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
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our readers 06 6
Nisa agrees short-term deals to supply McColl’s and Costcutter.
The top performers in wholesale are recognised by the FWD.
Brakes’ new innovation centre is designed to support customers.
ESSENTIALS 05 06 31
Editor’s Comment Industry News Products & Promotions
Interview with Today’s Group’s newly installed managing director Darren Goldney.
Special Report A round-up from this year’s FWD Gold Medal Awards.
In Focus Brakes unveils its new innovation centre in Reading.
CCM Chefs Own-Brand Awards Are your own-brand products the best in foodservice?
Spotlight featuring Chris Roberts, business development director of Pricecheck.
Darren Goldney discusses his determination to bring about alignment of scale at Today’s so that members can beat the capabilities of competitors.
Employment Law HR expert Cate Ritchie on dealing with sexual harassment at work.
CATEGORY INSIGHT 24
Tobacco, Accessories & NextGeneration Products
Manchester United fan Chris Roberts is in the Spotlight.
Flagship Europe extends its portfolio with Chicken Chacho.
[ EDITOR’S COMMENT ]
What merry Christmas? t this time of year, it’s customary to wish merry Christmas and a happy new year to all in the C&C/wholesale trade. As 2017 draws to a close, however, this upbeat message will count for nothing for a large chunk of Cash & Carry Management’s readers. Around 2,500 staff at Palmer and Harvey are now waiting anxiously to see if they are entitled to any money following the collapse of the UK’s biggest delivered wholesaler to the retail trade. And the rest of the 1,000 or so employees who have yet to learn their fate will also be dreading the uncertainty. For how long will the familiar red and beige vehicles be calling on independent shopkeepers throughout the UK? Can parts of the business be salvaged? Who will buy the thousands of pounds’ worth of unsold stock lying in the company’s 14 regional depots awaiting despatch? Who will buy any buildings and other assets owned by P&H? How much will property developers from whom the wholesaler leases its premises receive in unpaid rental? These and many more questions will make it a particularly busy time for executives at administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers as Christmas approaches and we move into the new year. They will be scanning data to determine how much suppliers are owed, particularly tobacco giants Imperial and JTI, whose patience and understanding
SPOTLIGHT ON CHRIS ROBERTS OF PRICECHECK
Mervyn Gilbert News Editor
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must surely have been tested to breaking point. They will also be looking into the viability of pension arrangements. But staff are already destined to hear bad news given there are rumours of an £80 million black hole in the fund. One crumb of comfort is that staff wages were paid for November. But that won’t pay for all the food and Christmas presents. However, when there is adversity, there are always those prepared to step in to offer help. JJ Food Service has invited P&H workers to visit its career page for job opportunities – a nice gesture, but just how many lorry drivers and fork-lift truckers can hope for re-employment soon? Today’s Group is encouraging member wholesalers to service the stricken retailers, while a caring employee of tobacco supplier Philip Morris International has set up a website where sympathetic donors can help raise £375,000 for the P&H staff. All of these gestures – and others that Good Samaritans have kept low key – have been made with the best of intentions. But kind as they are, they will make little immediate difference to families who will be reflecting on what might have been a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
%#$& *Source: Nielsen Data Easter 02.01.2016-26.03.201616 Creme Egg Sales (Includes Cadbury Creme Egg Single & Multipack only) MDLZ Self Eats **For Full TnC’s go to deliciousdisplay.co.uk Independent retailers within the UK, 16+. Display the White chocolate Cadbury Crème Egg POS for the chance of a winning egg to be placed within your store between 01/01/2018 and 01/04/2018 If a winning egg is distributed in your store and is registered by the winning customer with the Promoter, you win. Prizes: a maximum of 13 x £1000 and 78 x £100 either as Mondelez Stock Vouchers or Love2Shop vouchers, depending on store type. See https://www.deliciousdisplay.co.uk/welcome for full T&Cs. Promoter: Mondelez Europe Services GmbH – UK Branch, Sanderson Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1DH.
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[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Nisa steps into the breach Delivered wholesaler and convenience store group Nisa has agreed to provide a short-term supply contract to its member McColl’s Retail Group. The arrangement, which began early this month, covers stores previously supplied by Palmer and Harvey, which is in administration (see page 9). A similar temporary deal has been struck with Costcutter – also for stores previously serviced by P&H. All of the McColl’s outlets which were supplied by P&H (around 700 newsagents and smaller convenience stores), will receive ambient stock delivered through existing Nisa-supplied McColl’s shops, for onward transfer by McColl’s teams.
Some 1,300 McColl’s convenience stores and 350 newsagents will continue to be serviced by retail multiple Morrisons. Arnu Misra, interim CEO of Nisa, told Cash & Carry Management: “I’m very pleased that Nisa has been selected by McColl’s to further support them at this
crucial time. We have a highly flexible distribution model that enables us to scale quickly to members’ needs and as demand dictates. “As a result, we will continue to manage both existing and new members without impacting our traditionally high levels of service, especially over the peak trading period.” Nisa, which services around 3,000 stores – some with the Nisa fascia and others under their own name – is in the process of being taken over by the Co-op. In the year to 2 April, its turnover was £1.25 billion and profit before tax was £2.8 million. a Nisa Retail (01724) 282028
Benefiting children The Bestway Foundation donated £100,000 to the NSPCC in a ceremony at the company’s London HQ. The presentation was made to the charity’s chief executive Pater Wanless by group chief executive Zameer Choudrey CBE and Bestway Wholesale chairman Younus Sheikh. a Bestway Group 020-8453 1234
Zameer Choudrey with the NSPCC’s Peter Wanless.
Fairway moves Fairway Foodservice is joining Landmark Wholesale from 1 January. Fairway, with 20 members across the UK, Ireland and Spain, will become Landmark’s 39th member. Founded in 1984 by five frozen food wholesale distribution companies, Fairway has seen its collective turnover grow from £7 million in 1984 to over £650 million in 2016. Chris Binge, Fairway’s managing director, said: “There are mutual benefits to be achieved from the collective knowledge, experience and skills of the two management teams working closely together. The benefits of this collaboration will enable both groups to use scale to share best practice and to improve efficiencies.” 06
In a separate development, Ian Woodcock (below), purchasing director of Harlech Foodservice, of Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd, has joined Fairway’s board. He replaces Martin of King King, Brothers, Peterborough, who had been on the group’s board for 12 years. Woodcock joins Fairway executives Chris Binge and Steve Jeavons, together with Darren Gaulton, of Charles Saunders (Bristol), Simon Howarth, of Total Foodservice (Huddersfield and Clitheroe) and Roger Snelling of Q Catering (Sittingbourne). a Fairway Foodservice (01422) 319100 a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
East End Foods is tops East End Foods received dual recognition at Landmark Wholesale’s annual awards dinner, held in Leeds. The West Bromwichbased Indian food specialist, with annual sales of more than £180 million, was adjudged member of the year and took the delivered depot prize for its Aston Cross branch. Another double winner was Parfetts, as leading ownbrand member and top cash & carry depot (Stockport). West Country operator Jones Food Solutions collected the out-of-home development member award. Suppliers honoured for their contribution to the group throughout the year included Red Bull (top business partner), Premier Foods (business development and grocery), KP Snacks (out-ofhome and impulse), Heineken (tobacco/licensed and depot business partner).
Time to celebrate at the Landmark awards.
The central office employee of the year award went to Les Mohammed for developing the foodservice range. Group MD John Mills said: “Our awards are a real highlight in the Landmark calendar, providing the opportunity to recognise and reward outstanding performance by our members, suppliers and staff. “Our business is built upon the hard work, commitment and fantastic working relationships created by
individuals and businesses.” Other winners: a Out-of-home chilled/frozen supplier: Ornua Ingredients a Out-of-home non-food supplier: Robinson Young a Out-of-home soft drinks supplier: Mulrines a Out-of-home licensed supplier: Diageo a Retail development member: Hyperama Wholesale a Depot execution team leader: Patrick Ching, Hyperama Peterborough. a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300
Today’s fascias Last month’s story about Kitwave and Gilsons joining Today’s Group included some out-of-date figures regarding fascias, obtained from an unofficial source. We now understand there are currently 490 retailers enjoying the benefits of displaying Today’s or DayToday signage over their shops. In total, 2,263 Today’s retail club stores take advantage of the group’s threeweekly promotional activity. a Today’s Group (01302) 249909
Symbol group steps up the pressure SPAR UK has intensified its bid to recruit more convenience stores and forecourt retailers to the symbol group. Over the past year alone, the number of outlets serviced by the five member wholesalers (Blakemore, Appleby Westward, Henderson, James Hall and CJ Lang & Son) has grown by around 100 to 2,600 – and that figure is increasing. The group’s sales teams have stepped up their recruitment efforts over the past few months. They have been calling on
a large number of retailers and forecourt sites looking to move, and they have been offering investment to help them come to a decision. SPAR UK’s combined annual turnover is more than £12 billion, comprising £3.3
billion in retail sales, £4.2 billion from petrol business, £2.7 billion in post office sales and £2 billion from a range of other services, including paypoint. It is the sixth successive year of growth, which includes a 6% increase in wholesale business. SPAR own-label sales are up by 5% while store numbers have grown by 5%. SPAR continues to be the leading forecourt symbol partner in the UK, operating at over 1,200 sites. UK retail director Ian Taylor told Cash & Carry
Management: “We are really excited to welcome a new wave of convenience retailers to SPAR. “Convenience retailing continues to be one of the most competitive markets to operate in, and it is testament to the hard work that after 60 years we are still the number one symbol group for independent retailers to work with. “We have grown stronger and stronger as we have been committed to focusing and understanding the absolute needs of independent retailers who are determined to outperform the competition.” a SPAR UK 020-426 3700
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ] Change in purchasing patterns
The second annual trade show of Tyneside Foodservice, of Blaydon, Tyne & Wear, attracted almost 500 caterers, chefs and food professionals to the Gateshead International Stadium. They heard Peter Henderson, sales director of the Fairway Foodservice member, talk about a shift in purchasing patterns. “The feedback 12 months ago centred on learning about new product ranges,” he said. “This year, suppliers have said that our customers came back with a view to expanding their offering, either by further enhancing the range or doing something seasonal. “There was a very positive and vibrant atmosphere throughout the day and customers loved the inspirational ideas. “By taking the time and talking with suppliers they were able to truly understand the different approaches they could take with the products. Suppliers were able to discuss the latest trends and patterns in the industry.” Tyneside Foodservice, founded in 1979, offers more than 3,500 products across the frozen, chilled, ambient and non-food sectors. It has over 1,000 customers in the north-east. a Tyneside Foodservice 0191-414 6000 08
Bestway takes deal from Nisa Bestway Wholesale has been awarded a five-year delivery contract for Select & Save, ending the 100-plus store chain’s 15-year arrangement with Nisa. Following the signing, the C&C/wholesaler’s symbol development director James Hall described Bestway as “the safest pair of hands in the industry”. He added: “The current climate in retail, with the uncertainty surrounding Booker, Palmer and Harvey and Nisa, makes it imperative that retailers choose a partner with a solid foundation who can meet their business needs and future-proof their growth.
“Retailers have to invest now to reap tomorrow and work with a wholesaler which is ready for the challenge.” Nisa, which has voted to accept a takeover offer by the Co-op, was also being stalked by Bestway, which later withdrew its bid. Bestway is also one of five companies supplying the 2,200-strong Costcutter chain over an interim period (see page 9). The cash & carry/wholesaler’s multiple account division, which was established two years ago, currently delivers to more than 250 sites for 27 operators throughout the UK. It
provides each customer with a dedicated manager. Referring to one of the division’s leading customers, Park Garage Group, Hall commented: “Over its 57 sites, we have added 5.5% sales in what was a challenging year for the forecourt sector.” Select & Save, founded in the 1980s as a franchised business, was later part of Booker for several years and then became associated with Palmer and Harvey. Andrew King, who was formerly with Tesco and Costcutter, is the new managing director. a Bestway Group 020-8453 1234
Turnover set for 14% uplift Approaching its year-end, RD Johns Foodservice. Country Range Group, CRG managing director which is celebrating its 25th Coral Rose said that, anniversary, is set although factors for a record-breaksuch as ingredient ing 12 months. price inflation, the Turnover is on value of the pound course to be 14% and Brexit uncerup on the £369 tainty have created million achieved challenging condilast year. tions across many The encouragsectors, investing statement ment by group Coral Rose comes despite the members has fact that the group helped provide is losing one of its oldest the platform for growth. members, Chaffins Foodser“In the last 18 months our vice, of Redruth, Cornwall. members have added As reported on page 9 of 175,000 sq ft of warehouse space, the majority of which this issue, the £4.5 million has been to increase freezer business has been taken capacity,” she noted. over by Landmark member
Rose stated that an extra 74 vehicles have been commissioned and 213 new jobs have been created over the 18 months. She commented: “These performance figures are the perfect icing on our 25th anniversary cake. “All this will make us stronger in the next 25 years and beyond.” a Country Range Group (0845) 209 3777
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
P&H: what can be saved? As this issue of Cash & Carry Management went to press, efforts were still being made by PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrators for Palmer and Harvey, to salvage parts of the £4 billion business. The UK’s leading delivered wholesaler was placed under PWC’s control after a financial rescue package, involving Carlyle Group (Cash & Carry Management last month), failed to produce a viable solution. The immediate outcome is that 2,500 have lost their jobs. But that number could increase to 3,400 if parts of the business cease trading. They include P&H Direct,
P&H Sweetdirect and P&H Snacksdirect, all of which deliver to independent stores. Staff who are being released work at the Hove head office and 14 regional distribution centres. A statement by PWC said that the wholesaler had been “hit by challenging trading conditions in recent months and efforts to restructure the business have been unsuccessful. “This has resulted in cashflow problems and it has not been possible to secure additional funding to support the business.” Besides the thousands of
independents who will be seriously hit by P&H’s demise, ironically its biggest customer is Tesco, which accounts for around 40% of its income. Another development is that the Co-op, which is taking over Nisa, has pledged to supply the 2,200-strong Costcutter chain – a major customer of the stricken wholesaler. However, three other concerns (Musgrave, Bestway and Dhamecha) will assist the Co-op and Nisa over an interim period until next Spring when the Co-op will take over entirely. a Palmer and Harvey (01273) 2221000
Cold store extension Birchall Foodservice has added a 6,000 sq ft extension to the 7,500 sq ft cold store at its main site in Burnley, spending £260,500 to create space for an extra 500 pallets. The Country Range Group member moved to the £3 million, 64,000 sq ft purpose-built depot three years ago. Earlier this year an adjacent two-acre site was acquired to cope with the rapidly growing business.
RD Johns acquires Chaffins Landmark Wholesale member RD Johns Foodservice, of Newton Abbot, Devon, has taken over Chaffins Foodservice, of Redruth, Cornwall. A consequence is Chaffins’ departure from Country Range Group, ending a 25-year association. Chaffins was established as WG Chaffin & Co in 1958 as a cash & carry. It was acquired by JM Brown and his family 12 years later, with Stephen Brown becoming managing director. The business, with a staff of 35 and operating from a 10,000 sq ft depot (soon to extend to 15,000 sq ft), delivers ambient, chilled and
frozen food, as well as nonfoods, to hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, schools and cafés. Turnover is £4.5 million. RD Johns Foodservice, with annual sales of £10 million, offers a full foodservice range. It also has its own butchery. Deliveries are made in Devon, Cornwall,
Dorset and Somerset. The wholesaler, which has a been a member of Landmark since 2014, has almost 90 staff and a fleet of 20 refrigerated vehicles. a RD Johns Foodservice (01626) 368800 a Chaffins Foodservice (01209) 202122
Managing director Justin Birchall (above) said: “Growth has far exceeded our original predictions and we have had to increase storage accordingly. Our chill and freezer storage space now totals 17,340 sq ft – 3,000 sq ft larger than our previous warehouse in total.” Birchall, with a turnover of £24 million, also operates from depots in Durham, Sheffield and Stoke. It has a payroll of 156, compared with just over 100 almost three years ago. a Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446
Customer credit card launched by JJ JJ Food Service has launched a customer card with an upper limit of £25,000 and up to 37 days’ interest free credit.
CEO Mustafa Kiamil said: “This is a first for the UK foodservice industry. The Mastercard can be used to pay for anything from petrol
and utilities to food and drink.” More than 90% of customers will receive a decision on whether they can
have the card within 30 seconds of completing the online form. a JJ Food Service (0843) 309 0991
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Easter additions Confectionery specialist Hancocks is introducing a range of products under the ‘Easter Friends’ banner. The sweets, in illustrated packaging showing different animals, include a £3.29 chunky 500g milk chocolate bunny with a profit on return of 34.1% when sold at the rsp. There are also 150g and 125g versions that are packaged in foil (PORs of 37.3% and 27.3% respectively). Hancocks is also offering ‘Bunny & Chick’ marshmallows – 150g bags in packs of 14 (28% POR). The Easter Friends range also features milk chocolate eggs with a cereal filling, while other seasonal items include four bulk lines: solid milk chocolate eggs, crème filled chocolate eggs, yellow & pink chick mallows and pink & white bunny mallows. a Hancocks C&C (01509) 216644
Better choice Bidfood has launched a dessert range under the ‘Better 4 Me’ label for healthconscious consumers and those favouring vegan and free-from food options. It includes a selection of desserts under 300 calories per portion, vegan tarts and a gluten-free chocolate & olive oil cake. a Bidfood (01494) 555900 10
Reducing emissions Brakes is co-operating in an initiative to reduce emissions in London in conjunction with Shell. It is the first major business in the capital to adopt the oil supplier’s Gas to Liquids (GTL) fuel from Certas Energy, said to be a cleaner-burning alternative to diesel for use in heavyduty vehicles. It is claimed to result in a reduction of 1020% in nitrous oxide and 20-40% in particulates compared to diesel. Following a successful trial, all 80 vehicles at Brakes’ Park Royal site in north-west London have made the switch. No major transport modifications were needed. The miles-per-gallon figure is the same as that using the former standard road diesel (BSEN590). The company refused to comment on
Using cleaner-burning fuel in London.
the ‘sensitive issue’ of the comparative price per gallon. Steve Webster, the wholesaler’s head of indirect goods & services procurement, said: “As well as being a company that delivers food across London, like millions of other people we live and work in London, so recognise first-hand the need to help address the issue of traffic pollution.
“We believe this transition from diesel to GTL fuel is the right and responsible thing to do to contribute to improved air quality in London.” After the early stages of using the Shell fuel are monitored, Brakes will decide whether to extend the scheme to other sites. a Brakes Group (01233) 206000
Christmassy Country Range Country Range Group has and brandy syrup. raspberries and white chocolaunched several new food Country Range Group is late shavings. products for Christmas. also introducing a cracker Chocolate & Orange Bar Added to the desserts selection made with ‘premiGateau (1.5kg, 16 servings) range are St Clements um’ Canadian wheat. The combines layers of chocolate Orange Bell, Chocolate & biscuits come in 2 x 250g sponge with orange cream Raspberry Snowflake packets and in six and a Chocolate & flavours: poppy seed & Orange Bar Gateau. pepper, stoneground, St Clements Orange salt & pepper, sea salt, Bell (20 x 100g servsweet wheat and roseings) blends a zesty mary. lemon mousse on The group’s frozen a gluten-free lemon bread basket now cookie base with sweet includes plain bagels in orange cream and two formats: 85g sliced orange zest. and 115g unsliced. They Chocolate & Raspare 95% baked and can berry Snowflake (16 x be finished in the oven 110g) consists of a in four minutes. The 85g chocolate sponge base bagels come in packs of 50, while the 115g size topped with dark is available in 48s. chocolate truffle, filled a Country Range Group with raspberry compote Crackers made with Canadian wheat. (0845) 209 3777 and finished with
[ INTERVIEW ]
Putting in place pay-per-play Just three weeks after joining Today’s as managing director, Darren Goldney (pictured) talks to Cash & Carry Management’s managing editor Kirsti Sharratt about his priorities for the group. hen you think of Today’s Group, do you think of a business with a turnover bigger than Booker’s (£5.7 billion versus £5.3 billion)? Most suppliers probably don’t, concedes Darren Goldney, Today’s recently installed managing director: “That’s possibly because they don’t associate our central function with being able to deliver the breadth of initiatives across our entire membership base, while they do associate that with a national account like Booker.” Bringing about “alignment of scale” whereby Today’s “does things as one entity” is the priority for Goldney, who is drawing on his experience on both sides of the fence (he has worked for Coca-Cola, Whitworths and P&H) to “act as a real influencer and a pivot point between suppliers who would like a one-size-fits-all solution and members who are very individual”. Cash & Carry Management spoke to Goldney about this key objective and his wider plans for the group:
What appealed to you about the role of managing director? During my career it’s been fascinating to see the different needs of suppliers and wholesalers. Big suppliers want to talk about selling an incremental case because they have already got good distribution, whereas small suppliers
are desperate to get the distribution in the first place. And it’s tough for wholesalers to make a profit on a thin margin and deliver against the needs of the supplier base. I feel well placed to put those two sets of requirements and challenges together. I saw first-hand as a wholesaler (at P&H) that independents need far greater support from wholesalers, from help with credit card bills and energy bills to shelf-ready packaging and click & collect. Putting together a proposition that meets the needs of our members’ customers – whether retailers, foodservice operators or licensees – is a challenge but we have to do that so that our members can not only match, but beat, the
Retailers will get a wider choice of central services, like deals on electricity and gas.
capabilities of Tesco/Booker, Bestway, etc. Navigating that ground in an ‘honest broker’ fashion is really exciting. Wholesale members of Today’s (and Landmark) have two advantages: one is that they are independent and that resonates with independent retailers themselves and two is the nimbleness to be able to change. At the moment, suppliers are very, very supportive because they’re faced with an interesting choice: they can look at groups of wholesalers who are independent and who service thousands of independent retailers and encourage those wholesalers to migrate to the highest levels of capability or they can go with increasingly corporate competition that is very much focused on the results next week or in the next quarter. Today’s has always emphasised that it gives members the flexibility they need to make their own choices. With this in mind, how can you secure the supplier support you want? Today’s has massive scale, which makes it different to Landmark, and it is the most diverse group – we have 147 members of different sizes, offering different ranges and with different customer bases: on-trade, foodservice and retail-led. For our symbol group promotions and standard business-to-business
[ INTERVIEW ] offers we can evidence to suppliers that those deals have been passed on. But the industry is getting more complicated: wholesalers are beginning to broaden the repertoire of customers that they might attract – there are ontrade wholesalers who think about supplying retail stores and there are retailled wholesalers considering foodservice or the on-trade as an opportunity. We get quite a lot of enquiries of that nature, whereby wholesalers are looking to come under the umbrella of a group that can support capabilities in areas that might not be their first domain. There lies the challenge! We intend to tier our members by those capabilities. So, we will tell the supplier base which tier of members can, for example, offer telesales and feet on the street. Suppliers will want to invest in the higher level, so that then provides a transparent incentive for the members who are embryonic in certain areas to develop those in-house capabilities in order access that support. So, in many ways, what we will be developing is a pay-per-play mentality. Do you tier your membership at the moment? Yes, but it centres on capability to run the promotional programmes and is also based on scale. Scale is still important but what is paramount is the alignment of that scale. For instance, not all our wholesalers get access to our symbol promotions because they haven’t invested in putting fascias on stores or the disciplines of running leaflets – so we are already tiering members on the retail side. We are now looking to replicate that with our on-trade and foodservice members. We can’t be the first-choice business partner with an offer that is at the lowest common denominator. We need to show at the very top of our membership that we can not only match, but be ahead of, the best operators – such as Matthew Clark in the on-trade. I think all wholesalers, including national competitors, have been guilty in the past of articulating the best common denominator rather than the spectrum to the supplier community, and I think we are going to have to be brave to make sure we incentivise the lower common denominator to get up to the top by being transparent about it.
Delivering what members’ customers want is a priority for Today’s.
What initiatives are you introducing to help members to progress? We are currently rolling out a data project where we’re sharing wholesalers’ sales-out data (volume and value) with our key suppliers. We have six wholesalers involved in this project, and we’re looking to use those as testimonials to our other wholesale members to show the value that sharing this data is being converted to with suppliers. We are also launching an intranet site early next year. That’s as a result of my member visits – in the three weeks since I joined Today’s I have done 32 one-to-one meetings, 11 member visits and a lot of listening! The members said
The digital magazine is being refreshed.
that, in addition to the annual conference, they want a way to learn from one another as there’s a hell of a lot going on in the group. The intranet will feature a synopsis of each member’s activities and best practices, with a focus on things that could be replicable across the group. For example, HT & Co (Drinks), which I visited the other week, has developed a significant business-to-consumer operation, and while this isn’t the main part of its business, it is something that other wholesalers could learn from. The intranet site will also include educational messages from suppliers and the latest bulletins for members. We have also developed digital capability for members to understand their cashflow from the perspective of overrider earnings and promotional claims. How do you intend to develop your offering for your retail-led members? Our Today’s Retailer digital magazine is being refreshed, while our ‘Plan for Profit’ programme, which includes core range advice, planograms and a POR calculator on both an app and website, will be updated three times a year from 2018 instead of in a single phase. We know that retailers value ‘Plan for Profit’ but everything changing at one time was unmanageable for them, so we will give them more bitesized updates. Our retail club is growing – we now have more than 2,000 members – and a big theme for us is to think creatively about the types of promotions we
[ INTERVIEW ] want to run. For example, small independent retailers are seeing that consumers will buy in to larger pack formats, whether a 30-pack of Walkers crisps or a 15-pack of Coke, so rather than restricting independents to the shackles of singles or ‘twofers’, we will help them expand consumption and drive a bit of footfall with some deals on these packs. Another focus for us is what we call central services. Yes, we have a leadingedge promotional programme, yes, we are looking to support retailers with EPoS, but one of the things we can improve is the package of services we offer, such as by negotiating central agreements on electricity and gas. We were previously providing central services via a third party, but we brought it in-house three months ago, recruiting Steve Hodson for that purpose. We now have about 30 different services – which are highlighted on our ‘Plan for Profit’ website – and our national development managers can take a checklist approach to show independent retailers that we have solutions that can help take costs out of their business or enable them to offer their customers a new service (coffee machines and rotisseries are two examples). We definitely need to accelerate our sales capabilities beyond promotions. For instance, we need to recognise that chilled is an area of growth and because we don’t have the central distribution capability of our own, we need to build on the collaborations that we’ve got with Nisa Chilled and Fresh to Store. We have members like Savage & Whitten
Today’s is looking at ways to recognise the diversity that exists in the on-trade.
make sure they are offering the correct information to consumers. Therefore, the foodservice committee is looking at producing a central platform for that information, rather than the 47 members struggling individually with this issue. We will also have dedicated sessions on foodservice and the on-trade at our annual conference in Venice in 2018.
From 2018, the Plan for Profit scheme will be updated three times a year.
and United Wholesale (Scotland) who have made huge investments in their chilled and frozen capability and we want other members to be able to learn from that – the intranet will help with this. What are you doing specifically for your on-trade members? At the moment, communication to the on-trade is through Headlines, an eightweekly publication, that is distributed to 20,000 outlets and is focused on promotional offerings. However, we are looking at what more we can do to recognise the diversity that exists within the on-trade; for example, are we able to offer through our 27 on-trade members a core range guide or promotional programme by wet-led pubs versus dryled pubs versus night clubs? We formed an on-trade strategy committee around six months ago, headed by Andrew Wild, joint managing director of Oldham-based Wilds Premier Drinks Distributor, and it is determining the key things the group should be doing then working with central office to project-manage those initiatives. And what initiatives do you have in the pipeline for your foodservice members? We have 47 foodservice members, and our foodservice committee is led by Jim Cummiskey, CEO of Glasgow-based Failte Group, who alongside another dozen members is looking at initiatives. One of the big challenges for foodservice operators is the management of allergens and dietary requirements – chefs need a database that is 100% up to date and accurate so that they can
What’s your view on the general market place? So far this year our core business is up by 5%, so there is still growth in the market place. However, there is a huge amount of change happening, and not many people know how or when it will manifest itself, whether that’s to do with Booker/Tesco or Amazon drones… I have come to the conclusion that rather than panicking about everyone else, we should focus on our own house. We’ve got to get back to basics – ask ourselves what independent retailers and caterers and foodservice operators are faced with and how our proposition matches up against that. We are already pretty efficient – for a group with member turnover of £5.7 billion we have 34 people at head office to try to do all the things that a slick national account wants to do. Do you think there will be some consolidation of the buying groups in the UK to strengthen the overall offering for independent wholesalers? I don’t know. Each group would highlight its point of difference. We’ve got scale, and we would always welcome more, but what we want more than anything is to make sure we point that scale in the right direction. That means we’ve got to raise our game so that we are not just sophisticated in retail but also in ontrade and foodservice. If we are able to do that then our scale will grow naturally. Being the first-choice business partner is not about a wholesaler picking Today’s over Landmark, over Sugro, over Country Range; it has to start with consumers picking outlets that we’ve supported. That mentality is quite different to the way it was 15-20 years ago. We are bringing in retail experts and on-trade experts to help us move away from simply being a buying group – we’re as much a selling group now and it’s crucial that suppliers and wholeCCM salers alike recognise that.
[ SPECIAL REPORT ]
A gold standard in wholesale
Seeing off a difficult year with a glittering night of celebration, the 2017 FWD Gold Medal Awards evening looked to a bright future with recognition of individual and team excellence in the cash & carry/delivered wholesale industry. Siobhan Kielty reports.
he FWD Gold Medal Awards, held at Old Billingsgate, London, last month, confirmed that wholesalers are still operating with the same determination and resilience that characterises the sector. FWD chairman and Bidfood chief executive Andrew Selley (pictured above) praised the wholesale community of more than 70,000 people for its response to changes and challenges that have made this year particularly turbulent for the entire industry, applauding the continuing commitment
2017 Gold Medal winners Grocery Brand Monster Energy, CCEP Foodservice Brand Tetley, Tata Global Beverages Drinks Brand Corona, AB InBev Service to Retailers KP Snacks Service to Caterers Premier Foods Process Innovation Unilever Food Solutions, Chef Rewards Product Innovation in Foodservice Unilever Food Solutions, Chef Rewards Product Innovation in Retail AG Barr, Rubicon Spring Water Actionable Insight PepsiCo UK & Ireland Young Supplier Chris Leek, AB InBev Wholesaler Service to Retailers Landmark Wholesale
to service and innovation by wholesalers and suppliers alike. Coming so soon in the wake of Palmer and Harvey’s demise (see page 9), the awards ceremony needed to address such a major blow to the sector and everybody’s thoughts were with those affected, with proceedings of the evening’s raffle going to help P&H exemployees and their families. Initiatives such as apprenticeship schemes and a focus on encouraging more women into the sector have reflected the FWD’s belief in “investing to recruit, train and retain talent”, according to Selley. The evening was recognition of this pool of emerging talent as young suppliers and wholesalers accepted awards alongside longserving industry employees. It may have been a tough year for wholesale, but the Gold Medal Awards were proof positive that there is still CCM plenty to excite in the channel.
Wholesaler Service to Caterers Birchall Foodservice Green Wholesaler Booker Digital Innovation JJ Food Service Cash & Carry Depot Team Imperial Cash & Carry, Edmonton Cash & Carry Depot Manager Jim Campbell, Costco, Gateshead Cash & Carry Depot Team Member Joan Mannering, Booker, Liverpool Delivered Depot Manager John Tweed, John Mower & Co Delivered Wholesale Driver Allan Wood, Bidfood, Gateshead Customer Support Jeff Robson, Hunt’s Foodservice Telesales Executive Janis Lackey, Bidfood, Battersea Young Wholesaler John Goulding, AG Parfett & Sons, Sheffield
Landmark triumphs in the Wholesaler Service to Retailers category.
John Tweed of John Mower & Co takes the Delivered Depot Manager accolade.
Costco’s Jim Campbell receives the Cash & Carry Depot Manager award.
Bidfood’s Janis Lackey and Allan Wood celebrate their category wins.
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[ IN FOCUS ]
Inspirational kitchen ideas
Brakes used the unveiling of its new Reading innovation centre as an opportunity to impress with a selection of on-trend products in its spring/summer range.
‘The right quality at the right price’
ver the last few years, Brakes has invested tens of millions of pounds in its service and facilities. Projects include building and improving multitemp depots and introducing innovation such as its first-to-market Eco Lorry. Additionally, the launch of the Brakes internal food truck, which tours the depots conducting tastings, and investment in training ensure that staff can inform customers where required. The new, multi-million-pound innovation kitchen in its Reading depot is the latest in a series of steps the wholesaler has taken to improve its offering, and marks another initiative by Brakes to provide the best possible customer service alongside its range. “This facility is part of a long-term commitment – investing more in our food, really putting more time and effort into building back the reputation for great food from the Brakes business and bringing together a much bigger team of chefs to work with our customers,” says marketing director Adam Collett. “We know that customers, both large and small, love time spent with chefs – talking about trends, looking at new dishes, coming up with new ideas.” The company mantra is “for chefs, by chefs” and the approach considers food within a professional kitchen environment, taking into account factors important to chefs for running an effective and efficient kitchen. Close attention is paid to trends, and the website and brochure were redesigned to assist menu planning and product selection. 18
Inspiration has certainly driven this new innovation centre. “We decided on Reading as we had the space, it’s a quick journey from London and it opens up the Midlands and the South West as well,” explains Collett. The facility offers customers access to the entire Brakes UK portfolio, including products from sister companies Fresh Direct, Wild Harvest, M&J and Country Choice. Within the 1,000 sq m space is a training kitchen equipped by Brakes Catering Equipment and incorporating six individual bays and audio-visual equipment. The state-of-the-art workspace allows events such as training days and competitions to be watched in meeting rooms, as well as projected onto the overhead screen. Next door, a presentation kitchen with a breakfast bar and AV equipment can host 20 people. The transformation of the former office space into the innovation centre, which took 18 months of building and planning, signals Brakes’ commitment to impressing its catering customers, says head development chef Mark Irish: “It’s investment in the right area. We’re a food business – it’s important we’ve got great facilities to work out of, it’s all about credibility.” The centre has been designed to provide a free service to support clients in areas that the wholesaler feels are valuable: innovation, training, menu design and expertise. Sharing expertise is something that Brakes has identified as an area for growth, particularly with staff shortages and cost pressures in CCM the industry.
The ‘Chefs’ Brigade’ – made up of 13 development chefs under the leadership of Brakes’ head development chef Mark Irish and including Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant – strives to produce exciting, inventive meal solutions that can be adapted to suit all types of client. Sargeant (below) explains why he is working closely with Brakes to create a stand-out product range. “One of the reasons I got involved with Brakes just over a year ago is that they are happy to invest a substantial amount to showcase products, to bring clients in to show them the food being developed. I work very closely with Brakes on NPD and it’s great for me to have a facility like this to work with the team looking at new products. I’m going to be happy spending time here with Mark (Irish), coming up with new recipes and new ideas. “As a manager or owner, you want to ensure you have quality and consistency over multi-sites. Companies like Brakes are providing fantastic products that are essentially allowing you to get the right quality and consistency at the right price. It cuts down on the number of chefs you need and the work they have to do, and gives them the opportunity to do something really skilful on the plate.”
Cash & Carry Management in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs launches the
CCM Chefs Own-Brand Awards
CCM Chefs Own-Brand Awards Chefs have a choice of products to use in their kitchens. Cash & Carry Management magazine, in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs, has launched the CCM Chefs Own-Brand Awards to determine the best foodservice own-brand products in the market. We know the care and passion that goes into creating a successful own-brand. It doesn’t just happen by magic, and development chefs and supply partners work hard to bring exceptional products of excellent quality and great value to market – products that are driven by customer need and provide innovation in many categories. ese awards will give cash & carries and delivered wholesalers whose own-brand products hit the mark the recognition they deserve, with endorsement from the Craft Guild of Chefs – the leading chefs’ association in the UK – who will conduct the judging in blind tastings. Each product will be tested on taste, texture, aroma, appearance and value for money. To add further value to the awards, feedback will be given by the chefs on each item tested. Entries are open for products in all food & drink categories at a cost of £75 per product, with one free for every 10 products entered. e closing date for entries is Wednesday 4 April 2018. e products must be delivered direct to Westminster Kingsway College, London. Delivery details will be provided when entries have closed, and judging will take place in April 2018. e winners will be announced at a prestigious awards lunch on ursday 24 May 2018. For further information, contact Martin Lovell or Kirsti Sharratt at Cash & Carry Management magazine on 01342 712100.
Are your own-brand products the best in foodservice?
Afternoon Tea: scones, cakes, sweet bakery, muﬃns, doughnuts, cookies, traybakes Bakery: baguettes, artisan, bread, rolls, petit pain, burger buns, hot dog rolls, dough balls, tortillas, bagels, ethnic bread, savoury hand-held, pies, pasties Baking Biscuits Butchery: poultry, beef, pork, lamb, game Butter, Fat, Spreads Canned: vegetables, beans, tomatoes, fruit, ﬁsh, meat, lentils, pulses, noodles Cereals Cheese Children’s Selection Chocolates, Mints, Petits Fours Cooking Sauces Crisps & Popcorn Delicatessen: sandwich ﬁllings, salads, pesto, dips Desserts: sponge puddings, crumbles, tortes, gateaux, triﬂes, pies, tarts, ﬂans, pancakes, crepes Egg Products: omelettes, tortillas, souﬄes, quiches, yorkshire pudding Fish & Seafood: ﬁshcakes, scampi, breaded ﬁsh, battered ﬁsh Fork Buﬀet: canapes, Oriental, buﬀet bites, mini desserts Frozen Vegetables & Fruit Gluten-Free Gravies, Stocks, Bouillons, Jus
Are your own-brand products the best in foodservice?
Hot Beverages: tea, coďŹ€ee, hot chocolate Ice Cream, Sorbet, Gelato, Frozen Yogurt Pizza & Pasta Potato Products: baked, chips, fries, mash, hash browns, wedges, croquettes Preserves Processed Meats: bacon, cooked meats, sausages, stuďŹƒng Ready Meals: British, Indian, Mexican, Americas, Middle East, Oriental, Italian, pies, bakes, vegetarian/vegan Rice Sauces & Condiments: portion packs, bulk Seasonal Products (Christmas, Easter, etc) Spices & Seasonings Soft Drinks: carbonates, still, juices Soup Wines, Beers, Spirits Yogurts Please note that this list is not exhaustive: let us know if you would like any other categories to be included.
To enter, send a list of the products you wish to enter and the category for each product to email@example.com or complete the online entry form at www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk Closing date for entries: 4 April 2018 We will then contact you with information about the next stage.
[ SPOTLIGHT ] Chris Roberts, business development director of Sheffield-based Pricecheck
friends and family as possible. My twin girls (pictured with Roberts and his wife) are growing up so fast. What most frustrates you in business (and in life generally)? When people don’t follow through with what they promise they will do – usually the simplest of tasks. This applies at work and also to whoever I seem to speak to when I need to sort out my electricity or car insurance!
‘A big believer in a work-life balance’ What has been the major milestone or turning point of your career? It was back when I was 18 and had been working at Boots head office for a couple of years. I had a job in the finance department, but a role within a new buying team was advertised and something just clicked within me that this could be the job for me. I have been in (and have loved) buying ever since! What advice would you give someone starting his/her first job? Work hard, ask plenty of questions, and never stop considering if things could be done better. Always try to enjoy what you do. Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? My parents. Starting out, I followed in the footsteps of my mum, who worked at Boots before she had a career break to bring up me and my two brothers (not an easy task!). My dad always had his own business, and whilst I took an
If you were able to retire tomorrow, how would you spend your time? I definitely wouldn’t want to retire yet as I am still ambitious and thankfully get plenty of the same ‘buzz’ at work that I’ve always got. However, it would be great to be able to spend more time with my family, and also get a few more rounds on golf courses dotted around the world!
interest in it when I was growing up, it is not until I started working myself that I truly respected what they both managed.
What type of business would you go into if it wasn’t C&C/wholesale? Because I also worked in retail for 11 years, I would probably try something very different – most likely in sport or property as I have an interest in both and I think either could excite me.
How do you maintain a work-life balance? I have always been a big believer that you need to have a good balance, so even though work hours tend to be long and there are times away from home, I try to ensure that I see as much of my
If you had a million pounds to invest in business, how would you spend it? I would invest it in Pricecheck at this very moment as I think the return would be pretty healthy! We are in a great period of growth and it feels good to be CCM a part of that.
Switch to buying set future career path Chris Roberts joined Boots on a clerical trainee scheme straight from school. His position also involved some time at college studying for an Advanced General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) in Business & Finance. He then went on to work in buying for 10 years before leaving Boots (and retail) for the wholesale industry, joining Sert-MST in 2010 as
head of buying and progressing to buying director in 2014. He moved in 2015 to Sheffield-based Pricecheck as business development director – his current role. Pricecheck, a Today’s member, was named ‘High Growth Business of the Year’ at the recent Sheffield Business Awards in recognition of sales increasing from £40 million to £55 million in the last two years.
[ TOBACCO, ACCESSORIES & NGPS ]
A focus on the next generation
The tobacco industry hasn’t had an easy time of it of late, but while packaging restrictions have necessitated change, the £6.6 billion convenience tobacco market is showing resilience. Meanwhile, consumer interest and supplier investment in next-generation products (NGPs) have opened another area of opportunity for wholesalers and retailers.
his year has seen some of the biggest upheaval in the tobacco market in recent history, changing the face of tobacco retailing and presenting challenges for retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. While the industry continues to register the effects of the May legislation, advice has been offered by suppliers and wholesalers alike to enable retailers to maintain their share of customers. Imperial Tobacco highlights lower-priced brands as the bedrock of the factory-made cigarette (FMC) market – a sector worth £5.6 billion in convenience (Nielsen). “Although it’s still too early to make any definitive comments about changes in purchasing patterns post-standardised packaging, sub-economy brands continue to enjoy the largest FMC share,” says Paul Coggins, head of route to market. “This was almost 44% of all FMC sales in September 2017.” Imperial Tobacco’s brands in this area include JPS Players and Carlton. Picking up pace in tobacco is the capsule category, showing growth in a difficult market. “In terms of demand shifts, the crushball sector continues to grow apace, now standing at 13% of the overall FMC market,” says Coggins. “This has increased by 1.5% compared to this time last year, with one in every eight cigarette purchases now a crushball.”
Although this year’s legislation has undoubtedly brought challenges to the market, there have been some positive outcomes. “Standardised packs have also increased pricing transparency; this has favoured key brands in Imperial’s portfolio, highlighting the great value of the likes of JPS Players and Gold Leaf JPS – which in turn has led to accelerated demand and growth for these brands,” says Coggins. This is encouraging when considering the consequences of the introduction of standardised packaging. “86% of FMC and RYO bought in 2016 are now not sold post the introduction of EUTPD II and standardised packaging, meaning many adult smokers have had to re-evaluate their tobacco purchase,” continues Coggins. “Many consumers have become more price conscious, meaning an increased reliance on the expertise of retailers and their staff when it comes to recommending products that offer the best value for money. Pleasingly, an increasing number of retailers are resisting the temptation to premium price for a short-term gain, instead focusing on the long-term sustainability of their business.” 24
JPS holds more than 5% of the FMC sector, and Imperial has strengthened its offering with three new enhancements. JPS Real Blue has an upgraded filter that retains the “perfect shape” with ‘firm filter’ technology, while JPS Silver is becoming JPS Silver Stream, delivering a smoother taste with a new ‘smooth filter’. JPS Green is rebranded as JPS Green Edge and features a menthol inner liner within the packaging that is more effective at transferring flavour to the cigarettes than traditional menthol tips. All will be available from January in king size and superking 20s with an rsp of £8.30. Now that standardised packaging has been in place for several months, consumer behaviour indicates that smokers have adapted to the new retail format. “While there was an element of initial confusion among adult smokers, as well as some challenges around price perception, the most recent feedback now that the market has transitioned to standardised packaging suggests that consumers are gradually becoming used to, and accepting of, the new pack sizes
Combating illicit trade To help continue to raise retailers’ awareness of what they can do to fight back against the illicit tobacco trade, Imperial Tobacco co-hosted a number of events in conjunction with Bestway and Booker wholesalers in Leicester and Northampton, which were attended by many local retailers and resulted in “fruitful new intelligence leads relating to the potential sale of illegal tobacco in the locality”. James Hall, anti-illicit trade manager, Imperial Tobacco
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, ACCESSORIES & NGPS ] and lack of on-pack branding,” says Coggins. “Imperial continues to support our retail partners in educating adult smokers about the recent changes, to ensure any misunderstandings are minimal moving forwards.”
Roll-your-own opportunities Since the implementation of retailing restrictions, it’s imperative to make the most of every opportunity to promote the tobacco category. “With the introduction of EUTPD II, it’s now more important than ever for retailers to find ways of signposting the category to promote and maintain tobacco sales,” says Gavin Anderson, general sales manager for Republic Technologies. “Stocking the right range of tobacco accessories and merchandising accordingly is key to making the most of sales from this category.”
‘It’s now more important than ever for retailers to find ways of signposting the category to promote and maintain tobacco sales’ Gavin Anderson, general sales manager, Republic Technologies “Despite sweeping changes in the market, the tobacco accessories category – worth over £255 million – remains buoyant,” continues Anderson. He attributes category growth to NPD that is responding to changing consumer requirements, such as the Swan Kingsize Cigarette Tubes, the Swan Ultra Slim filter – a premium-quality product aimed at smokers looking for a smoother taste while reducing the amount that they smoke – and the biodegradable Swan Extra Slim Eco Filters.
The accessories market remains buoyant, with innovation supporting the £255 million category.
Swan isn’t the only brand capitalising on consumer environmental concerns. Imperial Tobacco’s Rizla Natura, crafted from hemp, offers regular and king size papers and Natura Tips in the independent channel. Launched earlier in the year, the range is designed to provide adult smokers with “an authentic smoking experience”, says head of route to market Paul Coggins. In the last year, the value of RYO in independents and symbols was £1 billion, showing the continued importance of the category, despite the impact of this year’s legislation. 26
A call for discipline by John Mills John Mills, managing director of Landmark Wholesale, has urged independents to sell tobacco products at manufacturers’ recommended retail prices. Otherwise, he warns, they risk losing customers to retail multiples and managed convenience stores: “We know that UK independent retailers are selling tobacco at a premium price to the manufacturer’s rsp; this carries a huge risk for their future,” maintains Mills (right). “Customers don’t want to pay more than the recommended price for tobacco and will choose to walk past their local store if they are charged a premium, buying instead from the multiples and managed convenience chains where the rsp is honoured. “Tobacco remains a key driver for the independent sector and retailers will not only miss out on those crucial tobacco sales, they will also lose any incremental sales such as confectionery, newspapers, snacks and alcohol. This promises to have potentially catastrophic effects on their profitability for the future.” Mills issued this advice following figures shared by tobacco supplier JTI showing that independents are charging, on average, 25p more for cigarettes and 32p more for rolling tobacco than the recommended price after price marking was removed. Mills continued: “Trust is key for the convenience sector, and customers want to know that their local independent store offers value as well as choice and quality. If they don’t feel that this is what they receive, they’ll shift their loyalty to the multiples – which is bad news for the sector as a whole.”
JTI advises wholesalers to adapt to the changing requirements of shoppers, ensuring that retailers do not suffer from a lack of availability. “With the current trend towards value set to continue, larger RYO packs such as 50g are expected to become increasingly popular, making them a must-stock for wholesalers,” says Andy Stevens, JTI head of sales. “Recent trends in the RYO market have seen an increase in popularity for box formats. To take advantage of this trend, wholesalers are advised to stock both pouch and box variants of roll-your-own brands where available, to maximise sales to customers.” Imperial Tobacco’s head of route to market Paul Coggins points out that, while brands offering the greatest perceived value currently enjoy the largest shares of both the FMC and RYO sectors, “wholesalers should also ensure they offer a wide range of products, from sub-economy through to premium, to ensure they meet consumer demand”. As an example, Golden Virginia is a premium-tier RYO brand but commands an overall RYO market share of 22%.
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, ACCESSORIES & NGPS ] The implications of the Budget increases The decision to raise tax on tobacco by the Government has been met with disappointment by both suppliers and the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association. Responding, Giles Roca, director general of the TMA, said: “Tobacco prices have increased by around 70% since 2010 – including, in effect, three increases already this year thanks to the March Budget increase, the ban on small packs and the introduction of a minimum excise tax. Today’s announcement will simply lose taxpayers money, push ever more smokers to avoid paying UK duty and boost the black market and the criminal gangs that operate it. “The most effective way to get smokers to quit is not high tax but the development of new products such as e-cigarettes. Also, such an increase, just before the crucial Christmas trading period, will significantly impact on retailers – including many corner shops, for whom tobacco makes up around 35% of their business.” Also warning of repercussions was supplier JTI. “With the UK Government’s own figures showing that tobacco smuggling cost them £2.5 billion in tax revenue in 2016/17, a second above-inflation increase in the space of eight months is another incentive for smugglers, as it will further widen the price between legitimate and illegal products,” said Daniel Sciamma, managing director. “Imposing an even higher increase to RYO is especially worrying considering that 28% of hand-rolling tobacco smoked in the UK is already illegal (HMRC).” Imperial Tobacco is similarly concerned about the negative effects that this latest Budget may have. An Imperial spokesperson said: “An above-inflation excise increase on tobacco has the potential to drive a number of the UK’s adult smokers to seek out a number of blackmarket alternatives – resulting in lost revenue for the Government. If the Government is keen to reduce the rate of tobacco use then a continued focus on providing clear and consistent guidance on the role of e-vapour products would be welcomed.”
E-cigarettes Imperial Tobacco highlights low availability as a common issue with e-cigarettes. “The vaping category is still very fragmented and overall brand distribution is still relatively low for most brands. However, more consistent range distribution across convenience retailers thanks to EUTPD II will be hugely beneficial to consumers and will help alleviate this issue for both retailers and consumers alike,” says Sophie Hogg, head of next-generation products.
Vaping products may be the future area of growth, as consumers turn to convenience stores for advice.
With the UK retail vaping market worth almost 160 million and showing volume growth, it’s an area where the convenience channel can flourish. “Recent research has identified that for new vapers, the convenience channel is their first port of call, over the supermarkets,” says Hogg. “The best way to tap into this is to upskill staff and educate them on the category and different products available.” Consumers are increasingly favouring open-tank systems and e-liquid refills, and Imperial’s blu UK has the best-selling open (tank) system with its bluPRO kit. “Over half of all sales are now through open system products – 53.5% versus 42.5% in the same period last year. Sales of e-liquid refills also reflect this shift towards open systems, with value sales up 35% year on year,” says Hogg. “As the range of brands in the market narrows, it is hoped that the quality of offering to consumers will become more consistent.” Blu has extended its own e-liquid portfolio. Eight flavours recently joined the range and are available in 10ml bottles (rsp £4.99). The variants are Tropic Tonic, Vanilla Crème, Peach Passion, Berry Swirl, Mint Chocolate, Green Apple, Caramel Café and Polar Mint. All eight come in zero and 0.8% nicotine strengths, with Caramel Café and Polar Mint also in 1.6%. Earlier in the year, Philip Morris UK launched a seven-day smoker ‘conversion’ programme for its IQOS heated tobacco system, accompanied by an e-commerce website and a network of new retail outlets and retail partnerships. This development is in line with PMI’s focus on development of smokefree alternatives – the company has invested more than £2.3 billion in scientific research and design. “We believe every smoker who does not quit should consider switching to potentially less risky alternatives – and our dedicated smoker conversion programme will help smokers achieve this. This underlines our determination to move towards a smoke-free CCM future,” says managing director Peter Nixon.
For further information: blu UK (0800) 0149 355 Imperial Tobacco (0117) 963 6636 JTI (01932) 372000 Philip Morris 020-7076 6000 Republic Technologies (01494) 492233
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
[ EMPLOYMENT LAW ]
‘Me Too’ campaign: how to deal with sexual harassment Meet the HR expert
Make staff aware of changes to the childcare voucher programme
Cate Ritchie, 121 HR Solutions Cate Ritchie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
he recent publicity surrounding sexual harassment and the ‘Me Too’ campaign has forced employers to examine their strategies in dealing with harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The law defines sexual harassment as behaviour that has the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It is also worth bearing in mind that many people respond to situations in different ways. What may seem like an innocent action or remark to one person may be deemed offensive by another and the law sides with the victim not the perpetrator. Since there is no single definition, the test is how the recipient feels about the behaviour. Whilst men can also be subject to sexual harassment, the vast majority of cases have been by women against men. It is estimated that 50% of women in employment are, or have
been, subject to sexual harassment of some form or other. Employers must take any complaints seriously – complaints must not be dismissed as ‘office banter’ and employers should be seen to condemn inappropriate behaviour and to provide a safe environment in which employees of any gender can complain about harassment and breaches of their CCM dignity at work.
121 HR Solutions provides employers of all sizes with professional, cost-effective human resource support. If you would like further guidance about the issues covered in this article, or need advice on any other HR matter, contact Cate at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (0792) 121 3890.
Prosecution for failure to auto-enrol The UK’s Pensions Regulator has announced the first prosecution of an employer who failed to comply with the law on pensions auto-enrolment. The rules on auto-enrolment require employers to automatically enrol workers in a pension scheme that meets certain minimum requirements. The Pensions Act 2008 states that it is an offence to fail to comply with the rules on auto-enrolment. The employer that is being prosecuted is a bus company and one of the directors has also been prosecuted. This is the first prosecution launched by the UK’s Pensions Regulator for the offences under section 45 of the Act for which the maximum sentence is an unlimited fine.
More than a third of employers are unaware of upcoming changes to the childcare voucher scheme, despite significant reforms coming into force early next year. From April 2018, childcare voucher schemes will be closing to new applicants. Employees who have already signed up to a company’s scheme will be eligible to keep receiving vouchers, but they will not be able to rejoin the programme if they leave and will not be able to join their new employer’s scheme if they change jobs. Although the vouchers are essentially being replaced by taxfree childcare, the two schemes do not operate in exactly the same way. This is a major change and should be communicated like any other change. A recent survey suggested that employees might be unaware of the reforms. A quarter of those employers surveyed said they thought none of their staff were aware the schemes would close to new applicants, and three-quarters said nobody had approached them with questions about the changes. An HMRC spokesperson said that, since the Government had launched its Childcare Choices website in March, with the aim of bringing together information on all the different kinds of help offered on childcare costs, more than a million people asked a question about their own circumstances. Over 700,000 had also used the website’s calculator to find out which option offered by the Government suited them best.
[ PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS ] Piles of ideas
More to munch
Flagship Europe is catering to the increasingly adventurous palate with its latest addition in world foods. The new Chicken Chacho is a tender chicken breast fillet encased in a crunchy Mexican-style coating, to be cooked by deep frying. The versatile product can be used in a burger, as the basis for a twist on traditional nachos or, as shown here, with salad and a smoky sour cream dressing. Recipes are available from Flagship Europe. Chicken Chacho comes frozen and ready to cook in packs of 3 x 1kg. Flagship Europe (01252) 846500
Bite UK has the answer to the postChristmas health kick with its Pure Bite selection of snacks. The range, which consists of Strawberry & Gojiberry Popped Rice Clusters, Blueberry & Cranberry Popped Rice Clusters (both 20g), Almond Nut Clusters, Hot & Spicy Nut Clusters (both 30g) and Strawberry Crunchy Coconut Clusters (30g) all have an rsp of £1.49. The snacks are dairy free, gluten free, vegan, preservative free, high fibre, high protein, low salt, low sugar and low in calories. The Almond Nut Clusters won a Great Taste Award 2017. Bite UK (01484) 320516
Burton’s Biscuit Company is introducing a new range to its £50 million Maryland cookie brand. Big & Chunky will be available from January and features two variants – Milk & Dark and White Choc & Caramel, both with an rsp of £1.49. The Milk variant also comes in a £1.39 PMP. The launch follows a successful year for the Maryland brand, which has seen growth in sales value of its core range (up by 6.2%) and Maryland Minis (up by 12.2%). The Big & Chunky product aims to tap into the indulgent treating market. Burton’s Biscuit Co (01727) 899700
Ice cream sharing
New year rewards
Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats is extending its portfolio of ice cream sharing tubs. Available from February, Maltesers Ice Cream Tub will join the existing lineup of Mars and Snickers Ice Cream Tubs, with an rsp of £3. The product features a blend of malt ice cream, Maltesers mini pips and chocolate. The Maltesers brand – the No.1 bitesize brand in the UK – will benefit from an investment of more than £5 million in 2018. In the ice cream tubs range, Mars and Snickers are now available in £3 PMPs. Mars Ice Cream via SHS (01452) 378500
Thatchers has introduced a new Thatchers Haze multipack format. The 440ml 10-pack will be available from January, following the success of the Thatchers Haze 440ml can four-pack, which grew by 257% in the last year. “Cloudy cider has been one of the biggest trends of the last two years, and we expect that trend to continue across the on and off-trades throughout 2018,” says managing director Martin Thatcher. “In a market where consumers are looking to trade up to premium brands, Thatchers Haze offers a truly innovative cider.” Thatchers (01934) 822862
Mars Chocolate UK is launching a lifestyle activation in the new year. The ‘New Year, New Choices’ campaign promotes the wave of recent lifestyle products offered by the supplier. This includes GoodnessKnows – the first new brand from Mars Chocolate in 20 years and one that reflects changing consumer priorities. The shareable treat donates 10% of profits to good causes through the GoodnessKnows Fund. Also in the campaign are Mars and Snickers protein bars. All three brands are supported by significant media investment next year. Mars Chocolate UK (01753) 550055