SPOTLIGHT ON DAVID YOLLAND OF SQUIRRELS UK
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR CASH & CARRY/DELIVERED WHOLESALERS
Jason Wouhra OBE on how his outside interests benefit East End Foods
Caterers and on-trade targeted, and range slashed to 8,000 lines
At 12:30 every Friday the Thatchers family taste their next vat of apple cider to make sure it’s as good as it should be. If it’s not, it simply never leaves the farm.
4Catering 4Oral Care 4Tobacco 4Big Night In 4Back To School 4Paper Products
That’s why Thatchers is what cider’s supposed to taste like. And perhaps why Thatchers is growing at 53.8%*
*Source: IRI. Total Off Trade. 52 week MAT Vol sales % change vs YA (22.07.17)
This month don’t miss... 06 6
Blakemore is revamping its C&Cs to focus more on foodservice.
Bestway unveils best-one Inspired premium own-label range.
Presentation is important in Bidfood’s Christmas collection.
ESSENTIALS 05 06
Editor’s Comment Industry News
In Focus Bidfood’s festive range incorporates more than 120 new products.
Spotlight featuring David Yolland, managing director of Squirrels UK.
Viewpoint Wholesalers name their bestperforming products and suppliers.
Behind the Scenes Thanks to family values, quality is the ethos at East End Foods, explains director Jason Wouhra OBE.
Supplier Strategy Simon Ruddick, Vimto’s commercial controller for C&C, explains how the company is driving sales through the wholesale channel.
Squirrels UK’s David Yolland, pictured with his wife Nicola, talks about the importance of working hard but also switching off outside work.
Meet the Supplier
CATEGORY INSIGHT 20 24 26 32 36 38
Catering Oral Care Back To School Big Night In Paper Products Tobacco
East End Foods benefits from being family owned and run.
Simon Ruddick on Vimto UK’s relationships with wholesalers.
[ EDITOR’S COMMENT ]
More pressure on small shops hat’s the difference between Asda, Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons? ‘Nothing’ would be the instant answer, countered with the rider: they are the four leading retail multiples. Those answering: ‘Asda, because it’s the only one owned by an overseas company’ (Walmart in the US), have the right answer, but not for the right reason. Apart from them all being major direct competitors to the independent retail trade, Asda is the only one of the big four – so far – which has posed only a limited threat in the high street. Tesco remains confident that its tieup with Booker will soon be cleared by the Competition & Markets Authority; Sainsbury is still rumoured to be interested in taking over Nisa; and Morrisons has just won a lucrative contract – believed to be worth around £1 billion – to service 1,650 retail outlets owned by McColl’s. Despite protestations by both sides that the Booker/Tesco deal would have a beneficial, not harmful, effect on private traders, many remain sceptical about the merger. If Sainsbury purchased Nisa, what impact would that have on Nisa’s near3,500 customers? Nisa is also peeved – that’s putting it mildly – about Morrisons winning the McColl’s contract. So is Palmer & Harvey. Both are understood to have been among the delivery tenders for the
SPOTLIGHT ON DAVID YOLLAND OF SQUIRRELS UK
Caterers and on-trade targeted, and range slashed to 8,000 lines
At 12:30 every Friday the Thatchers family taste their next vat of apple cider to make sure it’s as good as it should be.
c-store/newsagents business. Indeed, both were until recently responsible for McColl’s distribution. Nisa had undergone a sticky time for several years before changes at the top led to a revival in its fortunes. P&H, too, has found the going tough, also losing major executives and finding itself heavily in debt to the leading tobacco manufacturers, distribution of whose products account for the bulk of its £4 billion-plus turnover. Another little thing involving the leading retail multiples: Tesco is P&H’s major customer. It’s all very disconcerting for the independent sector and the C&C/wholesale concerns who rely so heavily on ‘corner’ shops for their livelihood. Convenience stores might be enjoying a period of growth, but how much is that due to the fact that they are owned or heavily supported by the retail giants? It’s no wonder that businesses in our sector, while continuing to support small shopkeepers, are becoming ever more reliant on income from the foodservice channel to safeguard their future. Independents will now be hoping that Walmart does not encourage Asda to join Tesco and Sainsbury in flooding the market with smaller high street outlets.
Mervyn Gilbert News Editor
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If it’s not, it simply never leaves the farm. That’s why Thatchers is what cider’s supposed to taste like.
And perhaps why Thatchers is growing at 53.8%*
! " ! *Source: IRI. Total Off Trade. 52 week MAT Vol sales % change vs YA (22.07.17)
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[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Ordering on the go Sanderson, which supplies software to some of the leading names in the C&C/wholesale trade, has launched a mobile app for use by wholesalers’ customers. Targeted at the ‘always on the go, next-generation technology user’, it is designed to increase sales through 24/7 ordering. The app is claimed to provide “ultra-convenience for retail and foodservice customers while sharpening the wholesaler’s competitive edge”. One of Sanderson’s major customers, JW Filshill, of Glasgow, introduced the app at its recent customer trade show.
Filshill introduced the app at its recent trade show.
Fehad Shehzad, IT manager for the C&C/wholesaler, which has more than 1,600 retail, cash & carry and delivered customers, said visitors to the event were impressed with the technology’s simplicity, which resulted in more than 150 downloads of the app on the first day of the show. The app’s features include instant barcode scanning for ordering on-site and instant notification of current promotions. Customers can also benefit from on-line order management, which gives visibility of orders and delivery tracking, plus account management for payment notifications. a Sanderson (0333) 123 1400 06
C&C disposal denied AF Blakemore & Son has issued a statement denying national newspaper reports that it is to sell its wholesale division, which comprises 13 cash & carries. A spokesman for Bestway, which was mentioned by the press as heading the list of those expressing interest in any disposal, told Cash & Carry Management: “We will always be linked with speculation, but will only comment The first new-look branch. once any deal is concluded.” The papers also said that negotiations were being foods, fresh meat and caterhandled by KPMG. ing products. The revamp, In a statement, Blakemore which took place in just four said: “AF Blakemore & Son weeks, will be replicated Ltd is not for sale and our over the next three months focus remains upon the comin the other 12 Blakemore pany’s core purpose of C&Cs. A new focus will be on building a profitable and mid-level foodservice and sustainable family the out-of-home business for the market in an benefit of our staff, attempt by the customers, supplicompany to raise ers and the comits levels of onmunities we serve. trade and catering “AF Blakemore business from has been a family10% to 20-25%. owned business A process of James Russell: ‘A for the past cenrationalisation will step forward.’ tury and is comresult in the nummitted to building ber of lines in the a successful company for the total range being cut from next 100 years. Blakemore over 20,000 to fewer than Wholesale is part of this 8,000. Then the range will be strategy and we are looking managed on a ‘one in, one at all options to develop the out’ basis. “If the commercial business and improve its proposition, brand proposiperformance.” tion, packaging and flavour The C&C operation, a leadof a particular product aren’t ing member of Landmark right for our customers, Wholesale, was reported to we’re not going to sell it,” be on offer for £100 million. said Blakemore Wholesale Blakemore has recently MD James Russell. closed its 10,000 sq ft Suppliers have also been Hexham, Northumberland, put under scrutiny, with the branch, previously operating current 851 reduced by 384. as Lowrie’s. The cash & carry Eventually there will be a supplier base of 355 who will had a staff of seven. sit in one of three categories: However, on 4 August, the strategic, core and specialist. wholesaler relaunched its The realigned focus will Wolverhampton depot with a prioritise the 21% of the new look and more fine
supply base that produce 90% of turnover. After the supplier shakeup, Blakemore Wholesale is aiming to offer 99.5% availability to customers, with 100% on the top 1,000 SKUs. Suppliers have been called on to improve their service – since the start of the year, they have crossed off more than £5 million in stock and the service level from the top 100 is 92%. Blakemore has also pledged to be more competitive while improving margins for retailers. The soft drinks, crisps and snacks categories have seen pricing changes, and suppliers have been told that a reduction in profit margins on promotions is no longer acceptable. Meanwhile, Blakemore’s staff have received new uniforms and training focused on product knowledge and active selling. Depots are being asked to identify their top 30 spenders and their habits, reconnect with the top 30 lapsed customers, and get to know new customers. The retail club, which has three fascias, has also been examined. Customer categories on the system have been streamlined from 28 to six, and 100 customers have been expelled from the club. Russell said: “As a business we have a huge amount of room for improvement, both in terms of the way we communicate with our suppliers and the way that we engage in general. This, for us, is very much a step forward.” Group turnover of AF Blakemore & Son is over £1.3 billion and the main division is its Spar distribution business, which is unaffected by the latest changes and rumours. a AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
On film: how Filshill operates Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill has launched a year-long video marketing campaign, ‘Leading The Way’, showing how the business operates. One three-minute film will be unveiled per week on Filshill’s own YouTube channel at https://www.youtube. com/c/filshill, as well as on its website and via social media. The videos reveal how the company engages with staff, customers and suppliers, dealing with such aspects as how orders are
picked, store deliveries are made and promotions are run. Viewers will also get an insight into staff training and community involvement. “Nothing is out of
bounds!” declared managing director Simon Hannah (left). “The project is all about us showing our customers and suppliers that we are transparent about all aspects of our business, that we understand the complexities of running a family concern. “We want to open our doors to anyone who wants to find out more about us and what motivates us. And if our competitors look at our videos then we are very happy for them to do so.” a JW Filshill 0141-883 7071
Four-timer netted by Brakes Brakes was adjudged fish supplier of the year at the Marine Stewardship Council awards for the fourth year running. The accolade recognises the wholesaler’s ongoing commitment to sourcing and promoting the largest range of MSC-certified products in UK foodservice.
Having launched the first MSC-certified product in 2001, Brakes now offers more than 165 with this inscription, representing almost half of its fish and seafood range. “We’re delighted that our efforts in responsibly sourcing fish and seafood have once again been recognised by the MSC,” said Andrew
Crawford, category manager – fish & seafood. “So far this year we’ve converted around 30 cod lines to using MSCcertified fish.” New products include a mac & cheese smoked haddock MSC fish cake and a hand-battered MSC cod fillet. a Brakes Group (01233) 206000
Female power on the rise at JJ By next year, JJ Food Service wants at least 20% of its warehouse staff to be female. HQ branch manager Sedat Kaan Hendekli said: “At the start of 2017 we had a mainly male workforce at the Enfield warehouse. Six months later 8% are female and the percentage is rising.” Work flexibility has been a real driving force, he added. Other attractions include onthe-job training, childcare vouchers, appealing career prospects and full and parttime positions. Women, he claimed, also
have a positive impact on male staff. “Our female employees are hardworking, honest and
trustworthy. They set an excellent example for everyone and fit well into our warehouse team.” Hendekli reckoned that JJ Food Service could soon have its first female branch manager. He commented: “Many of our managers started in warehouse roles, learning the job from the ground.” Women, he said, were now more likely to reach senior level positions, which would have a positive impact across the business. a JJ Food Service (0843) 309 0991
Wider role Tony Holmes, who joined Bestway Wholesale last year as sales director retail, has been appointed to a wider sales director role, involving all sales route-to-market functions (including the contact telesales service in Perth) as well as marketing. In addition to cash & carry, the company operates the best-one and Xtra Local symbol chains and the Bestway Batleys Foodservice and Bestpets businesses. Managing director Martin Race said: “Like every wholesaler we will have challenges along the way, but with customer satisfaction at its highest-ever level, bestone posting the largest double-digit organic growth of any symbol operator and a renewed effort in catering and the on-trade sectors, we have a terrific platform to deliver further growth.” Holmes is supported in his new role by Mike Ward, head of sales for retail; Frank Fraser, head of catering sales; Mike Bailey, head of Bestpets; Salih Sheikh, head of marketing; and a new head of contact centre, who will be named shortly. James Hall, symbol development director, continues to have responsibility for best-one development. Paul Adams fills the new role of head of brand and Ross Halliday is head of club & symbol operations. a Bestway Wholesale 0208453 1234
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Wholesale speakers The Institute of Grocery Distribution’s wholesale conference in September has attracted several top trade speakers. The line-up includes Palmer & Harvey’s managing director Martyn Ward, Bestway Wholesale’s symbol development director James Hall and Booker’s trading director – impulse Colm Johnson. Among the supplier executives on the rostrum will be Alice Perkins, digital & e-commerce national account manager, wholesale at CocaCola European Partners, and Jon Rooney, Birds Eye’s business development channel director. The event will take place at the Cavendish Conference Centre in central London on 6 September. a IGD (01923) 857141
‘All-rounder’ Birchall Foodservice won the business of the year prize at the Burnley Business Awards event. In reaching their decision, the judges referred to the wholesaler’s “strong allround performance, with year-on-year growth, clear plans for future growth with innovative new services, combined with a strong commitment to its workforce, local community and reducing its carbon footprint.” Birchall also recently collected three Red Rose business awards: family business of the year, top employer and customer service accolade. a Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446 08
Hull member for Fairway Hull-based Young’s Foods has joined the Fairway Foodservice buying group in a bid to double turnover to £5 million in the next two years. The ambitious familyowned wholesaler has also extended its premises to 6,500 sq ft, installed a new freezer and increased the number of staff to 15. Young’s, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, becomes the group’s 20th member. Founder and managing director Dave Young said: “We know about the benefits of joining a buying group, and Fairway (turnover last year was £650.5 million) was the perfect fit for us. “It has a refreshing focus on quality, and the actions to match it. It targets higher quality products, and its own-
Dave Young outside the company’s head office.
brand range is market-leading. “We will have access to more products and be able to offer our existing customers more solutions. “The group also provides comprehensive marketing and PR support, which will be key to attracting new clients and further targeting schools, colleges, universities,
pubs and golf clubs. It will also support our expansion in different regions, including Lincolnshire.” Fairway’s chief executive Chris Binge said: “Young’s Foods has a brilliant reputation and is striving to accomplish ambitious goals.” a Fairway Foodservice (01442) 319100
French-made bread range Landmark Wholesale has launched the Pain Français baked and part-baked bread range. The selection comprises 15 ‘authentic traditional’ breads, including petit pain, baguettes, focaccia, panini and ciabattas, which are all frozen and made in France. “The launch of Pain Français comes in response to the unprecedented demand
Les Mohammed: ‘Delighted’ with quality and price point.
for home-baked products in the foodservice channel,” said foodservice trading
controller Les Mohammed. “We’re delighted with the quality and price point of this range which, in every taste test we carried out, came out on top when compared with our competitors.” The breads are aimed at cafés, sandwich bars, pubs, restaurants, schools, care homes, bars and hotels. a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300
Group’s £3,000 for charity Confex UK last month marked the 10th anniversary of its central distribution division, based in Pershore, Worcs, with a team-building challenge held at the Cotswold Water Park in South Cerney, Glos.
On a glorious summer day, 10 activities tested both the mental and physical ability of those taking part. The central distribution offshoot has grown to the point where it now has a turnover of £30 million. Last
year Confex UK’s turnover reached £2 billion. The fundraising event resulted in £3,000 being divided between two charities: Cancer Research and Shelter. a Confex UK (01608) 652333
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
‘The timing was right’ Trevor Stimpson, chairman of Sterling Supergroup, which has joined the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, has referred to the importance of timing in the group’s decision. “Without doubt, this was the right time for us to join. Group turnover and that of our membership continue to grow,” said Stimpson, a director of Waterdene Foodservice of Leighton Buzzard, Beds. “Joining will bring certain benefits and additional information to our group.”
There are now eight buying groups in the FWD’s membership, with the total number of affiliated wholesalers standing at 568. Sterling, of Maldon, Essex, includes 38 foodservice wholesalers with joint sales of almost £400 million. Under chief executive Vanessa Cooper, the group, which was formed in 1966 as
Independent Cash & Carry Group (ICCG), has changed focus in recent years from a retail-based combine to one specialising in foodservice. Members supply ambient, frozen, chilled and fresh food, and non-food, to UK catering outlets. a FWD (01323) 724952 Supergroup a Sterling (01621) 856300
£250 reward for top worker JJ Food Service, whose aim is to increase the number of females it employs – including those in senior positions – has launched a Five Star Employee campaign. The initiative is designed to recognise and reward “great” customer service. A sum of £250 is up for grabs among drivers, sales managers, counter staff, warehouse and telesales personnel, any of whom might be nominated by
Those wishing to choose someone they feel is worthy of the award are invited to visit JJ’s Facebook or Google Reviews page, where they name that person and the branch in which he or she works, and also provide their own business name and postcode. The employee with the most votes by 31 October will win the £250. a JJ Food Service (0843) 309 0991
Best start for label switch Bestway Wholesale has made an encouraging start in replacing its Best-in ownlabel range with the best-one brand (Cash & Carry Management last month). In the first two weeks of the ongoing changeover, the new label recorded 26% growth in value and 40% in volume. Biscuit income rose by 96.7% and soft drinks
increased by 39.8%. Ed Smeaton, director of trading, said: “Results thus far are extremely positive, with growth across all categories. To have significant double-digit growth at this early stage from unaffiliated retailers is fantastic news. “I am confident that this trend will continue as more best-one products hit retailers’
shelves and we crank up promotions within our best-one and Xtra Local symbol and retail clubs.” This month sees a minimum 40% POR promotion across selected soft drinks, including two-litre take-home carbonates, new sparkling water one-litre variants (apple & raspberry and lemon & lime) and impulse plain waters. a Bestway Wholesale 0208453 1234
Honour for Andy Kemp Andy Kemp (pictured), Bidfood’s group sales & marketing director, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of West London for services to the hospitality industry. One of his major contributions in this field has been to mobilise industry bodies to support the protection of Universal Free School Meals. He is also committed to many leading charities and organisations, including Springboard, Hospitality Action, the One and All Foundation and the British Hospitality Association. Kemp has spent 36 years in the hospitality and food industry. a Bidfood (01494) 555900
Peak spend GroceryAid has revealed that a record 14,000-plus people turned to the trade charity for assistance in the year to 31 March – a rise of 27% on the previous 12 months. Welfare spending also increased to a peak of £4.5 million. a GroceryAid (01252) 875925
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
The Scottish Wholesale Association has joined forces with licensing legal firm TLT to launch a bespoke licensing hotline service for members. SWA-affiliated wholesalers will have access to leading licensing lawyers north of the border, including Stephen McGowan, who leads the TLT team. They will receive an initial free consultation, with a discounted rate for additional follow-up legal services. They will also have the option of a licence health check and participation in TLT licensing seminars. McGowan said: “Working closely with the Scottish Wholesale Association over the last year has highlighted the many licensing issues facing the industry.” SWA executive director Kate Salmon commented: “Partnering with the TLT licensing team in this way brings additional benefits to our members. “TLT is recognised as one of the leading licensing practices in Scotland and across the UK.” The hotline, exclusive to SWA members, can be accessed on (0333) 006 1130. a SWA 0131-556 8753 10
An Inspired choice As well as converting Best-in lines to the best-one label (Cash & Carry Management last month), Bestway Wholesale has introduced the first items in its premium best-one Inspired range. The 15 products include all-butter cookies (three variants), hand-cooked crisps, high-fruit content conserves and pesto alla Genovese. Ed Smeaton, director of trading for retail,
said: “Shoppers are really buying into premium ownlabel, which has increased its share in multiple retailers from 5.6% to 6.1% over the
past year and is worth over £3 billion in grocery. “With 88% of shoppers now buying into this category, best-one Inspired will help independents capitalise on this opportunity.” All items have a “competitive” pricemark. There is a guaranteed 40% POR for conserves, cookies and tomatoes during the launch period. a Bestway Wholesale 020-8453 1234
Limited period wine offer With branded wine sales static, Landmark Wholesale has taken the opportunity of cashing in with its Vintners Collection range. In a promotion running until 19 August, retailers can purchase a case of the ownbrand wine for £21.99 (normal price £22.99) enjoying 20% profit on return. The selection includes Italian Pinot Grigio, Argentinian Malbec, Chilean
Sauvignon Blanc and Californian White Zinfandel. In all, there are 12 wines from six countries and 10 varieties of grape. Group senior trading controller Jon Burton said: “The wine category is notoriously difficult for retailers to get right, which is why the Vintners Collection is such a hit.
“We’ve carefully selected the most sought-after wine types that we know shoppers are looking for and put them together in one range, so retailers can stock up with confidence, knowing that they’re offering a fantastic range at excellent prices.” a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300
Impulse role at Mondelez Mondelez UK has named Scott Snell (pictured) as sales director for the impulse sector. Snell, with over 20 years’ experience in the food and drink industry, heads the impulse team, including the field sales force. Prior to joining the company in the UK, he was managing director of the Norway division, with brands including Freia, Twist, Oreo and Ritz. Between 1997 and 2014,
Snell worked at PepsiCo in several roles, progressing from being a retail sales
representative for Walkers to business unit director for key customer accounts. He was also general manager of the Naked Juice brand. Commenting on his new role, he said: “The impulse sector is the first point of awareness and purchase for our UK snacking brands, so it is absolutely crucial that maximising opportunities in convenience stores is at the heart of Mondelez’ strategy.” a Mondelez UK (01895) 615000
[ IN FOCUS ]
Bidfood’s new Christmas range offers festive twists and consumer choice
idfood’s Christmas collection this year is a reflection of its industry insights and close working relationships with suppliers and caterers alike. It incorporates flavour trends, dietary requirements, budget considerations and the need to produce spectacle. “Nowadays, how a product looks and sounds on a menu is just as important as the actual taste,” says Laura Mason, Bidfood campaign executive. As well as menu choices there are new crackers with co-ordinating tableware, and the company’s drinks division ViVAS is offering category management advice to help foodservice operators maximise profits and offer the right range. There are over 120 new products in the 2017 Christmas portfolio. The company’s own-brand range includes 48 of these products – Bidfood’s Premium Selection and Everyday Favourites allow for varying budgets, and the packaging and cooking requirements aim to simplify the preparation needed by chefs. The products have been carefully trialled and tweaked to ensure that the quality remains consistent and the flavours will be well received. A range review conducted to highlight areas for development has brought a focus to buffet options, premium fish and seafood, and accompaniments. There are 44 glutenfree products in the Christmas range, expanding the choice available for this growing consumer base with innovative offerings. Free-from doesn’t only cover gluten; Bidfood also offers plant-based milk alternative products and vegan dishes, with an entire vegan range launching in 2018.
On-trend additions to the range include a Quality Cuisine Smoked Salmon & Prosecco Centre Parfait, and Quality Cuisine gluten-free Wensleydale Cheese, Roasted Leek & Clotted Cream Pastry Crown with Wild Cranberries in the starters section. New mains cater to the demand for the traditional, but with interesting twists – such as Farmstead Individual Turkey & Duck Cushion with Morello Cherry Stuffing (below). Moving on from the traditional menu are alternatives like Five Star Fish Cod Loin Wrapped in Smoked Bacon and Farmstead Pork Collar Joint with Muscovado & Clove Rub, while vegetarian options include Premium Selection Brie & Beetroot Chutney Tart in Kale Pastry (which is gluten-free). The quality of the meat and careful blending of flavours enable caterers to produce a high-end menu that creates value. New accompaniments include Farmstead Three Little Piggies and Premium Selection Rustic Yorkshire Puddings. Desserts include plenty of gluten-free options and have been created to take into account the growth of popularity of alcohol-infused and glitzy creations – Premium Selection Gin Fizz & Elderflower Cheesecake answers the consumer desire for all things gin this year, while Premium Selection Individual Gold Bar shimmers on the plate. Maximising choice for everybody has also shaped the buffet selection, which this year sees additions such as the wheat, gluten & dairy-free Central Foods Mini Iced Fruitcake Bites (below right), V-Bites Vegan Pork-Style & Cranberry
A deals brochure allows caterers to get added value from their festive order.
Cocktail Sausage Rolls and Everyday Favourites Prawn, Lime, Chilli & Coriander Mini Bites. For the on-trade, ViVAS has sourced drinks that showcase current trends, such as craft beers, which are growing by 75% year on year, premium spirits and sparkling wine. Bidfood’s new Christmas magazine features more than 750 products, a trends guide, advertisements for services, separate sections for glutenfree and on-the-go products, and an accompanying deals brochure. Social media marketing and the website www.bidfood.co.uk/christmas will also communicate with operators in the runCCM up to Christmas.
Bidfood festive bestsellers 2016 1
Turkey (fresh and frozen)
Deep Filled Mince Pie
Tosti Prosecco 75cl
WN O SH E TB O N N A S C N T O S EN A M E E R S I L T A R E EG V L D A R O S I F TH
WN O SH E TB O N N A S C N T O S EN A M E E R S I L T A R E EG V L D A R O S I F TH
[ SPOTLIGHT ] David Yolland, managing director of Luton-based Squirrels UK
‘Positive mental attitude is key’ What has been the major milestone or turning point of your career? My first major milestone was passing my driving test at 17 which meant I was mobile and could start selling to shops across the South East. In 1983, Squirrels Wholesale was established. Another significant milestone was winning the Queens Award for Enterprise in 2016. Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? My dad, Ron. Growing up in the family business, I helped him from the age of five. He taught me the importance of working hard. What most frustrates you in business (and in life generally)? In business I get frustrated by people's negativity and the tendency to focus on problems instead of putting energy into solving them. Positive mental attitude is key! Personally I get frustrated with bad service in hotels and restaurants. How do you maintain a work-life balance? Today’s technology means you are never completely away from work but it does offer greater flexibility, which can 14
be beneficial. I try to switch off and relax with my family where possible at weekends and on holiday. I love to travel with my family (pictured above) and I love to ski.
spending time improving my golf and keeping fit. There are a lot of countries and places that I would like to visit, so it would be great to have the opportunity to travel more.
What advice would you give someone starting his/her first job? I would say work hard, be committed and focused. Always listen to others, as you can learn something new every day. Show willing and use your initiative then you will succeed.
What type of business would you go into if it wasn’t C&C/wholesale? I have worked in wholesale all my life, but if I were to do something else, I think I would try property development as it has always interested me.
If you were able to retire tomorrow, how would you spend your time? I wouldn’t fully retire as I would drive my wife Nicola crazy. I would still want to be involved in a business while also
If you had a million pounds to invest in business, how would you spend it? I believe that investing in the right people is vital for any business, as well as ensuring you have the best operating CCM systems available.
School leaver to successful businessman After leaving school at 16, David Yolland joined the family business, which was formed as a retailer in 1970 by his father Ron. David saw an opportunity to develop the company into a successful discount wholesaler, and by 2010, Squirrels UK was supplying
export customers. In 2015, the business was sold to Kitwave Wholesale Group, which has 15 depots across the UK and is a member of Sugro UK. Yolland stayed on as managing director of Squirrels UK and in 2016 he was appointed a director of Kitwave.
[ VIEWPOINT ]
Drink companies lead the way In the first in an occasional series of articles, Cash & Carry Management asks wholesalers to name their best-performing products and suppliers. What has been your best-performing product over the past couple of months? In terms of volume, we sold twice as much water (500ml still) this month as the previous month – no real surprise given the weather! It has been going out as quickly as we can get it in, so we have been placing a lot of orders with Radnor Hills and trying to push delivery dates as early as possible to keep up with customer orders. Having said that, we had a school cancel part of their water order one week because they decided it was too hot to run their sports day so they didn’t need the water, and the following week another school reduced their water order as it cancelled its event due to rain! In terms of a combined value and quantity view, sausages, chicken, bacon and mayonnaise have all been doing well, thanks to barbecue season. Fiona Spinks, office manager, EFG Foodservice Lifestyle 12 x one-litre soda water Gita Patel, secretary, Gilsons Foods
LRS has provided the best support in recent months, according to Gilsons Foods.
Our own Crazy Candy Factory brand – so far this year 24 products have been launched, including Popping Candy, Big Dipper, Fruitee Squeezee, and Twisterz, and 38 products have had a facelift. Since the relaunch of the brand earlier this year, it has seen double-digit growth and is now worth an estimated £11 million at retail pricing for this year. Jonathan Summerley, purchasing director, Hancocks
Which supplier has provided the best support in recent months? Lucozade Ribena Suntory. They are straightforward to deal with, good for price-marked packs, have excellent availability and we get the products on time. Gita Patel, secretary, Gilsons Foods Molson Coors. Telly Sarai, general manager, SK Food and CCM Drinks
What NPD has performed best over the past couple of months? McVitie’s Thins. Ian Dobson, category controller for impulse, Palmer and Harvey NPD that has gone down well with the cash & carry/ delivered wholesale trade.
Disaronno Sour cans. Bikal Shrestha, purchasing manager, Elbrook Cash & Carry Carling Black Fruit Cider 6 x 4 x 500ml price-marked at £5.25 Telly Sarai, general manager, SK Food and Drinks www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk
Benefits of a broad skill set Known as ‘the spice guy’ by Prince Charles, a contact for economic opinion by the national media and the youngest recipient of the IoD Chartered Director qualification, Jason Wouhra OBE is proof that wholesale has ambitious power players to ensure that the industry thrives.
ast End Foods is a truly family concern, founded by five brothers in the ’70s and now joined by the second generation, who have grown up within the industry. The company is going from strength to strength, with a manufacturing plant, two depots and a bonded warehouse. Its newest site, Aston Cross, which opened in 2011, is showing double-digit growth in turnover and its manufacturing side is positioned to become a global brand within the next 10 years. “Quality is the ethos at East End Foods,” says director and company secretary Jason Wouhra, a second-generation family member. “That’s not because of any regulatory or external forces, it’s more about what the family values are and what we perceive as important.” The company’s ethnic foods manufacturing plant is spearheaded by founders Tony Deep (chairman) and Jas and David Wouhra (joint managing 16
directors) along with second-generation Jitendra, Roger and Paul Wouhra (operations director, purchasing director and commercial director respectively). On the cash & carry side are two depots: Smethwick is managed by a firstgeneration family member Don Wouhra (purchasing director C&C) and operations director Monty Wouhra, with Aston Cross headed up by Jason Wouhra. The 120,000 sq ft Aston Cross cash & carry offers around 30,000 product lines covering multiple categories. Its opening has also enabled East End Foods to expand into foodservice, a canny move as although the company is traditionally retail, the Aston Cross customer base is 15-20% foodservice and its 20-strong fleet includes multi-temp vehicles. The branch currently employs 84 staff, with Wouhra wearing many different hats during the course of his day. “I handle our bonded warehouse, plus legal issues, HR and intellectual property for the group,” says Wouhra,
whose legal expertise is an intrinsic part of his role and was gained through a law background intended for a different career path. “I wanted to be a barrister and studied for that,” he explained, “but I joined the business and didn’t get out – Dad asked me to stay. “Looking back it’s been good – challenging and interesting, and no two days are the same,” he comments. “A lot of my job now is handling legal and regulatory issues. Another aspect of my education was the Institute of Directors Chartered Director qualification, which has helped me to have a take on the governance aspects of the business.” Wouhra’s breadth of knowledge, and his business influence within his community, reflects a work ethic that expands beyond his wholesale responsibilities and he has a list of achievements impressive for a 39 year-old. Once he joined the family business, he continued to study commercial law parttime, then gained the Chartered Director
[ BEHIND THE SCENES ] On board with his community – Jason Wouhra outside of his day job
The Aston Cross cash & carry, which opened in November 2011, serves both retail and foodservice customers and is showing double-digit growth.
qualification. He also received an honorary doctorate from Aston University in 2014, and sits on boards that include the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Aston University and the West Midlands Police Crime Reduction Partnership. “I do this to help me learn a broader skill set,” he explains. “Those different learnings are opportunities that I really enjoy. With East End Foods being a family firm, it’s easy to fall into a kind of bubble – just the family’s take – whereas interacting outside gives another spin on things.” With so many interests (the majority of which are voluntary), a disciplined approach to time management is crucial. “It’s important to try to cram in as much as you can,” he declares. “As long as you manage your diary well, you can fit a lot into your time.” Life outside of work may be busy, but his focus on the Aston Cross cash & carry remains a priority: ”My wife works with me and she’ll be talking about work at 11 at night – there’s no such thing as business hours.” The flexibility of a family business also enables opportunities for prompt action, such as the acquisition of the iconic HP Sauce site that the Aston Cross branch now sits on. “We’re not
constrained by the bureaucracy that comes with the big corporations – once we’re all on the same page, we go ahead and act. We were very lucky to find the old HP property, as it was a question of finding land available for the venture,” he explains. “Opening Aston Cross was a great decision. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved and how as a team we’ve managed to create, in a very competitive industry, an extremely successful depot that has been lauded as one of the best in the country.” Although situated in inner-city Birmingham, where competition is fierce, Wouhra believes that East End Foods’ approach is one that stands the company in good stead. “Gaining loyalty from customers and managing to serve them as well as you can is the crux of our success,” he says. “There’s no doubt that the market seems quite tight, but that competition breeds a healthy environment to operate in.” Wouhra is directly involved with the training programme available to staff, which includes apprenticeships, mentoring and one-to-one training. “We know the value of good staff,” he says. “The training and opportunities we offer do play a part but it’s the environment as well. Trying to create a stable environment where our employees can flourish is what we aim to do. Our ethics and values come into it.” He believes that the C&C model is a simple one that needs good execution: “Communication, relationships and range are crucial. Cash & carry isn’t the most technologically advanced area, so that needs a bit of work, but success comes down to people dealing with people, providing the right ranges and CCM understanding your customer.”
“I’m constantly being asked to be on boards and I struggle to say ‘no’ most of the time. It’s interesting when you meet people who have experienced so much in life. I’ve discovered that you always learn from any conversation you have with anyone.” “The most awe-inspiring person I’ve ever met is Terry Waite. It’s one of the only times in my life that I’ve been lost for words – what do you say to a man who’s been through so much?” “The OBE took me completely by surprise – saying I was blown away is an understatement. I have received in excess of 700 emails from people, which is humbling to say the least; it’s amazing to have received so many congratulatory notes.” “You have to get yourself out there, not just be a one-trick pony and say ‘I’m in wholesale’. I enjoy the stuff I do, and some people I’ve met over the years have been fascinating.” “I’ve chaired the Child Poverty Commission. Currently, 47% of children in Birmingham live in poverty, which is absolutely unbelievable.”
[ SUPPLIER STRATEGY ]
Feeling good about wholesale Simon Ruddick (pictured), commercial controller for cash & carry at Vimto UK, explains why he believes it is an exciting time to work with the wholesale channel. What proportion of your business goes through the wholesale trade? In 2016, we delivered significant yearon-year growth across our brand portfolio of Vimto, Levi Roots, Sunkist and Feel Good, and the cash & carry and delivered wholesale channel now contributes 30% of Nichols’ UK Packaged volume. Our collaborative relationships with C&C/wholesalers have enabled us to achieve on-time in-full (OTIF) levels of 98.8% across the channel so far in 2017. How are you looking to develop your business through the wholesale trade? Retail is the biggest part of our cash & carry business, with 70% of our volume in price-marked packs that offer competitive shared margins. We have seen significant growth recently in retail symbol groups, and we will continue to focus on them when and where wholesalers can demonstrate good ongoing and promotional compliance in stores. Foodservice is also becoming an important element of our channel. As well as our No.1 volume SKU – Vimto plain pack can – our 100% natural Feel Good brand is an ideal proposition for both foodservice and licensed outlets. How can C&Cs/delivered wholesalers improve their sales of soft drinks? It is pivotal to use the increasing amount of data becoming available to educate retailers on the numerous consumption opportunities throughout the day. Both wholesalers and cash & carries need to: a Range the best-sellers by category according to sales on a national and regional basis to ensure both customer and consumer demand is met. a Manage the ‘tail end’ products that contribute very little to the category and in fact potentially deplete sales of bestsellers by taking up valuable shelf space. a Ensure limited duplication of ‘me too’ products and offer ranges with a USP, thus still ensuring breadth of range. a Within cash & carries, utilise front of store and power aisle sites to merchandise ‘disruptive’ secondary displays. 18
Work with supply partners who show a desire to invest in the channel to drive mutual sales; for example, we at Vimto invest in a third-party sales team to work with depot contacts to ensure that all sales opportunities are explored.
Are there any categories within your portfolio that you are specifically pushing through C&C/wholesale? The Vimto soft drink brand is now worth £74 million in the UK [+6% year on year] (Nielsen). Vimto is outperforming the market in the still, carbonates and dilutables categories, and with massive brand ‘headroom’ we will continue to focus and drive in all three areas. However, of particular interest in the C&C channel is our Vimto still (RTD) range, which is growing at 19% versus the 5.5% drop in the overall still market. The launch of Vimto Remix last year contributed to our total Vimto 500ml still range delivering volume growth of 44% year on year within the C&C/wholesale channel. Remix has already achieved sales of £4.5 million, and we have recently launched a wholesale/convenience channel exclusive – a 500ml £1 PMP in Mango, Strawberry & Passionfruit.
What is your opinion on the forthcoming tax on sugary soft drink sales? At Nichols, we have taken out the equivalent of 3.7 billion calories since 2012 and we will be in a good position by 1 April 2018. Already in the UK, over 40% of our sales are non-added-sugar, zero or 100% natural, whilst all products containing sugar will be ‘levy’ free. Are there any cash & carries or delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive? With increasingly demanding consumers expecting more from their local convenience store, a raft of recent legislation affecting both retailer and cash & carry/wholesaler cost structures, and the potential Booker/Tesco merger, the wholesale sector is changing quicker than ever before. I moved from a multiple grocer background three years ago, and I believe this channel is really exciting to work in. I see the bigger regional and national players evolving their operating models and category ranges and I am forever blown away by the passion shown by the smaller independent operators to CCM firstly survive and then thrive.
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[ CATERING ]
Eating out in style
Consumers’ adventurous tastes and dietary demands are sparking innovation from suppliers in a market that defies economic gloom to present an opportunity worth more than £7 billion to foodservice wholesalers (IGD), writes Siobhan Kielty.
atering is increasingly an area of opportunity for cash & carries as well as foodservice delivered wholesalers, as out-of-home consumption nowadays forms part of daily life for consumers and the lines blur between retail and foodservice. The expectation of quality is leading to activity from suppliers, as diners look to premiumise their experience. Taylors of Harrogate is rebranding to focus on ‘extraordinary flavour’, bringing its range of tea and coffee under one unified proposition. Activity includes repackaging and NPD
catering to trends and growth areas. “Demand for green teas and fruit and herbal infusions is growing, as healthconscious consumers expand their tea-drinking repertoires,” says Beccie Deighton, brand manager. Four new blends have been created to respond to flavour trends: Mandarin & Ginger infusion, and green teas blended with Lychee & Lime, White Hibiscus & Peach, and Mango & Cardamom. However, there is still high demand for the traditional cup of tea. “With 62% of people still saying that black tea with milk is their preferred choice and 58% considering a premium brand to be the most important factor when it comes to catering, we recommend that a caterers’ hot beverages offering should always include a good quality, traditional black tea, like our Yorkshire Tea,” says out-of-home manager Natalie Cross. “Our popular Yorkshire Tea has been named in YouGov’s list of the top 10 UK brands for the second year running.” Tata Global Beverages has also focused on both the traditional and innovative to make the most of the current growth in the sector, increasing from 1.6% to 3.6% last year (KWP). “A wellknown brand is the most important factor in tea drinkers’ choice,” says Marshall Kingston, senior brand manager – out of home. Along with the resealable catering packs of Tetley Original One Cup, Two Cup and Decaf launched last year, Kingston recommends that foodservice operators consider the growth in green and fruit & herbal blends: “By promoting their health benefits to the under 45s, operators can tap into the current market trend.” 20
JDE Professional has introduced the Promesso coffee solution to serve businesses looking to impress increasingly demanding consumers. “It means that businesses across the corporate, hospitality and leisure sectors can treat their customers to a hot beverage experience that offers the quality to impress and consistency to deliver the perfect coffee in every cup,” says commercial marketing leader Heike Wiesner. The machine, which uses JDE’s Promesso Blend No.1, requires no operational training and is easy to clean and maintain. The functions enable users to customise their drink by adjusting the strength, volume and coffee-to-milk ratio, and selections can be saved to a personal profile. With 21 million cups of coffee consumed out of home every day (JDE data), consumers’ expectations for their hot beverage have increased significantly. “It’s important not to risk disappointing your customers by taking a chance on your coffee offer,” advises Wiesner. Riverside Foods, an independent, family owned and operated company, has extended its range to cater to consumer demands. Its new gluten-free coated chicken products offer quality Chicken Goujons, Chicken Chunks, Chicken Escalopes, Chicken Mini Fillets and Chicken Kievs to customers wanting gluten-free options. Riverside is certified and licensed by Coeliac UK to carry the Crossed Grain symbol.
The new line joins the products in the whole muscle range, made with unprocessed chicken breast. There are also several processed options such as Chicken Burgers, Nuggets and Wings available to cater to a variety of meal occasions. The products are individually quick frozen and precooked to minimise preparation time, and have a five-way cook option. As well as catering to the increasing gluten-free market, Riverside’s products are Halal – meeting another rising demand in catering. “Our market is very competitive and is regularly flooded with poor-quality products at cheap prices,” says managing director Leigh Morris. “Riverside recognises the need for economy ranges but has continued, and always will
[ CATERING ] continue, to offer premium quality products and avoid the price wars. We believe in encouraging our customers to stock premium whole muscle products which will drive the value of the sector up, increase profits for our customers and deliver better quality products to the end consumer, ensuring repeat visits to our customers’ catering establishment.” McCormick is also capitalising on the popularity of chicken with two new products responding to the soaring popularity of chicken wings. There has been a 35% uplift in restaurants serving chicken wing dishes over the past three years as the US trend continues to infiltrate UK foodservice.
Wholesaler viewpoint Cheryl Norman trading controller – catering & on-trade, Blakemore Wholesale
What are the biggest areas of opportunity in catering that you have identified? Gastro-pubs and casual dining are the biggest catering opportunities we have identified as being a great fit for Blakemore Wholesale. In Cardiff and Bangor we are having great success with our Welsh meat proposition and have recently been recognised and accredited by the HCC (Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales). In addition, our local and speciality gin range – on which we are working in conjunction with sister company Blakemore Fine Foods – is market leading, and the early signs are hugely positive. Which suppliers offer the best support to wholesalers? There is no set formula. The suppliers that really understand the complex wholesale market and take time to think through solutions for both the wholesaler and the customer are gold standard, irrespective of their size. How are you communicating with your customers to maximise benefits along the supply chain? We hosted a Supplier Day in June to communicate our catering and on-trade strategy to our suppliers. We also have brilliant new specials brochures that we have been mailing out to 8,000 customers and prospects, accompanied by a letter from their local depot general manager to showcase the innovative new range of products and services now available. What investment is going into Blakemore Wholesale’s catering and on-trade growth strategy? Landmark is supporting us with new depot banners and signage highlighting the new ‘Bar Blakemore’ proposition for on-trade customers. We have invested in experienced catering development managers, plus logistics at depot level to offer great customer service. The whole initiative is being supported by a digital marketing campaign, and the new Blakemore app will help make ordering and payment easier for our catering and on-trade customers.
Buffalo Wings Seasoning and Lemon & Herb Wings Seasoning have been added to the Schwartz portfolio, enabling caterers to coat cooked wings by sprinkling onto hot chicken. Another development led by US trends is an upcoming launch from Kepak’s Big Al’s Food Service. The Chuck & Brisket Prime Burger taps into the gourmet burger market with its premium cuts of meat. “In initial trials, foodservice operators have seen a 10% uplift in footfall and burger sales, with a 19% uplift in cash margin and strong repeat purchase,” says Darragh Gillhawley, head of business development UK. Marketing materials, online content and recipe tutorials will accompany the September launch. While flavour trends are inspiring plenty of NPD in foodservice, there is still a big call for traditional products. Premier Foods’ Ambrosia and Bisto brands enable caterers to provide familiar dishes, and Bisto Gluten Free gravy also allows chefs to respond to the rising demand for gluten-free products. “Free-from foods – in particular gluten-free – have become increasingly popular, with two-fifths of chefs introducing more gluten-free options onto their menus (MCA),” says channel marketing manager Sarah Robb. Unsurprisingly, healthy eating is top of the list for trends affecting food menus out of home (MCA). “Incorporating a selection of healthier options and promoting these both indepot and online are key to winning in this market,” says Robb. “For wholesalers to make the most of the out-of-home sector and effectively drive sales, they need to work closely with manufacturers to recognise key product benefits.” Mars Foodservice also points out the need for caterers to be able to respond to dietary demands. “By using a ready-touse sauce such as Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, caterers can be safe in the knowledge that they are compliant to the RD2012 salt targets. The products are also suitable for a gluten-free diet and vegetarians,” says Matt Cutts, product director at Mars Food Europe. “Operators need to consider how they can maximise their ingredients and time in order to provide a stand-out menu.” Aimia Foods is UK distributor for Mars CCM Foodservice products.
For further information: Aimia Foods (01942) 272900 JDE Professional (0845) 600 8255 Kepak Convenience Foods (01772) 688300 McCormick (08081) 000363 Premier Foods (01727) 815850 Riverside Foods (01691) 839288 Tata Global Beverages 020-8338 4000 Taylors of Harrogate (0800) 515988
Profits to smile about
[ ORAL CARE ]
The oral care market is continuing to look healthy, with consumer care routines and premiumisation contributing to value growth of 3% in 2016 (Euromonitor).
onsumers are prepared to invest in their smile, seeking out additions to their daily oral care routine. This can include chewing sugarfree gum, and Wrigley’s Extra brand, worth £205 million (Nielsen), is accredited by the Oral Health Foundation. The supplier’s total gum portfolio is worth more than £248 million – the lion’s share of the £263 million total gum category – while its mint portfolio is up by 6.9% in value sales (Nielsen) and is worth £7.3 million. The popularity of the bottle format remains a key tool for Wrigley, which last year expanded its range with Extra Cool Breeze 60-pellet bottles. The format has seen a 19% increase in the last 12 months, as the trend towards on-the-go consumption continues. This month, Wrigley is relaunching its in-car gum holder, free of charge with selected purchases of its gum bottles. The supporting campaign features digital and out-of-home activity, including TV and online videos, bus stops promotions, satnav advertising and PoS material. Gum sales are particularly attractive in impulse, as they also offer a high margin for the retailer. “Gum is a significant front-of-store margin provider,” says Julio Guijarro, marketing director at Wrigley UK. “At recommended retail price, Wrigley’s gum typically delivers over 30% profit.” Add to these benefits the space-efficient nature of gum displays and the category shows itself to be well suited to convenience. As evidenced by Procter & Gamble, advanced oral care products can also help push profits in the category. “When it comes to toothpaste, the health and whitening segments are growing the fastest in the UK, with consumers looking for specific benefits such as whiter teeth or healthier gums,” says John Drake, head of convenience. Recent activity for the Oral-B brand includes the Pro-Expert toothpaste with Stannous Fluoride Complex, for healthier mouth and stronger teeth, and the extension of the 3D White range, which now comprises Oral-B White Luxe perfection toothpaste and OralB 3D Whitestrips. There is also a consumer willingness to spend on oral health at the higher end of the market. “We are continually aiming to bring innovative products to market so we can take advantage of the premiumisation trend,” says Drake. With electric toothbrushes becoming increasingly 24
sophisticated, P&G’s release of the Oral-B Genius Power Toothbrush brings further technology into brushing. The product combines motion sensors and video recognition via a smartphone camera to track areas so that nothing is missed. Drake advises wholesalers to learn about their products: “Being able to recall basic product benefits and make a recommendation will help retailers make an informed decision and mean they come back to you for re-stocking.” GlaxoSmithKline, the supplier of leading children’s oral care brand Aquafresh (Nielsen), has redesigned its Aquafresh Kids’ range to make it easier for shoppers to identify the most suitable product for their children. This follows research showing there has been a 24% rise in tooth extractions on children aged between one and four over the last decade. “We’re committed to supporting parents, helping to protect their children’s teeth at all key developmental stages,” says Aquafresh senior brand manager Emma Pittendreigh. The refreshed packaging is launched this month – the range of three colour-coded products, increasing in fluoride levels, flag up the age range and oral benefits. The 50ml Milk Teeth paste (rsp £1.55) is for 0-2 years and is for first teeth; Aquafresh Little Teeth 75ml paste (rsp £2) is for 3-5 years and has 24-hour acid protection for growing teeth; and Aquafresh Big Teeth 75ml (rsp £2) is for 6-8 years and protects mixed teeth, gaps and gums, as well as giving 24hour acid protection. The redesign will be supported by a TV and digital campaign, commencing in September. For adults, GSK has launched Sensodyne Rapid Relief with a new pack design and formulation, backed with a marketing campaign that includes TV advertising and out-ofhome, digital and experiential activity. The product is availCCM able in Original and Whitening varieties (rsp £4.49).
For further information: GlaxoSmithKline (0800) 783 8881
Procter & Gamble (01932) 896000 Wrigley (01752) 752094
[ BACK TO SCHOOL ]
Fresher ways to make sales A big contributor to convenience, back-to-school and college consumption is being led by parents wanting to provide healthy packed lunches and students looking for snacks on a budget. Cash & carry/delivered wholesalers need to be ready for the autumn surge.
he back-to-school opportunity covers multiple categories as busy parents create child-friendly lunchboxes and students look for easy, versatile and economic snacking and mealtime solutions as they adjust to life away from home. With significant engagement with the student market, Boost Drinks is offering a 250ml can of Boost Sugar Free Original as part of a welcome box distributed by marketing agency Dig-In for students entering halls. “We are investing heavily in the student market and looking to secure a larger share of this key category,” says managing director Simon Gray. The freshers campaign will reach more than 350,000 students. Coca-Cola European Partners also has students as a target market for its energy portfolio. “Energy drinks represent a great opportunity to university operators to boost sales as students look to re-energise themselves,” says Amy Burgess, trade communication manager. “The low-calorie energy sector is now worth £134 million, with value up by 46%, making it the best-performing segment in the energy drinks sector (Nielsen).” Recent brand activity from CCEP has seen the launch of Monster Hydro in Tropical Thunder, Mean Green and Manic 26
Melon variants, along with addition of Monster Energy Ultra Citron to the £23 million Monster Energy Ultra brand. CCEP also recommends that retailers get to know their student market and stock products for the growing number of non-alcohol-drinking young adult shoppers, as well as those socialising at home to save money. “Retailers should consider the success of existing ranges and consumer demand for other options when exploring new lines to stock,” advises Burgess. For budget-conscious students, Kepak’s Rustlers products are proving attractive thanks to their quick cooking time and competitive pricing. “Students regularly shop in smaller outlets, which they view as more convenient,” says channel director Angela Daulby. “Also, most students do their grocery shopping alone, looking for single-serve snacks and meals that suit their lifestyle.” A national sampling camping is currently running in support of the brand’s Gourmet burger range. The Gourmet Classic Burgers and Gourmet BBQ Burgers will be accessed by tens of thousands of consumers through sampling and couponing until late August. The activity is reinforced by a social media and PR campaign designed to heighten shopper awareness.
[ BACK TO SCHOOL ]
For lunchboxes, Mondelez International has increased its range over the past year to keep up with shopper demands, with NPD from several of its snack brands. “Innovation continues to be a key driver of incremental growth with crisps & snacks, as the market moves beyond the traditional fried potato snack,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez. “Wholesalers should help retailers to focus on meeting the needs of busy consumers during this time of year. “Consumers may be looking to add excitement into lunchboxes alongside the traditional offering of sandwiches and fruit; smaller formats are key,” continues Nash. “Retailers should ensure that their offering includes userfriendly products that make lunchtime snacking simple and convenient. Biscuits are a great option that really fit the bill.” With this in mind, Oreo Thins is available as a multipack for a lunchbox snack. Kids snacking has also driven growth in the Dairylea brand, which now includes Dairylea Dunkers Nachos. “Snacking cheese makes for a great savoury addition to a lunchbox and we have continued to innovate and invest in the category,” says Nash. The Dairylea Dunkers brand is worth £47 million and saw 16% growth in 2016, with Dairylea Dunkers Jumbo Tubes up by 22%. KP Snacks recommends that wholesalers and retailers consider that it’s not only children who may be taking a packed lunch. “Over the last year there have been 514 million lunchbox occasions in the UK, with 69% of these being consumed by adults versus 31% by children (Kantar),” says Andrew Marchant, category, shopper and customer activation controller at KP Snacks. “The introduction of the Free School Meals scheme has had a direct impact on the decline of carried-out lunches by kids, so the adult opportunity has become even more important.” There has also been a shift in what shoppers are choosing for lunchboxes. “Consumers weigh up the balance between health and taste/enjoyment – 40% of people who snack have cut back on sweet snacks in favour of savoury in the last 12 months (Mintel),” says Marchant. “Our portfolio includes PomBear, Hula Hoops Puft and Skips, which all have less than 100 calories per pack, and Hula Hoops Golden Hoops, baked to offer 30% less fat – all ideal for the healthier lunchbox.” 28
The supplier’s Pom-Bear brand has a repeat rate of 50%, while its Space Raiders Beef & Pickled Onion is the fastestselling impulse brand (Nielsen). “Shoppers are influenced to buy products for a number of reasons, with 82% saying that brand is the most important factor when purchasing crisps and snacks, whilst promotional deals and price-marked packs in particular have proven to be most influential in impulse (Innova),” he adds. Tayto has launched a cheese variant in the Golden Wonder Transform-A-Snack range, designed for the playful side of snacking. “Introducing a new cheese flavour will broaden the appeal of the brand and the updated packaging offers great in-store presence,” says Matt Smith, marketing director at Golden Wonder. Back-to-school sales are key for Jack Link’s, which has seen growth of 11.1% year on year from its £58.8 million Peperami brand. Activity includes a campaign to publicise the Beef variant, launched earlier in the year. “Promotional activity generally surrounds key dates in the calendar, with term-time and back-to-school campaigns being particularly important,” says marketing director Pavan Chandra. “We are running a six-figure marketing campaign in October, comprised of three main elements: TV sponsorship, a dedicated ad campaign, and sampling to run alongside integrated PR and social campaigns.” Lunchbox drinks have played a major role in supplier activity this year, again with health high on the agenda. Mulrines launched its school-compliant ranges at the LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) Exhibition in Birmingham, answering the demand for innovative products that appeal to children. “Mulrines has developed these new drinks to comply with the school regulations without compromising on quality and
‘Partners for Growth’ category insights
• Simple evening meals take centre stage at this time of year and convenience stores can reap the benefits. Around 70% of shoppers don’t know at 4pm what they are going to have for dinner that evening. Cooking sauces are a great way for convenience operators to offer their customers easy meal solutions – sales see a jump in September as busy families slot back into the school routine. Nearly nine out of 10 households buy them.
For stores around colleges and universities, pot snacks can be great earners as hot snack options for students seeking quick and value-for-money meals. They also appeal to parents looking for post-school snacks for hungry teenagers.
Once schools are back, parents are looking for tasty lunchbox options. Sandwiches are still the most popular, so breads, spreads, fillings and condiments need prominent positions from retailers.
[ BACK TO SCHOOL ] taste,” explains head of sales Colm Doogan. “In particular, our Juice Press Milk + was well received at the LACA as a fat-free, high-protein milk drink with no added sugar and less than 4g per 100ml sugar.” Nichols’ Vimto brand includes the lunchbox-friendly Vim2o flavoured water in a 250ml sportscap format. “We’re seeing more and more consumers convert from traditional soft drinks to bottled water. But, as any parent will tell you, it’s not always simple getting your children to do the same – Vim2o offers a solution that both children and parents will be happy with,” says Emma Hunt, head of marketing. “Since its launch in March, we’ve had incredibly positive feedback and expect this to continue as the flavoured water market booms. Over 12 million households buy flavoured water and the category is growing at twice the rate of the soft drinks market (Nielsen).” Highland Spring has also tapped into parental health concerns. ”To make the most of these opportunities, wholesalers should ensure they have a range of suitable, healthy products in the right format ready to meet the backto-school demand in September,” advises Carol Saunders, head of customer marketing. “Although children’s lunchboxes are an important opportunity for bottled water, Highland Spring has also seen an increase in demand for water in suitable sizes for children within the on-the-go sector. More and more high-street retailers are adding ‘kids lunchbox’ meal deals and kids ranges in the food-to-go chillers.” Highland Spring’s membership of the Natural Hydration Council, promoting healthy hydration to adults and children, forms a core part of the manufacturer’s communications strategy. This June, the bottled water producer’s ‘Brave By Nature’ campaign was launched as part of a £5 million marketing investment. The six-month campaign includes TV and digital media advertising, video-on-demand, social media and PR activity, and Sky TV sponsorship.
Wholesaler viewpoint Fida Hussein general manager Bestway Brighton
When do retailers focus on backto-school lines? This normally gathers momentum as the school holidays draw to a close. As the university students start coming back, our retailers’ trading routines increase with more frequent visits to Bestway Wholesale and the level of trading with us also sees a sharp rise. Those customers lucky enough to be situated close to schools or universities tend to start stocking up. Does any supplier stand out as particularly strong in focusing on this opportunity? Usually the soft drink suppliers, including AG Barr, Britvic and LRS, and also confectionery suppliers like Mondelez. What NPD suited to this occasion has impressed you? I don’t believe there’s anything that sticks out as great NPD at this moment. What categories do you think benefit most from this opportunity, and what are the top sellers? Most, if not all, categories see a significant rise in volume. Here on the South Coast, due to our location and usually decent weather, we see a huge uplift in sales of soft drinks, frozen ready meals and crisps and snacks. Alcohol sales also experience a sharp spike; this is coupled with a notable increase in roll-your-own tobacco sales. Have you seen changes in what retailers are stocking? More and more retailers are trying to embrace the cosmopolitan mix and ethnic diversity that is really prevalent now – to this effect, they’re requesting and we’re sourcing a wider range of products from all parts of the world than ever before. This includes food items, bespoke beers and specialist spirits.
For further information:
Also introducing child-friendly options for lunchboxes, Radnor Hills has launched 125ml kids cartons in its Fruella range. “It’s important to create healthy, school-compliant drinks for kids that they will love, but also we want parents to be confident that the drinks their children are consuming at schools are fully compliant and contain the right amount of juice and no added sugar,” says Chris Sanders, sales manager at Radnor Hills. The tetra prisma design also features CCM extendable straws that don’t spill, minimising mess. 30
Boost Drinks (0113) 240 3666 Coca-Cola European Partners (01895) 231313 Highland Spring (08702) 400861 Jack Link’s (0870) 820 0316 Kepak Convenience Foods (01772) 688300 KP Snacks (0845) 601 7583 Mondelez International (08702) 400861 Mulrines +353 74 913 1009 Nichols (01925) 222222 Radnor Hills (01547) 530220 Tayto (0283) 884 0249 Unilever Partners for Growth (0800) 731 1597
The attraction of a night in
[ BIG NIGHT IN ]
Wholesalers can help convenience retailers take advantage of the Big Night In occasion by providing the right range and merchandising tools, with premium options and highervalue take-home packs boosting profits. Siobhan Kielty reports on the latest developments.
pportunities for growth are looking good in the sharing market, with supplier activity and consumer habits both embracing the sharing format as the Big Night In continues as a social event. Mondelez has plenty of activity centred on the sharing format to make the most of the evening snacking market – worth over £6.5 billion and growing (Kantar). The supplier relaunched its Cadbury Dairy Milk Tiffin this month as a permanent addition to the range after the last year’s limitededition release; the 200g bar has an rsp of £2.49. This joins Cadbury NPD in the sharing sector this year that includes Dairy Milk Oreo tablets in Mint and Peanut Butter variants, and the limited-edition Cadbury Mini Eggs on Holiday. The supplier also bought NPD to savoury snacking this year with Philadelphia Flip & Dip and Philadelphia Simply Dip. “The savoury category also has an important role to play in the Big Night In mission. It gives consumers contrasting choices and offers great scope to create cross-category displays,” says trade communications manager Susan Nash. “Chocolate is still the number one choice for those settling down for a night in with friends and loved ones, followed by candy, biscuits and crisps – so there are plenty of opportunities for cross-category selling,” Nash adds. “What’s more, 52% of confectionery occasions take place with other people present, so having a range of sharing formats is key to maximising this opportunity.” The sharing snacks category continues to thrive in convenience, and is up by 6.9% in value sales over the last year (Nielsen). Kettle Foods has positioned itself as offering a premium snack brand to appeal to the sense of occasion that
Increasing Big Night In sales Help retailers make the most of the opportunity with the following advice from Partners for Growth: Tastes are becoming more adventurous so experiment with a few extra flavours and multibuy promotions. Sales of ice cream bought for treating occasions have soared over the past few years. Health is an increasingly important aspect of snack choice so keep that in mind. Build excitement with themed in-store displays. Flag up offers on social media. Use clear in-store signage to prompt combinations.
• • • • • •
consumers are looking to create with their Big Night In. This shopper mission has seen Kettle Chips sharing packs grow by 14.2% (Nielsen). “Across independents, there is a shift towards smaller pack sizes and price-marked packs,” says head of impulse Andy Verney. “Kettle Foods offers a range of smaller price-marked sharing bags which allow more pricesensitive retailers to tap into the sharing category – which is the number one growth sector in the convenience market.” These 100g bags, price-marked at £1.29, are growing at 12% year on year (Nielsen). Kettle Foods’ recent packaging redesign of the Kettle crisps range incorporates key product messages in a backof-pack infographic to reinforce its premium credentials and gives a more contemporary look for the brand. The company’s Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn also caters to the sharing market, whilst responding to consumer demand for healthier snacking. The brand is growing at 5.3% year on year and a Salted Caramel variant recently joined the line-up. PepsiCo’s Pop Works & Company, launched last year, is also capitalising on the growth of the popcorn market. The brand has four on-trend flavours – Sticky Toffee Pudding, Peanut Butter & Caramel, Apple Pie, and Sweet & Salty. PepsiCo’s category insights controller Pierre Jackson identifies three areas driving the growth of sharing bags: ‘social get-togethers’, ‘family movie night in’ and ‘enjoy a treat’. The supplier’s Doritos brand targets the social get-together occasion. The recent launch of Doritos Roulette with Tabasco Sauce follows the earlier release of Doritos Heatburst, and the playful product is designed to attract younger shoppers. Activity from PepsiCo also includes the relaunch of Walkers Sensations with an above-the-line campaign. Along with a packaging redesign is the addition of new flavours: Japanese Sweet Wasabi & Ginger and
[ BIG NIGHT IN ] Chargrilled Steak & Chimichurri in the 150g crisp range and Mango & Red Chilli in the 82.5g poppadum range. The Walkers £1 PMP range – which performs particularly strongly in convenience, showing double-digit growth (Nielsen) – now includes Squares Salt & Vinegar, French Fries Cheese & Onion, and Walkers Max Steak. Pladis’s Jacob’s Cracker Crisps range has a repeat rate of 38% (Kantar). “With sharing an increasingly important part of snacking, particularly for nights at home or entertaining, consumer preference is towards larger sharing packs and new flavours to experiment on,” says trade communications controller Hena Chandarana. “Additions to our Jacob’s and McVitie’s ranges through Jacob’s Cracker Crisps and McVitie’s Nibbles have supported this trend.” With biscuits the No.2 evening snacking choice, growth from consumers opting to entertain at home needs to be monitored and merchandised accordingly by retailers and wholesalers. “Although the Big Night In isn’t a seasonal phenomenon, it is an occasion that continues to be shaped by wider category trends, and retailers must ensure they reflect these in the products and price formats they stock,” advises Chandarana. The UK ice cream market is growing in value by 4.6% year on year (IRI) and Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats is seeing sales from the Big Night In from Mars ice cream. “It’s clear that tubs and share-at-home products are continuing to drive growth in the ice cream category,” says general manager Phil Shaw. “With so many limited-edition variants flashed in and out of the freezer, it’s important for retailers to understand the potential impact of ‘freezer-cloggers’ on long-term sales.” The year-round occasion of the Big Night In is part of Mars Chocolate’s marketing strategy. “The broad appeal means that the Big Night In presents a great opportunity for retailers to tap into additional sales, providing the right snacking solutions for consumers,” says trade communications manager Bep Dhaliwal. “The rise in popularity of the Big Night In occasion has resulted in sharing packs playing an increasingly key role in the confectionery market.” NPD for the Big Night In includes limited-edition M&M’s Peanut & Hazelnut – the latest addition to Mars sharing bags, which have grown by 11.5% (Nielsen). The variant comes in treat bags (rsp £1.19 and £1 PMP), pouches (rsp £2.09) and ‘more to share’ bags (rsp £3.29). Another innovation is Galaxy Swirlers (rsp £2.09), which tap into the in-home hot drinks market. These breakable finger biscuits come in two variants, Caramel Crunch and Shortbread Crunch. The supplier’s popular ‘Sweet Sundays’ promotion returns for the sixth consecutive year, offering free cinema tickets, and is now also featured on ‘bars to bites’ pouches, M&M’s Crispy and Chocolate ‘more to share’ pouches, and Galaxy and Maltesers large and ‘more to share’ blocks. 34
Swizzels recognises there are opportunities for increased sales of specific products at certain times of the year. “Sugar confectionery is always a strong seller with shoppers making summer night in purchases,” says sales director Mark Walker. The manufacturer, which has seen 14% growth year on year, has redesigned its Loadsa packs with the addition of a flash showing the number of items in the bag, as well as a window to allow consumers to see the assortment of sweets inside. While the Big Night In often focuses on snacking choices, drinks also play an important role. Wine or beer may form part of the occasion – PepsiCo research found that one in seven beer, wine and spirits purchases are of a sharing pack in convenience – but soft drinks are also key.
‘The rise of the Big Night In occasion has resulted in sharing packs playing an increasingly key role in the confectionery market’ Bep Dhaliwal, Mars Chocolate’s trade communications manager Lucozade Ribena Suntory suggests it’s not only retailers who can create opportunities from the occasion through theatre: “Wholesalers should consider offering cross-category promotions to their customers in depot, encouraging them to make the most of the Big Night In occasion,” advises marketing, strategy & planning director Mark Sterratt. AG Barr highlights the importance of staying abreast of shopper behaviour: “Soft drinks continues to be a highly profitable category, with four key trends that C&Cs need to be aware of – continued shopper focus on value, growth in convenience, growth in shopper diversity and shopper desire for a choice of regular, low and no-sugar alternatives,” says marketing director Adrian Troy. “Take-home products are hugely important for the Big Night In, as they are higherCCM value items that encourage footfall and loyalty.”
For further information: AG Barr (01204) 664200 Kettle Foods (0800) 616996 Lucozade Ribena Suntory 020-3727 2420 Mondelez (08702) 400861 Mars Chocolate (01753) 550055 Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats (01753) 550055 PepsiCo (0118) 930 6666 Pladis 0208-234 5000 Swizzels (01663) 744144
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[ PAPER PRODUCTS ]
Strength in top brands With quality so important to consumers in the toilet tissue, facial tissue and household towel categories, suppliers are highlighting their brands’ superior performance to boost demand. ithin the convenience channel, toilet tissue brands are in 2% growth compared to total sales and they now hold a 95% value share. Andrex is the leader in convenience, accounting for 48.8% of sales, with Andrex Dry in 4% growth and Andrex Moist up by 15%, reports brand owner Kimberly-Clark. Price-marked packs account for 67% of all dry toilet tissue sales within the independent channel. Andrex offers pricemarked four-roll packs across its full range, consisting of Classic Clean, Natural Pebble, Quilts, Gentle Clean, Skin Kind and Shea Butter. Within this range, Classic Clean is the bestseller and is worth £9.6 million to convenience, representing 13% of the overall toilet tissue category. Andrex Classic Clean Compressed, which was launched in February, offers a space-saving opportunity for retailers while allowing spaceconscious consumers to purchase a larger pack size. Available in a 16roll format, the product offers the same quantity and quality as the standard Classic Clean variant, with each roll simply being compressed to make the pack 25% smaller. Moist toilet tissue now accounts for over 4% of the total toilet tissue category and has grown by 4% over the last year. According to Kimblerly-Clark, this is an underpenetrated part of the category that offers huge opportunities for convenience retailers as consumers continue to adopt a routine of using dry and moist toilet tissue in tandem. Similar to toilet tissue, branded facial tissue tends to trade heavily in convenience stores, with branded products representing over 91% of the sector. Kleenex retains the highest share of sales – 63.3%. Kimberly-Clark recently relaunched Kleenex Mansize with improved softness, and the compact format is showing a value rise of over 13%. Plenty, the UK’s No.1 brand of household towel from Essity (formerly SCA), is continuing its vision to extend household towel usage beyond the kitchen with the introduction of longer-lasting rolls that offer double the number of sheets in every pack. “Currently the household towel category is highly penetrated at 74% but is declining by 6% year on year, with the overall market volume remaining static. Because of this, consumption is key to unlocking future growth,” explains Sian Dixon, brand manager for Plenty. “In order
All data unless otherwise stated: Nielsen
to capitalise on this growth potential, manufacturers must deliver products that perform when it matters.” With Plenty consistently outperforming other brands in both wet strength and absorbency – two key attributes consumers look for when purchasing household towel – there is no better product to tackle a range of tasks, from mopping up spills in the kitchen to scrubbing grubby taps in the bathroom, claims Essity.
‘The household towel category is highly penetrated. Consumption is key to unlocking future growth’ Sian Dixon, brand manager, Essity To drive awareness, Plenty is investing in heavyweight marketing. A TV campaign, which will reach more than 45 million viewers, builds on the brand’s 20-year heritage as a ‘household hero’ with the evolution of brand ambassador Juan Sheet – into ‘Super Juan’. The advertisements began last month on all major networks. “Thanks to this continued investment, Plenty is the most recognised brand in the category, making it a must-stock for any retailer looking to capitalise on paper sales,” says Dixon. Meanwhile, in the toilet tissue category, Essity is adding value for families during the summer holidays with a ‘Zooper Duper’ on-pack promotion on Cushelle. The promotional packs have each been given a different animal print design, such as leopard, flamingo and giraffe, to create maximum impact. ‘Zooper Duper’ offers families the chance to enter a daily draw to win a zoo experience, including tickets to the zoo of their choice, hotel accommodation and travel expenses. Each promotional pack contains a unique code for shoppers to enter on www.cushellezooperduper.co.uk to see if they have won. A winner will be drawn every day until 27 August, with a final draw on 30 November, and every entrant will instantly receive a £10 voucher to spend at gift experience CCM company Golden Moments.
For further information: Essity (01582) 677400 Kimberly-Clark (01732) 594000
Approved by consumers & experts*†, Plenty offers THE ultimate absorbency & strength.
driving consumption with new longer rolls †.
SUPPORTED WITH A MULTI MILLION POUND COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN, driving awareness & conversion from sofa to store
PACKAGING & POS
*Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended 2017 & † GFK Home Usage Study 2015
INSTORE & ONLINE VISIBILITY
[ TOBACCO ]
Light on the horizon? As smokers get used to the new tobacco sales environment, suppliers are offering valuable advice and support to help wholesalers and their customers make the most of the category. lthough it’s still too early to make a definitive assessment about changes in purchasing patterns following the introduction of standardised packaging, pricing continues to be a strong determining factor in customer choice. “This is arguably reflected in the rise in the percentage of the factory-made cigarette (FMC) market share of value, economy and sub-economy brands from 75% to 78% between May 2016 and May 2017, with the growth in the purchase of sub-economy (the lowest-priced) tobacco products comfortably the most significant driver behind this,” says Chris Street, head of route to market at Imperial Tobacco UK (ITUK). “Meanwhile, the combined sector share of value, economy and sub-economy roll-your-own (RYO) has stayed largely constant during this period, at around 83% of the total market share (ITUK’s own estimates).” He continues: “Competitive pricing remains vitally important in the independent channel, as some adult smokers appear to be turning away from independent stores and instead purchasing their tobacco from multiples. To ensure the continuing loyalty and custom of their tobacco-purchasing shoppers, Imperial advises that independents price either at, or below, rsp.” Imperial continues to support its customers by educating adult smokers about the recent changes, to ensure that any misunderstandings are minimal moving forwards. Street says: “Despite the significant legislative changes in May, the tobacco category is once again proving its resilience and continuing relevance as a vital part of UK retailers’ offerings.” According to Imperial, sub-economy brands are enjoying the largest share of the factory-made cigarette sector – this
stood at 42% in May 2017. The company’s brands within this category include JPS Players and Carlton, which have rsps of £7.35 and £7.45 for a pack of 20 respectively and are its lowest-priced offerings. In the RYO category, value brands currently enjoy the largest sector share at 58%. Imperial’s lowest-priced RYO offering is currently Gold Leaf JPS, which has an rsp of £9.99 for a 30g pouch. The company also offers gV Bright Yellow – a 30g pouch has an rsp of £11.92 and a 50g pouch has an rsp of £19.69. Imperial has also seen a boost in purchases of Golden Virginia Original (premium sector RYO tobacco) since the legislative changes in May. For RYO smokers, Imperial Tobacco has added Rizla Natura to its best-selling Rizla range. Described as “a whole new approach to papers and tips that’s designed to provide adult smokers with an authentic smoking experience”, Natura is crafted from hemp, a tree-free alternative that is responsibly sourced.
‘Remain vigilant in the new standardised packaging environment’ The illicit trade is an area where wholesalers and retailers need to remain vigilant in a standardised packaging environment. Imperial Tobacco and other tobacco suppliers continue to work collaboratively with legitimate traders and law enforcement agencies to fight illicit trade, and wholesalers and retailers are encouraged to report any suspicious activity in their area to their sales representative or ring the Customs Hotline on (0800) 59 5000. This advice is reinforced through Imperial’s ‘Suspect It? Report It!’ campaign. Illegal tobacco currently accounts for nearly 13% of the ready-made market and 32% of roll-your-own tobacco in the UK (HMRC). “It is too early to tell yet, but these figures could be exacerbated by the onset of EUTPD II coupled
with the plain packaging regulations that came into effect on 20 May,” says a JTI spokesperson. “As packs become easier to duplicate, and with the legal requirement to produce only larger pack sizes, it is possible that consumers looking for cheaper alternatives may turn to the black market.” Like other tobacco suppliers, JTI will withdraw support from any retailer found to have engaged in the illicit trade. For example, JTI removed the tobacco gantry from M&S News in Birmingham after the former owner pleaded guilty to 10 offences in relation to selling illegal tobacco. A total of 6,328 packs of cigarettes and 692 packs of roll-your-own tobacco were found hidden at the store, and the former owner was ordered to pay £228,737 through a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) order or face two years in prison.
WN O SH E TB O N N A S C N T O S EN A M E E R S I L T A R E EG V L D A R O S I F TH
[ TOBACCO ] Rizla Natura papers are available in both Regular and King Size variants containing 50 and 32 papers per pack. They have an rsp of 27p and 75p respectively. Meanwhile, Natura Tips retail at around 74p for a pack of 120. Also available now are Rizla Menthol Tips, which provide a “burst of fresh flavour“ and come in packs of 120 tips (rsp 74p). According to Imperial, menthol tips are the fastestgrowing segment of the tips market. Looking ahead, the company is encouraging wholesalers and retailers to take further advantage of their already close relationships with their Imperial sales representatives to develop and refine their FMC and RYO offerings. “By becoming category experts, stocking wide ranges and pricing competitively, retailers will be well positioned to advise adult smokers around new products and pack formats,” says Street. “Legislative change is likely to remain a feature of the industry, but by ‘partnering for success’ with our retailers via initiatives including our START packs, trade engagement evenings and ‘ignite’ membership incentives, Imperial’s future confidence and ambition in the tobacco category is as strong as ever.” JTI is similarly urging wholesalers to keep up to date and utilise the resources available to them to ensure they continue profiting from the tobacco category. “Maintaining a well stocked, well laid out tobacco room with clear labelling and pricing is key to helping customers navigate and shop the category in depot swiftly and efficiently,” says a company spokesperson. With smaller packs now gone, C&Cs need to adapt their tobacco room to utilise the additional space available. In addition, wholesalers should ensure they are knowledgeable about the tobacco category and the brands they stock. “Price will play an increasingly important role in the purchasing decisions of retailers and their customer base. It is likely that existing adult smokers will become more price conscious in the future, and retailers will similarly be driven to search for the best price on tobacco in wholesale,” the spokesman points out. The value price sector, which includes value, super-value and ultra-value segments, holds a 59.28% volume share of the total ready-made cigarette market (Nielsen) and JTI has a number of brands in this sector, including Sovereign, B&H Blue, and Sterling. Meanwhile, the value roll-your-own segment is gaining share of the RYO tobacco category, holding 22.8% of RYO volume sales (Nielsen), as existing adult smokers seek out ways to reduce their tobacco spend. Republic Technologies UK’s recent launch of Swan Kingsize Cigarette Tubes meets demand from cash-conscious consumers looking for a quality alternative to ready-made cigarettes, with a product that allows 40
Are smokers smoking more? Wayne Kwasniewski, category controller (tobacco) at the UK’s biggest tobacco wholesaler Palmer and Harvey, spoke to Cash & Carry Management about the tobacco market following the implementation of the EUTPD II legislation in May: What are the main challenges in the tobacco category? The tobacco market in the UK has faced increasingly strict regulations and high rates of taxation for many years. The new EUTPD II rules, which dictate product merchandising, have also had an impact on retailers’ ability to efficiently manage the category. In the EUTPD II guide, Palmer and Harvey projected that the amount of time it takes to complete a tobacco sale would increase significantly. Indeed, when similar legislation was introduced in Australia in 2012, the average time to locate packs and serve customers increased from three seconds to 28 seconds. Retailers have reported a similar experience. Palmer and Harvey retailer Dean Holborn, from Holborns Stores in Redhill, Surrey, commented: “The changes have made it more difficult to manage the category when servicing people, as it is taking more time. However, the changes have also successfully P&H retailer Dean Holborn: Pros streamlined the cateand cons have arisen post-May. gory, by removing lots of variants and enabling us to rationalise the range to service loyal customers more effectively.” What is the best growth opportunity? Tobacco is still a cash generator for independent retailers. As the new rules have a significant effect on pack format, one of the biggest growth opportunities is the transference of sales from smaller to larger pack sizes. Although it’s early to draw out significant trends since the legislation change, something P&H has seen is that, due to the increase in pack sizes, regular customers are increasing the amount that they smoke. Essentially, the number of purchases and the amount of time between re-purchasing for customers is staying the same; they are just consuming more within that same time period. How is P&H reassuring customers now that pricemarked packs have gone? P&H strongly advises retailers to adhere to rsps now that PMPs have been removed. This is because steady, competitive SKUs create customer confidence and, along with good service and stocking the brands they want, keep customers coming back.
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[ TOBACCO ] them to make their own. The tubes come in 100 and 200-count packs in both Standard (rsps 99p and £1.98) and Menthol variants (rsps £1.25 and £2.50). They can be used with the Swan tubing machine (rsp £3.64), which allows consumers to roll cigarettes with ease. “Smokers are more discerning than ever before, and with sweeping changes in the tobacco category, price-sensitive shoppers are seeking alternatives to traditional RYO and ready-made cigarettes,” says Gavin Anderson, general sales manager for Republic Technologies (UK). “With Swan Kingsize Cigarette Tubes, consumers can save at least a third versus purchasing pre-made cigarettes.” He adds: “We’re giving consumers a simple, costeffective way to roll their own while providing retailers with an additional opportunity to signpost the tobacco category in-store and maximise sales.” The launch is being supported by a full marketing programme, including trade show and video demonstrations.
Cigars Cigars are currently worth £199.8 million and Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG UK) accounts for eight of the top 16 brands and over half of the entire category with a 51.7% market share. Its brands include Café Crème – the No.1 cigar brand in the UK – plus Henri Wintermans and Moments. While all eyes are now watching for how the tobacco category changes as result of EUTPD II, cigars still benefit from being exempt from the restrictions around minimum pack sizes and standardised packaging. “Cigars can continue being branded beyond the product name, not be the standard green colour, or be restricted to a minimum pack size, meaning they can still be wrapped and sold individually or indeed in 10 packs,” points out Jens Christiansen, head of marketing & public affairs at STG UK. “This means that some cigars are now the cheapest option available on shelf which may see them attract existing smokers from other categories,” he says. “While still available in 10 packs, cigars will also help mitigate the drop in Top 10 performing cigar brands (IRI) Brand
Share % MAT TY
Café Crème Blue
Royal Dutch Miniatures
Café Crème Arome Filter
Royal Dutch Miniature Blue
Henri Wintermans Half Corona
footfall left from cigarettes going to minimum 20 packs, as well as representing a higher margin than cigarettes. “They will also benefit from much greater visibility than cigarettes due to their exemption from the plain packaging legislation. This presents a massive opportunity for tobacco retailers to use this to their advantage by stocking a good range of cigars, in all size segments, as some smokers look to switch to a value alternative to cigarettes, or just a cheaper out-of-pocket price.” As this latest raft of restrictions has come into effect, STG expects the value-for-money trend to gain even further momentum. “With the small cigar segment worth £78.5 million, but showing a 15.4% decline in volume sales year on year (IRI), we believe with the right product there is a huge opportunity to capitalise on this demand for value and drive growth back into the category,” says Christiansen. Since its launch five years ago, the Moments brand has become the fastest growing cigar brand in the UK, accounting for a 15.7% market share of miniatures. “By harnessing the strength of the Moments brand, we see a gap in the market for a value-for-money proposition that we can fill with our latest product launch, Moments Panatella, and drive growth back into small cigar segment,” he explains. Moments Panatella is available in an Original variant in packs of five. The rsp of £4.20 makes it the cheapest product on shelf within the small cigar segment, according to STG. Products such as Break Filter Cigarillos have also been setting the trend in the value-for-money arena by offering a range price-marked at £5.19 for 17 sticks. In addition, Break’s positioning as a filtered cigarillo means that the range is exempt from the changes that have been brought in under standardised packaging. To make the most of the cigar category, STG recommends that tobacco stockists take time to familiarise themselves with the category and understand the different products on offer. Stockists should also include the topselling brands from each segment as a minimum; pay attention to what customers are buying, review sales data to see what is performing well and stock the range accordingly; and stay stocked up – “without a doubt the simplest, but most effective, piece of advice to CCM follow!”
For further information: Imperial Tobacco (0117) 963 6636 JTI (01932) 372000 Republic Technologies (01494) 492233 Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK 020-8731 3400
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