SPOTLIGHT: LORCAN BYRNE, GROUP MD OF CATERITE
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR CASH & CARRY/DELIVERED WHOLESALERS
Focusing on eficiency and effectiveness: MD Darren Goldney
ARE YOU PREPARED? Track & Trace means more obligations for tobacco traders
Costcoâ€™s Jon Reed wins Cash & Carry Manager at FWD Gold Medals
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
Savona is awarded the BRC AA standard at both of its depots.
Steve Parfett will retire from AG Parfetts at the end of the year.
Martin Race of Bestway was honoured at the FWD dinner.
ESSENTIALS 05 06 17
Editor’s Comment Industry News Products & Promotions
Interview Unitas managing director Darren Goldney talks to Cash & Carry Management’s Kirsti Sharratt about his plans for the group.
FWD Gold Medal Awards A round-up from the annual dinner, held last month at Old Billingsgate London.
Spotlight featuring Lorcan Byrne, group managing director of Caterite.
Supplier Strategy The C&C/delivered wholesale channel represents a real growth area for Taylors of Harrogate, reports senior wholesale manager Darren Grealy.
Caterite’s Lorcan Byrne on how having a supportive family and a great team at work allows him to achieve a good work-life balance.
CATEGORY INSIGHT 18
Tobacco & Next-Generation Products Update News of product developments and information on the Track & Trace and Security Features regulations.
All Landmark own-brands are being retained by Unitas.
Christmas jumpers are up for grabs in the latest VK promotion.
[ EDITOR’S COMMENT ]
What May happen?
hen you relax with your family at your Christmas meal, ask your neighbours to forgive your howls of derision when you pull your crackers and read jokes featuring the word Brexit. It’s everywhere! Theresa May, whatever happens to her in her role as PM, will be glad to see the back of countless negotiations and trips to Brussels. Forget your opinions on the outcome, few will deny that the lady has worked her socks off. The same could be said of our hardworking cash & carry/wholesale executives, who have done what they can to make a success of their businesses in trying times and in anticipation of our departure from the EU. Our thoughts particularly go to Charles Wilson, the Booker CEO who has had to contend with serious illness while mustering his troops following the integration with Tesco. Cash & Carry Management wishes him well and hopes that he will be able to resume a normal work routine at a company that he has led so well for so long. There are others who are facing up to a change in their lifestyle. Martin Race, a stalwart with Batleys, and then as managing director of Bestway, which took over the northern-based business in 2005, will have the chance to put his feet up more often after being replaced
SPOTLIGHT: LORCAN BYRNE, GROUP MD OF CATERITE
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR CASH & CARRY/DELIVERED WHOLESALERS
Focusing on eficiency and effectiveness: MD Darren Goldney
ARE YOU PREPARED? Track & Trace means more obligations for tobacco traders
Costco’s Jon Reed wins Cash & Carry Manager at FWD Gold Medals
at the cash & carry/wholesaler by Dawood Pervez. If he doesn’t get snapped up as an adviser to one of his former competitors, he might be found on the terraces of the Stadium of Light, home ground of his beloved Sunderland FC. Following the departure of Philip Jenkins as managing director of Sugro UK, his successor, Neil Turton, will be doing all he can to make a success of his new job, as will Colin McLean, the fledgling CEO of SPAR Scotland wholesaler CJ Lang & Son, which has had a tough year. We also wish Hugo Mahoney continued success as CEO of Brakes UK, a role he assumed earlier in the year. Athough Steve Parfett is retiring as chairman of what was once his familyowned cash & carry business, he will be watching and listening as intently at what is going on as when he was in the hot seat. Particularly to all those who have lost their jobs because their businesses have faltered, we wish them luck in finding re-employment. Despite the adversity some will be suffering, Cash & Carry Management wishes all readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mervyn Gilbert News Editor
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[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Booker departures Jonathan Prentis, Booker’s chief financial officer, and Mark Chilton, company secretary, have left the business, which merged with Tesco earlier this year. Prentis’s replacement is Ves Bandev, who joined Booker in 2012 following its purchase of Makro. Helen Williams, who has been with the C&C/wholesaler since 2013, takes over from Chilton as company secretary. a Booker Group (01933) 371000
Retailer with drive
SPAR south-west growth Appleby Westward, which recruited 27 more stores to the SPAR south-west network last year, has targeted a further 24 in 2019. The company currently services nearly 300 outlets (company-owned and independent). The new ones are a mix of other symbols (including Londis, Costcutter and Mace) and independents. The announcement was made by managing director Mike Boardman (pictured), speaking at the wholesaler’s third mini trade show of the year, held in Bournemouth. “We have consistently recruited numbers in the mid-20s over the last four years,” he said. “A number of companies have experienced
supply issues while we have still managed to record service levels above 98% in the year. This has helped recruitment where many independent retailers have grown tired of supplies coming in late.” The Saltash, Cornwall, operator’s wholesale sales reached almost £135 million for the year to 30 September. Like-for-like sales rose 4.4%.
The highest summer volume for two years was recorded, with total cases reaching the 250,000 mark. Boardman added: “Our wholesale and retail businesses are delivering industry-leading like-for-like figures. Our service levels are the envy of many, especially during the high-pressure summer months. “With continued investment in our retailers, company-owned stores and warehouse facilities, SPAR is now the only credible independent symbol group.” The show attracted representatives from 84 stores and from 80 suppliers. a Appleby Westward (01752) 854000
P&H demise hits tobacco firms
Ashad Alam (pictured), who owns Al Halal supermarkets in Birmingham, was chosen from over 30,000 retailers as the winner of a Renault Kangoo van in an exclusive competition run by Bestway and PepsiCo. The prize also included a year’s free insurance and £100 worth of credit to spend on Walkers products at the C&C/wholesaler’s Birmingham branch. Retailers had to buy any three cases of Walkers crisps between June and August to be eligible to win the van. a Bestway Wholesale 0208453 1234 06
Trading results released by Imperial Brands for the year to 30 September show that the tobacco supplier suffered a £110 million one-off impact on its operating profit due to the collapse of Palmer & Harvey. This was, however, less than the £160 million adverse
effect forecast towards the end of last year when P&H went into administration. According to Imperial Brands’ board, most of this money relates to non-recoverable excise duty. Despite the effect of P&H’s demise, Imperial’s operating profit for the year rose from £2.28
billion to £2.41 billion on sales up from £30.25 billion to £30.52 billion. JTI also took a hit, with profit growth in its 2017 figures impacted by around $180 million due to P&H’s failure. a Imperial Brands (0117) 963 6636 a JTI UK (01932) 372000
Accreditation for Savona Savona Foodservice has been awarded the British Retail Consortium’s AA standard at both of its depots. Savona bought fellow Country Range Group member Ilfracombe Wholesale Grocers two years ago and has since rebranded, added a freezer extension to its Oxford depot, doubled cold store capacity at its Ilfracombe branch and gained multiple contracts.
“This isn’t just another accreditation,” said Mike Morgan, director and general manager at the Oxford depot. “It is an external recognition
of the investment we have made to achieve the highest possible quality assurances.” a Savona Foodservice (01865) 852010
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Steve Parfett bows out At the end of the year, Steve Parfett (right) will retire from the C&C business that bears his family name and was founded by his father Alan in 1980. S t o c k p o r t- b a s e d AG Parfett & Sons is now employee owned. Parfett, 63, became managing director after his father retired in 1989, and then chairman in 2011. A statement issued by the company said: “Steve Parfett and the Parfetts board have
agreed that the time is right for Steve to step back, retire from the business and let the new team continue their energetic and effective stewardship of the business. “The intention in 1980 was to run one modest cash & carry successfully. But initially under Alan Parfett’s guidance and latterly under that of Robert (Steve’s late brother) and Steve, assisted by sisters Barbara and Judy, the business has grown and
prospered.” (There are now seven branches.) “The family are proud of their achievements and the business that they and their employees have built. They are delighted to know that the company continues to be in good hands and can face the future with confidence and ambition.” David Grimes, joint MD, thanked Parfett for his “valued support” and described his retirement as “the end of an era”. a AG Parfett & Sons 0161429 0429
Bestway hospital donation A cheque for £100,000 was presented to Great Ormond Street Hospital by Zameer Choudrey CBE, chief executive of Bestway Group, at the company’s head office in Park Royal, London. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the hospital’s charity and the C&C/wholesaler’s board, including group chairman Sir Anwar Pervez OBE. The charitable Bestway Foundation UK was established by Sir Anwar in 1987 to support less fortunate people through the advancement of education and relief
Zameer Choudrey CBE (left) with Tim Johnson, CEO of the children’s charity, and Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez.
of sickness and preservation of health. Bestway Group has since donated more than £14.8 million through its charitable offshoot. Tim Johnson, CEO of the
children’s charity, thanked the Bestway Foundation for its “generous donation and ongoing support”. a Bestway Group 020-8453 1234
Filshill eyes north-east England Glasgow wholesaler JW Filshill has named Graham Cairns (right) as regional development manager for north-east England, based in Darlington. He joins from Beanies Flavoured Coffee, prior to which he was with Palmer & Harvey for six years. He
reports to business development manager for the north of England, Jeanette Gordon. Filshill, which operates the KeyStore retail fascia, sees the north of England as a key area of growth for
this side of its business. Since Gordon’s appointment in February, the wholesaler has increased its business in the region by 50% year on year. a JW Filshill 0141883 7071
‘Difficult decisions’ ahead The turnover of SPAR wholesaler and retailer CJ Lang & Son dipped by 1.3% to £183.1 million in the year to 30 April 2018, with underlying profit, before one-offs (stock provisions), down from £925,000 to £490,000. CEO Colin McLean (pictured), who joined earlier this year from Scotmid, where he held a similar post, told Cash & Carry Management: “The 2017-18 financial year results were mostly in line with expectations during a tough period for retail and wholesale as we continued to meet the changing customer needs within convenience retailing. “This requires, and will continue to require, the taking of difficult decisions that will protect the business in the future.” He added that the new management team would focus on a long-term strategy to reach ‘sustainable profit growth’. Three new CJ Lang stores are planned to open over the coming year and the company is supporting independent retailers and company-owned outlets with ‘market leading deals’ and pushing record volume through its Dundee distribution centre. The wholesaler presently services 180 independent SPAR stores and 113 that are company-owned. Next year marks its 100th anniversary. a CJ Lang & Son (01382) 512000
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
More marketing for Sugro Neil Turton, who replaced Philip Jenkins as chief executive of Sugro UK earlier this year, has set his sights on widening the scope of the group. While snacks, confectionery and soft drinks are its strengths, plans are being made for more involvement in the grocery and licensed sectors. Better marketing and selling are also high on the agenda for the Nantwichbased group, generally known as just a buying organisation. To this end, Shruti Senapati has been appointed marketing manager. “She comes to us from outside the food sector,” said Turton, “but when she was living in India, she had plenty of wholesale marketing experience. We have never had a marketing-led approach before.” Senapati is one of 25 Sugro staff, which includes
personnel at the head office and in the field. Turton, 52, formerly chief executive officer at Nisa, admits: “Our image has been low. I have just interviewed somebody from the grocery trade for a job here; he’d never even heard of us before! “We’ve had a year of uncertainty. Our staff are looking at me to generate a more positive future for what has been an old-fashioned buying group.” Turton also wants to improve Sugro’s overriders and digital strategy. “One-third of our 80 members, whose annual turnovers range from £6 million to £40 million, are e-commerce enabled. I want that to be 100%.” Getting closer to the membership, Turton and his team have been devising a bespoke marketing programme for Belfast-based O’Reillys, with 60 products
Neil Turton (third on left) with members of the Sugro board.
marking the company’s 60th anniversary. Over the coming months, he will be looking closely at other components of the £1.1 billion group. However, Turton has no plans at this stage to develop the symbol side, represented by the low-key Nearbuy fascia. More popular is the group’s retail club which, according to the Sugro website, has the backing of more than 2,000 retailers. “A lot of our members
have a lot of love for us but feel we could have been more successful,” said Turton. Although three wholesalers left the group last year, several new signings are in the pipeline. “My intention,” he commented, “is to do fewer things better. “By next September (the end of his first year in charge), I hope you will see a substantially improved organisation.” a Sugro UK (01270) 628728
Signature show a success for First Choice First Choice Foodservice, of Burton upon Trent, attracted 350 customers to its inaugural trade show, the attendees representing a wide cross-section of businesses, including large pub and restaurant chains and independent cafés and tea rooms. The Signature Food and Drink event, held in Derby, showcased a number of new products and featured demonstrations by several suppliers. Almost 200 manufacturers took stands, giving delegates the chance to take advantage of exclusive oneday-only offers. 08
Colm Doogan, sales director of Irish juice firm Mulrines.
Exhibitors included the wholesaler’s suppliers of freshly prepared meat and fruit & veg, mid-Wales artisan dessert maker Sidoli and Preston-based Pizza Plus. First Choice is a member
of the Fairway Foodservice buying group, which presented key products from its own-brand range at the show, held in partnership with Nottingham drinks wholesaler Libra Drinks.
First Choice managing director Steve Ainger told Cash & Carry Management: “We had very good feedback from those who attended, the main message being that it felt ‘more like year 10 than year one’. “A significant benefit was that, due to working with Libra Drinks, more customers were able to build relationships with companies they were previously unaware of.” First Choice, established in 2009, delivers more than 4,000 product lines each week. a First Choice Foodservice (01283) 741630
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
AW award winners galore SPAR store owner Barbara Clements, of Preston, Weymouth, won the convenience retailer of the year award for the third year running at a ceremony held by Appleby Westward, the group’s regional distribution company for the south-west. As well as collecting top prize, the store picked up three category awards – for best produce, best food-togo and top independent. Improvements have been made in the store’s food-togo, licensed and Post Office services. Clements and her late husband Mike acquired the shop 32 years ago. Olly Andrews’ forecourt at Maiden Newton, Dorset, won both the community
Top off-licence: Amanda James, of St Agnes, Cornwall. a Best instore display: the company-owned shop in Hayle, Cornwall. a Best company-owned store manager: Calum Fairnie, of Mote Park, Saltash, Cornwall. a Best transient forecourt: the Rontec-owned forecourt store at Alphington, Exeter, Devon. a Most improved companyowned store: the Brixham, Devon, outlet. Appleby Westward sales & marketing director Nick Kenworthy said that over 50 SPAR stores entered the awards. a Appleby Westward (01752) 854000 a
Winner Barbara Clements.
retailer and neighbourhood forecourt store awards and his colleague Abi James was voted best store manager. The Wool, near Wareham, Dorset, shop won the company-owned store award. Other winners: a Best chilled food retailer and SPAR Brand retailer: Dash Group’s store in Truro, Somerset. a Most improved store: Ian McCabe, of Penryn, Cornwall.
Bestway arm in good health Stoke-on-Trent based pharmacy wholesaler, Bestway Medhub, part of Bestway Group, increased sales in October by 49% compared with the same month last year. The company declined to reveal actual sales figures. Now in its third year, the business, which is headed by Paul Insley (pictured), has 15 in its sales force, including newly-appointed
Brendan Moffatt, its first regional sales manager for Northern Ireland and Scotland. Insley commented: “It’s been a fantastic year for us and we’re so proud to have welcomed our 1,000th independent pharmacist account, meaning that we’re now serving over 2,000 outlets across the UK.” Bestway Medhub supplies over-the-counter pharmacy
products and services to independent pharmacies. It is linked with Wardles, a dispensing appliance contractor, providing products and services to the health care sector. Bestway’s retail pharmacy chain (previously owned by the Co-op), operates separately to Bestway Medhub and has around 760 outlets that trade under the Well name. a Bestway Medhub (0800) 050 1055
Profit up at Sysco Sysco, the parent company of Brakes, has reported gross profit up from $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion in the 13 weeks to 29 September. Sales rose by nearly 4% to $15.2 billion. US operations, the main part of the Houston-based business, contributed profit of $2.1 billion (plus 5.2%) and sales of $10.4 billion (up 5.6%) while the international side, which includes the UK foodservice wholesaler, saw profit marginally higher at $615.5 million and sales up by 0.6% at $2.9 billion. a Brakes Group 020-7599 5600
Parfetts award AG Parfett & Sons has won the Employee Ownership Association’s employeeowned business of the year award, which recognises the performance of companies that excel when it comes to productivity, innovation, employee voice and culture. Joint managing director Greg Suszczenia told Cash & Carry Management: “After a tough, but enjoyable, 10 years since becoming employee-owned, we are enormously proud to have repaid the founders.” a AG Parfett & Sons 0161429 0429
Licensed and tobacco guide from Unitas Unitas Wholesale has launched the third in the 2018/19 series of ‘Plan for Profit’ core range category guides, focusing on licensed and tobacco. Compiled from information
provided by supplier partners, industry experts and member wholesalers, it includes details of key products that retailers are advised to stock in order to maximise sales and profit.
Guidance is also provided on an extended range beyond core products. Key category insights are included on beers & lagers, craft ales, wines, spirits, tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Printed copies are being distributed through selected Unitas Wholesale member depots and online at www.planforprofit.co.uk. a Unitas Wholesale (01302) 249909
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Plastic education To mark National Recycling Week (11–18 November), Bidfood ran a nationwide campaign to raise awareness in schools of how best to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic. Called ‘Choose to Reuse’, the scheme involved teams from nine of the company’s depots running interactive awareness sessions with almost 1,000 pupils. These were delivered in partnership with Bidfood’s industry waste partner Mitie. The children also took part in a competition to design a sculpture made from used plastic donated by each of the Bidfood warehouses. The winner from each school was awarded a sustainable prize donated by the depot team. Earlier this year, Bidfood launched a plastic-free range of 150 products. a Bidfood (01494) 555900
Certificated All branches of JJ Food Service are now MSC-certified and meet the sciencebased requirement for sustainable fishing. a JJ Food Service (01992) 701701
Two change role at Parfetts Guy Swindell, who joined AG Parfett & Sons in 2004, has been named as retail director, while Andy Whitworth, who has been with the C&C/wholesaler for more than 20 years, is now wholesale director. In his time with the company, Swindell has been marketing manager as well as general manager at the Aintree and Anfield branches. Since 2015, he has been head of customer development & marketing, expanding the Go Local retail club. Whitworth, formerly operations director, has also held
Swindell (left) and Whitworth.
the roles of head of customer development and general manager. Commenting on the Parfetts’ joint changes, managing director Greg Suszczenia said: “Guy has worked closely with all board members over the past 10
years and has contributed enormously to the strong position we find ourselves in today. “We now consider the company to be two businesses: Parfetts Wholesale and Go Local Symbol Store Group. “Guy’s appointment, together with the change to Andy’s role, means that our most senior structure recognises the changes in our customer offering.” There are more than 400 stores carrying the Go Local fascia, and the long-term target is 1,000. a Parfetts 0161-429 0429
Fairway members splash out Deals worth £709,000 were recorded at Fairway Foodservice’s Meet the Member event in Tamworth, Staffs, resulting in £1.8 million for its two shows in 2018. The figure is just shy of the £1.9 million last year, which set a record for the buying group. Purchases during the two events were conducted with 39 suppliers, with Unilever Food Solutions adjudged supplier of the year. Richard Ellison, the group’s marketing & events
manager, said: “We have had a stunning 24 months of Meet the Member events, with £3.7 million of deals. What’s been very impressive is that, as a team, we have secured the right mix of encouraging
sales, as well as introducing new suppliers and NPD.” The next Meet the Member event is on 12-13 March 2019. a Fairway Foodservice (01422) 319100
Rebate scheme for small retailers Store Excel, whose cofounder is former Bestway operations director David Gilroy, has linked with the Select & Save group to launch a smaller retail operator reward scheme. ‘Profit in Your Pocket’ is said to open up new earning 10
opportunities to retailers who, due to lower turnover,
have not been in a position to enjoy existing industry rebates. They can start earning allowances from the first case that they purchase. They can also accumulate rebates from both delivered and C&C purchases.
Gilroy told Cash & Carry Management: “We currently have the support of around 8,000 retailers. “Our target is 20,000. I believe we’ll get there, but these things don’t happen overnight.” a Store Excel (07968) 851698
CCM Chefs Own-B Own-Brand rand A Awards wards 2019
CCM Chefs’ Own-Brand Awards 2019 ENTER ONLINE www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk
[ INTERVIEW ]
Driving change at a fast pace In his first in-depth interview since the launch of Unitas, managing director Darren Goldney talks to Cash & Carry Management’s managing editor Kirsti Sharratt about his aims and plans.
arren Goldney’s belief in the merger of Today’s Group and Landmark Wholesale mirrors Aristotle’s famous quotation, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. “One and one can equal more than two if we all work together,” insists Goldney (right), who was appointed managing director of the enlarged organisation, Unitas, just eight weeks ago. “Our plan is anchored on efficiency (reducing costs) and effectiveness (selling more) and we have a whole host of plans and initiatives to achieve this.” Goldney explains that, for the first 12 months, Unitas will focus on a 10-point consolidation programme covering aspects like contact points, the own-label range, central payment and events. Running concurrently is a three-year plan focusing on the efficiency and effectiveness objectives – these are intended to bring about improvements in data, compliance, digital innovation, central services and category expertise, as well as a consolidated central distribution partnership network using spare capacity in existing member depots.
During your time with Coca-Cola, Whitworths and P&H, did you have to do anything similar to this merger? Yes, at Coca-Cola we acquired and sold brands and small businesses, and I also had to merge two regions, which involved the closure of an office. The merger of Landmark and Today’s is on a larger scale, but the issues are the same in terms of identifying goals, pooling resources and working through the change curve where a lot of people don’t like the journey along the way.
Cash & Carry Management spoke to Goldney about the job he has to do: How have the last few months been? Exhilarating, exciting, at times exhausting. We are doing things that should probably have been done a number of years ago so there is a sense of urgency. I think we will get 90% of the tasks right along the way and the 10% we get wrong will be correctable and will be far less of a negative than if we don’t do the 90% quickly.
Three new initiatives to enhance trading with suppliers
Optimum Distribution Tracker: Over the past four weeks, Unitas has mapped the customer base of every one of its 179 members, using 30 different classifications of customers, such as CTNs, burger vans, forecourts and leisure centres. This information was made available to suppliers in late November in an Excel document; from April it will be offered via a portal to Unitas’ intranet. Using this information, suppliers can then ensure that each of their SKUs is sold and promoted through cash & carries and delivered wholesalers appropriate to each product’s target market. On-shelf Availability/Service Tracker: Unitas has worked with the former Today’s supplier council to access supplier outbound service data to Unitas members. It has also started to gather its members’ inbound service data for the same suppliers in order to create a tracker showing the two measures and highlighting any differences. Furthermore, Unitas has anonymised each product category to give the suppliers involved a benchmark on service levels. Promotional Compliance Tool: Unitas has developed an app for members to photograph promotional activity in their depots, in order to provide evidence to suppliers of compliance. The same app will be used to monitor activity related to NPD. The app will be trialled in January with a view to rolling it out from April, and the information will be given to suppliers via a portal to Unitas’ intranet.
What has been your approach to managing the change in relation to the staff? Firstly, I should say that the staff have been immensely professional in difficult circumstances. Of the 72 employees in total, 50 have been retained and reluctantly we had to make the other 22 redundant. I explained to them that I’ve been in the same position myself three times and although I ended up with a better job on two of those occasions, it was an uncomfortable process. We chose to have Doncaster as our HQ because it is bigger and cheaper. We tried to give the Landmark employees every chance of working for Unitas by developing a long-distance working policy and by offering flexible hours. We also implemented a phased exit programme and liaised with our members about employment opportunities. How are you getting on working with John Mills (former MD of Landmark)? John has been absolutely brilliant – the insight, wisdom and counsel he has given has been great. As deputy managing director, he has distinct areas of responsibility: he is looking at our whole marketing programme and longer-term strategy on things like central distribution and third-party providers of services. When we explained to members what our vision is, they could see there’s a hell of a job to do, and if we are ever going to reach those end goals we need additional expertise in the company that John can deliver.
[ INTERVIEW ] Unitas fast facts •
Unitas’ head office is the former Today’s premises in Doncaster. The Landmark HQ in Milton Keynes will close at the end of April. Of the 72 people employed by Today’s and Landmark, 50 will work at Unitas. Andrew Thewlis is finance director, John Baines is trading director, John Kinney is retail director, and Sam Wilcox (Blakemore Wholesale MD) is chairman. Combined turnover of members: £8.5 billion. Membership: 179 members, comprising 80 with a retail/multi customer base; 41 foodservice focused; 20 servicing the on-trade; and 38 specialists in the discount, ethnic foods, non-food, residual stock or export sectors. Infrastructure: 300+ depots, 2,200 vehicles. Fulfilment: 58% cash & carry, 42% delivered. Reach: 31,000 retail customers, 120,000 foodservice customers, 26,000 on-trade customers. All Landmark own-label brands will be retained, including Lifestyle, Caterers Kitchen, No3 cigarettes, LSV soft drinks, Vintners Collection wines and Prince Consort spirits. Today’s own-label range is already being phased out.
• • • •
What is your primary objective in the merger of the two groups as Unitas? Our mission is to be the ‘Champion of Independents; Champion of Brands’. We are dedicated to supporting our independent wholesaler members, who in turn support thousands of independent retailers and small businesses. We are not going to open up a shop next to them to try to take their business away. What has been the reaction of suppliers to the merger? I think that both suppliers and consumers want a vibrant independent sector because having just the likes of Tesco/Booker in the market place gives a fairly narrow choice. Suppliers want to have more choice, but they want these companies to have the same efficiency
and effectiveness as a national account. They want fewer points of contact and to be offered more, but not to be bullied (not that I‘m saying Tesco/Booker takes that approach!). The average margin among Landmark and Today’s members (last time it was monitored) was 0.8%, whereas for Tesco/Booker it was between 2.5% and 3%, so I think most of the supplier community would recognise that independent wholesalers have a strong role to play. There is an argument that every case suppliers sell via Unitas is better for them. The vast majority of people that I have met through my 25-year career would probably recognise that the margin share of a case going through independent wholesalers is more equitable for the brand owner and the end outlet, although the independent wholesaler would argue that they need more margin! Even if suppliers have to invest a little bit more in the independent channel they will still be making more money than they would if it didn’t exist. So, are you asking suppliers to invest more in Unitas? I hope that suppliers will want to invest more when they see what we can offer in return. We are beginning to walk the walk – we have taken out a huge amount of inefficiency by going from two offices to one, and suppliers will have lower costs in terms of account management, attendance at events like the annual conference, admin such as invoicing and credit control, and participation in trade marketing and category management.
And if we can demonstrate over time that we can give them better insight and improved compliance by using tools like our new optimum distribution tracker (see box on page 12), I would hope that they will back our business. That’s the cultural change we want to make – we want to do it hand in hand, more of a carrot than a stick approach. My message to suppliers is if they believe in our strategy and our management team, they really should be supporting us. What we want is suppliers’ good intent: it’s not just about money. We want them to help us along the journey and not to club us if we can’t get there on day one. There are lots of proof points – I have deadlines coming out of my ears – so our actions will be evident and measurable. You are emphasising the point that 99.4% of sales through your members are of branded products, and yet ownlabels give members a point of difference. What is your thinking around that? Being so heavily focused on brands is a massively positive USP when speaking to branded suppliers, but own-label suppliers will probably see the small percentage they have as an opportunity to grow, and that could indeed materialise. Having one own-label range in each area can reduce the proliferation of brands as the own-label can work well alongside the big brand. For example, if you take tuna, a retailer could stock the own-label product alongside John West or Princes as the main brand, rather than cluttering up the fixture with various tertiary brands bought on deal at different times.
The Lifestyle and Today’s fascias are both being kept to offer local differentiation. www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk
[ INTERVIEW ] We are keeping Caterers Kitchen for catering/foodservice (Today’s moved out of own-brand in this area in 2015), and we have chosen to go with Lifestyle for retail because it was bigger than the Today’s range and growing on a like-forlike basis (excluding Blakemore). We haven’t taken a decision as to whether the Lifestyle name will stay in the longterm, but for now we are rolling it out to the larger estate. Effectively all the Landmark brands that previously existed – including No.3, LSV, Prince Consort and Vintners Collection – will continue under Unitas. You have said that you are going to keep the Today’s and Lifestyle retail fascias. Is that a long-term decision? Yes, we intend to keep both. When I speak to retailers and members, the local differentiation opportunity is very important to them. There are different regional strengths anyway – for example, Day-Today is strong in Scotland and Lifestyle is strong in the south of England. Across the Today’s and Lifestyle retailers, we can have 80% of the same promotions and 80% of the same core range, which will give suppliers the efficiencies to get to consumers without losing the local differentiation – that’s the sweet spot we are trying to find. In the same way, some of our members arrange local promotions and events, and this will continue, but if we get the central deal right first time, suppliers will be able to spend significantly less time haggling with individual members and significantly more time executing sales and activities.
All Landmark own-brands, including Caterers Kitchen, are being retained.
Have any members decided to leave as a result of the merger and have any wholesalers joined the new group? No, none have left and none have joined, although interest in joining has slightly accelerated because of Unitas. However, the number of members we have does not define our success. We have 179 members, and 179 are enough guns as long as I can point them in the right direction. Regarding the other wholesale buying groups, we are not arrogant to assume they will want to be members of Unitas, but we are always open to collaborate in any way that adds value. ‘Plan for Profit’ category guidance is being offered to the entire membership.
What steps are you taking to achieve your aim of increased effectiveness? Across our retail, foodservice and on-trade divisions we have about 15 different selling initiatives, such as a business-to-consumer leaflet and digital magazine. In year one we will look at every one of those initiatives to decide which is the better of the two – Landmark’s or Today’s – where there is overlap. We will then determine if the chosen initiatives can be scaled into the new entity and if anything should be done differently. Once that process is complete, we will share each initiative as best practice among our members. An example of a decision already taken is to offer the ‘Plan for Profit’ category advice programme to all of our members. The Lifestyle core range scheme was limited to about 1,000 retailers and hadn’t been executed through the wholesalers to unaffiliated retailers, whereas Today’s ‘Plan for Profit’ is digital – there’s an app and website – and about 7,000 retailers use it regularly. Are you going to tier your members into those who want/don’t want to participate in all the initiatives offered? Yes. Members of both Landmark and Today’s have paid an annual subscription up to the end of March/April 2019, and at that point, a new membership structure will kick in and each member will get the choice as to what level of participation they want, based on their preferences and abilities. The subscription for each level of engagement will be transparent to our members.
What is going to be the format of the trade show and the annual conference? The trade show will take place on 5-6 March at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool. It will be bigger than ever and will have separate sections for foodservice and the on-trade to take into account the diversity of the Unitas membership: of our 179 members, 80 are retail/multicustomer based, 41 are foodservice orientated, 20 focus on the on-trade, and 38 are specialists in the discount, ethnic foods, non-food, export or residual stock sectors. We anticipate that the number of members attending the trade show will rise by about a third, with obvious benefits for our suppliers. We will hold an overseas conference in September but we haven’t finalised the timing or the destination. Like our trade show, the conference will have retail, foodservice and on-trade syndicates and there will be more break-off events, like speed-dating type meetings, because members and suppliers get real value out of those. What effect has your role as managing director of Unitas had on your work-life balance? In reality it hasn’t been good for my work-life balance but I’ve never felt more invigorated! I’m in a position whereby all the experience I have gained during my career is relevant to what I’ve got to do now, and with the great network of people I have around me, I know I have the resilience to see CCM it through.
[ FWD GOLD MEDAL AWARDS ]
‘The FWD has progressed our industry by leaps and bounds’
he 100th anniversary of the FWD culminated in a night of celebration at the Gold Medal Awards last month. The event, held at Old Billingsgate, London, rewarded the top performing wholesalers and suppliers, and also gave special recognition to retiring Bestway MD Martin Race, whose career in wholesaling has spanned 40 years. In a fitting tribute, Race collected his award to a standing ovation. He commented: “The FWD has progressed our industry by leaps and bounds in recent years and it’s an honour to be recognised by the Federation on my last night as managing director of Bestway Wholesale.” Bidfood was the main wholesale winner, picking up four awards, while JJ Food Service claimed two. On the supplier side, Mars Wrigley Confectionery and Nestlé also won two titles each. CCM
Martin Race, whose attendance at the dinner coincided with his last night as MD of Bestway, received a standing ovation as he collected his award.
Leading operators in the wholesale industry were recognised at the annual awards night, which also marked the 100th anniversary of the FWD.
FWD Gold Medal Awards 2018 Roll of Honour Wholesaler Service to Retail Bestway Wholesale Wholesaler Service to Caterers JJ Food Service Green Wholesaler Brakes Digital Innovation JJ Food Service Customer Support Joyce Johnson, JW Filshill Depot Team Bidfood, Edinburgh Depot Team Member Michael James Ward, Caterite Cash & Carry Manager Jon Reed, Costco, Thurrock Delivered Depot Manager Jon Mack, Bidfood Scotland Telesales Executive Janette Loughrey, Bidfood, Wakefield Wholesale Driver Shaun Harris, Booker, Redruth Young Wholesaler Katie Sillars, Bidfood Scotland Outstanding Contribution Martin Race, Bestway
Grocery Brand Maltesers Buttons, Mars Wrigley Confectionery Drinks Brand JJ Whitley Gin, Halewood Wines & Spirits Foodservice Brand Nescafé, Nestlé Professional Service to Retail Red Bull Service to Caterers Aimia Foods Actionable Insight Unilever UK Product Innovation (Retail) Maltesers Buttons, Mars Wrigley Confectionery Product Innovation (Foodservice) Azera Nitro, Nestlé UK Process Innovation Premier Foods Young Supplier of the Year Amy Ankrah, Boost Drinks Special Award: Commitment to the Industry Nikki Connor, FWD
Shaun Harris of Booker Redruth with awards host Lenny Henry and David Nicholls of award sponsor Nestlé.
Katie Sillars of Bidfood Scotland with FWD chairman Andrew Selley (CEO of Bidfood) and awards host Lenny Henry.
[ SPOTLIGHT ] Lorcan Byrne, group managing director of Caterite
What most frustrates you in business (and in life generally)? Self-limiting behaviours and beliefs. You are in control of your own actions and mindset; push yourself, stay positive and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something. If you were able to retire tomorrow, how would you spend your time? Firstly I would take a few months off and spend some quality time with my wife, Becci, and two sons, Toby and Caleb (pictured). Next on my to-do list would be to try to build my dream house. Should keep me busy for a few years!
‘You are in control of your own actions’ What has been the major milestone or turning point of your career? The day I joined Caterite – 1 February 2012. I had been at Aldi for four years and it was a big decision to leave, but I have never looked back. Although I was achieving success at Aldi, I began to question whether I could fulfil my entrepreneurial ambitions with the company. I wanted to be more involved in business decision-making and to see those decisions in action. I was looking for the opportunity to try to make my own way. Caterite has allowed me to learn and develop so much, and I have met some fantastic businesses and extraordinary people. I am incredibly grateful to the chairman Keith Graham for giving me the opportunity to fulfil my ambitions. Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? The people I work with every day. I try to surround myself with exceptional people and see my role as giving them a platform to perform. I know that if I achieve that, the business will continue to move forward and be in good hands. 16
How do you maintain a work-life balance? My job is more of a lifestyle and doesn’t really have a start and finish time. Worklife balance is all about making time for what is important and not prioritising one over the other. So, if I have put time aside to spend with my family, I always stick to it. Likewise, if I have a work event, I make sure I stick to it. That way everybody feels that they are getting my full attention. I have an incredibly supportive family and a great team at work that allows me to achieve this.
What advice would you give someone starting his/her first job? Be yourself and have a willingness to listen and engage. You can learn from everyone, and you need to know who you are working with. What type of business would you go into if it wasn’t wholesale? I would start a family-run business so I could spend more time with my wife and children, but I’m not sure I could convince them to work with me! If you had a million pounds to invest in business, how would you spend it? In our e-commerce and digital platforms, the world is becoming a smaller place and our customers have high expectations. We need to move with the times and adapt our services. Caterite is well placed in this regard but there are always technologies to take advantage of. CCM
Love for retail was developed at Tesco Lorcan Byrne studied History & Theology at the University of Leeds. His first job was with Tesco when he was 16 to earn some pocket money and he worked there until he graduated in 2007. Having ‘developed a love for retail’, he then joined Aldi’s graduate area manager scheme. He managed five stores in Grimsby and
Scunthorpe at first and then a larger area including York, Scarborough and Hull, where there were nine stores. In 2012, he joined Caterite. His first role was logistics manager, then he became senior purchasing manager. He was promoted to group operations & purchasing director in 2014 and group managing director in May this year.
[ PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS ]
PROMOTION OF THE MONTH
Free cab rides
Global Brands is offering consumers the chance to win a Christmas jumper in a promotion on VK. Bottles of the latest Watermelon variant have been included in selected mixed packs, and consumers can win a jumper by sharing a photo of their exclusive bottle on VK’s socials. A targeted celebrity influencer campaign, expected to reach nearly three million consumers, is promoting the mixed packs and giving more chances to win one of the jumpers, which have LED lights built in. The VK mixed pack is growing by 22% in value and 21% in volume year on year (Nielsen). Global Brands (01246) 216000
Nestlé Professional has partnered with graphic design students from the University for the Creative Arts to produce a collection of limited-edition designs on Nescafé Azera ‘sqround’ tins. The first two designs in the Nescafé Azera By Design range are entitled ‘Rush Hour’ and ‘Urban Walk’, and both feature images relating to the urban landscape. Dan Balnave, category manager at Nestlé Professional, comments: “Our new tins ensure you can give your office an inspiring coffee break. That moment away from your desk could be the spark of your next big idea.” Nestlé Professional (0800) 745845
Pernod Ricard UK is giving away free taxi rides during December with its latest promotion for Absolut vodka. The #BetterJourneysHome digital campaign involves radio presenter Roman Kemp and Dirty Martini cocktail bars and is open to anyone in London, Birmingham or Manchester. To stand a chance of winning a free cab ride, consumers simply need to enter their details on Dirty Martini’s website. Adam Boita, head of marketing at Absolut, says: “Drink-driving figures are unfortunately continuing to rise so we wanted to think of a creative and fun way to capture the attention of those who are most at risk on the roads.” Pernod Ricard UK 020-8538 4000
Aryzta Food Solutions is tapping into demand for free-from alternatives with a new selection of vegan savouries. There are four products: Vegan Sausage Roll, Vegan Spicy Chickpea & Kale Pithivier, Vegan Spicy Chickpea Roll, and Vegan Saag Aloo Lattice Slice. Rsps range from £1.50 to £2. Mary Byrne, trade marketing manager – retail, says: “Innovation around vegetarian and vegan food-to-go has been a key driver of growth in 2018 (MCA), and with Veganuary just around the corner, retailers can look forward to driving in-store bakery sales with a product offering that’s right on trend.” Aryzta Food Solutions (0845) 437 9593
Mondelez has unveiled a new Cadbury Christmas TV advert, which urges families to become a Secret Santa this Christmas and show their appreciation to friends and loved ones. The campaign, which runs throughout this month, shows people of all walks of life up and down the country doing their best to deliver Cadbury chocolate while in a Secret Santa disguise. Benazir Barlet-Batada, brand equity lead, says: “Cadbury chocolate has been synonymous with a thoughtful gift throughout the years, so aligning with the ritual of Secret Santa felt like the perfect pairing for our Christmas advert.” Mondelez International (01214) 582000
Kepak has launched its new Goode & Tucker range in response to the growing demand for hot grab-and-go options. The ‘plug and play’ hot convenience unit and products are available to convenience and forecourts stores and cater for the most important food-to-go occasions, including breakfast, lunch and snacking. Items include a Bacon & Egg Breakfast Muffin, C h e e s e b u r g e r, and Chicken & Pesto Panini. The all-in-one solution includes equipment and marketing materials to help retailers drive footfall, maximise space and reduce the labour cost traditionally associated with food-to-go counters. Kepak (01772) 688300
[ TOBACCO & NGP UPDATE ]
Education and innovation Cash & carry/wholesalers are urged to keep up to date with market trends, brand activity and legislation in the tobacco market in order to help retailers inform their customers.
espite significant legislative challenges, tobacco continues to be the biggest FMCG category, with total UK sales worth £14.4 billion and ready-made cigarettes valued at £11.6 billion (Nielsen). According to JTI, there are two clear trends in the cigarettes market – the continued expansion of the value segment, as consumers seek out value-for-money products, and the growth of the capsule segment, which is now responsible for 15.3% of total cigarette sales in the UK (Nielsen). In line with this, JTI extended its capsule range earlier this year with Sterling Dual Superkings 20, Sterling Dual Double Capsule King Size 20 and B&H Blue Dual Superkings 20. “JTI is investing significantly in the tobacco category to maximise the opportunities it presents. Our portfolio and insights teams closely track market trends so we can provide wholesalers with new, innovative products, reacting quickly to changing consumer demands to enhance and evolve our range,” says Jan Louw, head of wholesale. As part of the trend towards value, the roll-your-own (RYO) category has increased by 8.2% year on year and it now generates sales in excess of £2.7 billion (Nielsen). “With more than 6.6 million kilograms of rolling tobacco sold in the UK each year, there is a significant opportunity for wholesalers to maximise sales by stocking up on value roll-your-own products, such as JTI’s Sterling Rolling Tobacco,” says Louw. JTI’s Amber Leaf (rsp £13.50 for a 30g pouch and £22.40 for a 50g pouch) is the No.1 tobacco brand in the UK with a 31.4% share of the RYO market; it is also the best-selling RYO brand in all but one region within the UK. Imperial Tobacco’s new Riverstone RYO brand is a “high quality, easy-to-roll blend at an affordable price”. Designed to appeal to factory-made cigarette smokers moving over to the RYO sector as well as dualists, Riverstone is available in 30g and 50g packs, with rsps of £10.50 and £17.35 respectively. The supplier has announced that its mid-price RYO brand GV Smooth Bright Yellow is to be renamed Golden Virginia Yellow, capitalising on the strong brand equity the latter enjoys as a premium RYO brand. This transition will take place over the coming months. “Wholesalers should continue to stock up on best-selling Imperial factory-made cigarette (FMC) and RYO brands like Player’s, L&B Blue and Gold Leaf to ensure they meet retailer demand,” says head of key accounts Paul Coggins. “The crushball (capsule) sector continues to flourish, and 18
Track & Trace: get ready for 20 May 2019 start date The new Track & Trace and Security Features regulations come into force on 20 May 2019. Manufacturers and wholesalers across the UK are working hard to get ready for the new requirements, which are complex and require significant preparation. Track & Trace will cover two main areas: coding of product packaging (including the pack, outer, case and pallet) and scanning of products from manufacturers up until the first retail outlet. Extra security features will also be added to the packs. The regulations will apply from 20 May 2019 to all unit packs of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco manufactured in, or imported into, the UK. Other tobacco products (for example cigars and pipe tobacco) are exempt until May 2024. There is a sell-through period of current stock to give tobacco retailers a ‘buffer’ zone. Non-compliant cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products already on the market before 20 May 2019 can remain on sale until 20 May 2020. Similarly, cigars and pipe tobacco products manufactured before May 2024 can remain in the retail trade until May 2026. “Implementing Track & Trace and Security Features elements across our supply chain is a significant project involving multiple parties, and it has taken a number of years for the initiative to reach its current stage,” says Paul Coggins (right), Imperial Tobacco UK’s head of key accounts. “Imperial remains confident that all aspects of t legislation will be in place when the regulations come into force.” He adds: “Imperial continues to work closely with our valued customers across all parts of the tobacco supply chain to help them understand and implement the new requirements. For instance, over the past few months, members of Imperial’s project team have been out visiting as many of our partners in our supply chain as possible, communicating the regulations, the possible impact on their businesses and the steps they need to take to ensure compliance. “Imperial is committed to working with and supporting the trade during this time of change and we encourage our customers to contact their designated representative if they require more information. However, ultimately it is the responsibility of independent retailers, wholesalers, and cash & carries to ensure that they comply with the regulations by the deadlines stated.”
[ TOBACCO & NGP UPDATE ] now stands at over 15% of the overall FMC market (ITUK estimates). If they don’t already do so, wholesalers should consider stocking our award-winning JPS Player’s Crushball (rsp £8.35 for a pack of 20) and JPS Crushball (rsp £9 for a pack of 20).” Imperial Tobacco has relaunched its Rizla papers packaging, with each pack now featuring a ‘tuck in’ closing mechanism designed to reduce wastage, plus a ‘soft touch’ finish to make the packaging feel more tactile. There is a wide range of Rizla papers available. The best-selling Medium Thin Green and Medium Thin Red variants come in packs of 100 (Regular) and 50 (King Size) at rsps of 27p and 67p respectively. Complementing these are Rizla tips in Slim, Ultra Slim, Natura Ultra Slim and Menthol Ultra Slim styles. Imperial Tobacco recognises that, although continued focus on new product development is critical, in a challenging post-EUTPD II environment it is also vital to communicate with retailers about the NPD. “Our salesforce spends significant time with our customers – both in depot and in store – explaining the importance of new products. This is conveyed through a variety of methods, including innovative gamification techniques, eye-catching stands and a raft of educational/ training materials,” points out Coggins.
“Meanwhile, our intelligence and brand teams collaborate closely, actively monitor category trends to cater for, and react to, changing consumer tastes, and ensure adult smokers continue to enjoy innovative new tobacco experiences.” Imperial continues to work closely with wholesalers to ensure they offer a fully optimised range that maximises the availability of its tobacco and vaping portfolio. “Additionally, we have sought to support the channel through our extensive sales force, enhanced POR offers on focus SKUs plus enduring relationships at senior levels,” says Coggins. In turn, he suggests that wholesalers maintain close working relationships with their customers: “Speak to your customers as often as you can,” he advises. “Retailers will vote with their feet and shop elsewhere if they are unhappy.” To celebrate its new trade website www.stgtrade.co.uk going live on 1 November, STG UK has launched an initiative inviting retailers to share stories of how they have given, or intend to give, back to their local community. The deserving ‘Local Heroes’ will be awarded a £2,000 cash prize to put towards their proposal along with a selection of product stock to help support their business. STG UK will choose a ‘Local Hero’ every three months. Jens Christiansen, head of marketing & public affairs at STG UK, comments: “While retailers are in the business of 20
Maximising sales & profits of tobacco Advice to C&C/wholesalers from JTI
Price is a key factor for retailers when choosing where to shop for tobacco products, and wholesalers should look to keep their pricing competitive to maximise every sales opportunity. Wholesalers should focus on stocking best-sellers ahead of peak trading times to prevent out of stocks and lost sales, monitoring trends and sales data to adapt their range to meet retailer demands. With smaller packs now gone, wholesalers need to adapt their tobacco room to utilise the additional space available. In terms of merchandising, wholesalers should keep a well-stocked tobacco room so they are meeting retailer needs and so they become a destination depot. They should also support new product launches in depot with promotions via product information leaflets and posters provided by the manufacturer. In today’s tobacco environment it is crucial for wholesalers to be knowledgeable about their tobacco portfolio, including new products and best-sellers, so they can directly respond to retailers’ questions. They should therefore maintain regular contact with their local reps so that they are kept updated about ranges, NPD and legislation.
• • •
delivering services to their local community, they often go above and beyond the call of duty to offer support to those in need. By celebrating their achievements and ambitions through our new Local Heroes initiative, we want to help them strengthen their relationship with the local community, and therefore help strengthen their business.” To enter, retailers simply visit the new STG UK website and complete a form. British American Tobacco (BAT) has recently launched vPro cartridges for its newest vaping product, the Vype ePen 3. The nicotine salt-based cartridges are designed to deliver an enhanced vaping experience through a more intense nicotine hit and flavour delivery. Vype ePen 3 is described as BAT’s ultimate closed-system device. Gemma Webb, general manager at BAT UK, says: “Internal tests show ePen 3 provides a superior vaping CCM experience versus other pod mods.”
For further information: British American Tobacco 020-7693 6999 Imperial Tobacco (0117) 963 6636 JTI (01932) 372000 Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK 020-8731 3400
[ SUPPLIER STRATEGY ]
‘Wholesale is a real growth area’ Darren Grealy (pictured), senior wholesale manager at Taylors of Harrogate, suggests that cash & carries complement in-store offerings with online fixtures. How are you looking to develop your business through the cash & carry/delivered wholesale trade? The C&C/delivered wholesale channel represents a real growth area for us and one where we see plenty of opportunity for the years ahead, especially as channels continue to merge. Hot drinks have mass appeal for the full range of consumers across all sectors, and therefore we want to reach all shoppers with our core retail SKUs. Convenience retail fascias are key drivers of our core products, Rich Italian 227g coffee and Yorkshire Tea 40s and 80s. One of the biggest developments we’ve made this year is deciding to move away from a One Cup product. We wanted to ensure that all of our customers were getting a proper, consistent brew both in and out of the home. Yorkshire Tea is now the only major standard black tea brand to offer the same strength across all its products after we increased the tea bag weight of our One Cup lines to match our retail offering. This is a first for the industry and something which we’re extremely proud of. What are the key trends in tea and coffee and do you find that C&Cs/delivered wholesalers act on these? Decaf continues to drive growth in the tea category, in line with consumer trends for low-caffeine options, with value up £150,000 in the last 12 weeks (IRI). We have a 23% market share and Yorkshire Tea is now the UK’s No.1 decaf tea brand. Consumers want more from their hot drinks and expect to see a range of products over the standard instant coffee or black tea bag on shelf, even for top-up shops. As well as reducing caffeine consumption, there is a real desire for premium quality products, especially those that are affordable and easy to use. Stocking a number of good
Can you outline an initiative with a wholesaler that has boosted the sales/profits of your products? We all know tea and biscuits go hand-in-hand, so we approached Parfetts towards the end of last year to run a link deal with our 40s SKU and a large biscuit supplier. This was very successful and we’ll be rolling the same deal out to other wholesalers in the near future.
options, including a quality black tea, decaf, fruit and green flavours, and roast and ground coffee, will all meet this need. We would also like to see more collaboration with suppliers. As technology evolves so do consumer needs, so complementing in-store offerings with online fixtures would be a brilliant idea. After all, the smartphone is almost a fixture in its own right. How can cash & carries improve their sales of tea and coffee? Again, I believe that online availability is key, as is running promotions at the right time. Are there any cash & carries or delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive? I think that Today’s Group has been very progressive over the last two years, as has Parfetts. Both are open to new ways of thinking and that is reflected in the growth we are seeing.
Two of six new flavours for out of home.
Can you share any news relating to forthcoming product launches? For tea, our move away from One Cup products is near completion and we’re supporting the channel in getting the word out. Yorkshire Tea has created a host of free PoS resources, which are available to order through our website. These include Yorkshire Tea bunting, strut cards, window stickers and wipeclean ‘How to make a proper brew’ posters. Taylors has also introduced six new flavours to its classic range of speciality teas for the out-of-home market. Pure Green Tea, Green Tea with Mint, Classic Chai, White Tea, Ceylon Tea and Apple & Cinnamon are available in boxes of 20, six to a case. In coffee, we’ll be expanding our range of coffee bags to include new formats which will be suitable for foodservice and caterers, as well as the convenience channel. Is there anything else our readers should know about Taylors’ operation or strategy? Taylors of Harrogate is a family-owned business, which means we take a longterm view. We’re building a sustainable business that will thrive for generations to come. We are determined to have a positive impact on the people and communities that we come into contact with, whether that’s by improving the livelihoods of the people that grow our tea and coffee or by planting millions of CCM trees around the world.
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