Welcome to the September issue of Wholesale Manager. Great to hear that UK grocery stores experienced 50 million more in-store visits in the last four weeks ending 14th August 2021 compared with the same period last year, with store sales rising to £7.7bn. However, this is at the expense of online grocery sales, which have fallen by 10% compared to a year ago, reaching £1.1bn in sales, reveals new data released by NielsenIQ. NielsenIQ data reveals that despite this decline in online grocery sales as a result of the easing of restrictions, online still remains a popular channel with UK shoppers, who are still spending a total of £1.1bn on their online grocery shop every four weeks compared with £1.2b this time last year.


Well done to leading foodservice wholesaler Thomas Ridley which has just launched a bespoke labelling solution to help customers to comply with Natasha’s Law. From 1st October 2021, all food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to provide a full ingredient list and allergen labelling when selling pre-packaged for Direct Sale Foods (PPDS Foods) from their premises. The UK Food Information Amendment 2019, known informally as Natasha’s Law, will apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Congratulations to Brakes and Sysco Speciality Group who have announced a partnership with #FairKitchens, a global movement fighting for a healthier and more sustainable hospitality industry.

The movement, co-founded by Unilever Food Solutions in 2018 to improve the wellbeing of hospitality and foodservice workers, now has more than 20,000 community members learning from each other and creating resilient businesses in the process. Resources and success stories are shared to help operators improve working environments, with the focus on fair pay, fair treatment and fair hours.

Sleaford Quality Foods (SQF), based in Lincolnshire, is a leading cross-category supplier to the foodservice and catering industry. Though its Chef William brand continues to perform strongly, SQF has identified the opportunity to diversify and reach new customers so recently launched a new foodservice range, Our Earth, with sustainability at its heart. Anthony Ware, Foodservice Controller at Sleaford Quality Foods, spoke to our Focus on Foodservice page about the big food product trends and what the company is doing to reduce its environmental impact.

Vimto is on a mission to review the squash category, praising both its tasty flavour and its health credentials. Demonstrating its commitment to health, the brand recently strengthened its core squash range with Vitamins C and D. In a Supplier Spotlight interview, Becky Unwin, Vimto Senior Brand Manager, explains what flavours are on-trend in the squash category and gives some advice for wholesalers on how to capitalise on the squash opportunity.

Enjoy reading the issue.

George Simpson
Group Editor

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