the key to driving sales through the category is by leveraging well-known brands. This is why the company has returned Guinness 0.0 to the wholesale and retail channel. In a Supplier Spotlight interview, Neil Shah, Head of Guinness GB, explains how wholesalers can make the most of the alcohol category.

Digital technology played a crucial role in helping wholesalers survive and thrive during the pandemic. Oporteo offers a range of solutions for wholesalers including ecommerce, product information management and order management platforms. Andy Pratt, Business Development Lead for Oporteo, tells Wholesale Manager how wholesalers can better utilise their commence platforms.

Enjoy reading the issue.

George Simpson
Group Editor

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