SPOTLIGHT: SAM HENDERSON, LOMOND FINE FOODS
THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR CASH & CARRY/DELIVERED WHOLESALERS
Today’s Group to assess potential success of branded and own-label NPD with ‘scorecard’
BOOKER INTERNET SALES RISE BY 10% Chief executive Charles Wilson announces latest results CATEGORY INSIGHT
4Carbonates 4Seasonal 4Price-marked Packs 4Focus on IT
New catering packs from Tetley, the UK’s No.2 tea brand* #itstartswithtea
*Nielsen Feb 2016
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
This month don’t miss... 06 6
Non-foods specialist Inspira joins Landmark Wholesale.
Achievers celebrates 15 years of promoting best practice.
BCP: ‘Wholesalers must have an effective ecommerce strategy.’
ESSENTIALS 05 06
Editor’s Comment Industry News AF Blakemore achieves a small rise in sales and profits; Palmer and Harvey adds Bakedirect to its direct van sales operations; Today’s assesses the likely success of NPD.
Products & Promotions What’s new this month.
Spotlight Sam Henderson of Glasgow-based wholesaler Lomond Fine Foods and Cake bakery.
Achievers The SWA continues to build on the success of Achievers by acting on constructive criticism from suppliers and wholesalers.
Sam Henderson, managing director of Lomond Fine Foods and Cake, explains why taking time out is beneficial to his business. Product of the month
Andy Dixon urges wholesalers to tap into JDE’s expertise.
AG Barr unveils new zero-sugar ‘big can’ energy drink.
Supplier Strategy JDE Professional is scaling up its investment and dedicated sales resource in the wholesale sector.
CATEGORY INSIGHT 14 19 22 28
Price-marked Packs Carbonates Information Technology Seasonal
[ EDITOR’S COMMENT ]
How many have perfect vision? here’s a gag doing the rounds. It goes like this: First man: ‘So where do you think you’ll be in three years’ time?‘ Second man: ‘You think I’ve got 2020 vision?’ Inadvertently, some of the credit must go to AF Blakemore & Son, the West Midlands concern with interests in retail through its Spar involvement and cash & carry as Landmark Wholesale’s leading operator in this field. The company announced some while back that it was preparing for its 2020 Vision. Of course, with three years yet to run before that time arrives, Blakemore has more immediate concerns, like combating the seemingly never-ending dull economic climate. Last year, ‘difficult trading conditions’ meant just a small increase in sales and an almost static profit figure (see p.6) although, in the circumstances, this wasn’t a bad result. Because Blakemore does not split returns from C&C and delivered wholesale, it’s hard to guess which side felt the pinch more. So where will other leading operators be in 2020? Will they be forced to make changes to their corporate structure? It depends which way you look at it, but three years is a long time hence to make firm plans now. So many factors could alter your way of thinking. For instance, although Bestway is believed to be targeting more small pharmacies to add to its Well chain, it
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Mervyn Gilbert News Editor
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SPOTLIGHT: SAM HENDERSON, LOMOND FINE FOODS
could be that changes in OTC medicine regulations will render that strategy less attractive. Additionally, will it be making greater provision for delivered trade and foodservice customers compared with C&C trade and retail clientele? What about Booker, which has itself been focusing heavily on deliveries as cash & carry takings level off? Will it be ‘graduating’ more into supplying the educational sector? Could this impinge on its already major advances in symbol trading and retail clubs through the likes of Premier, Budgens, Londis and Family Shopper? Will Hyperama be throwing as much weight behind its JK Foods ethnic food distribution business as its four C&Cs? Will it be looking for even more branches or will it take the view: ‘Better to consolidate with what we have than to go for numbers’? What about Parfetts? Retail clubs are a major, and growing, part of the business, but so are the six cash & carries. Will it think of widening store options to something other than the Go Local and Extra fascias? Will it consider opening another C&C? So many questions for so many operators to consider. No doubt decisions will be taken and re-taken more than once between now and 2020.
BOOKER INTERNET SALES RISE BY 10% Chief executive Charles Wilson announces latest results
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*Nielsen Feb Feb 20 2016 16
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New Ne w catering catering packs from from m Tetley, Tetley, UK’ss No No.2 brand the UK’ .2 ttea ea br and*
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01342) 712100 for more information.
Address Winlove Publications Ltd PO Box 366 East Grinstead RH19 4ZE Tel (01342) 712100 Email email@example.com Publisher Winlove Publications Ltd EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kirsti Sharratt News Editor Mervyn Gilbert Features Editor Siobhan Kielty ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Publishing Director Martin Lovell Media Sales Manager Clare Phillips 4,572 July 2015 – June 2016 Audit Bureau of Circulations Printed by Bishops Printers ISSN 1352-254X All media rates, feature lists and deadlines can be accessed online by visiting: cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk
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[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
‘Steady’ Blakemore looks ahead “A pleasing, steady result” is how AF Blakemore & Son chairman Peter Blakemore (right) described trading figures for the 2015/16 financial year. Pre-tax profit was marginally up by 0.2% to £7.6 million on sales 2.6% up at £1.31 billion. The family-owned food retail, C&C/wholesale and Spar distribution business, which celebrates its centenary this year, also increased the value of net assets by 7.6% to £80.8 million.
Blakemore said: “The result has been achieved against a background of difficult trading conditions in the food retail and wholesale
markets together with significant levels of price deflation.” Cost control was cited as a major consideration during the year, with Blakemore stating that the business has continued to retain and reinvest all post-tax profits into improving group operations and those of its independent retail customers. He added: “We have set out a vision for 2020 to solidify our position as a multimarket national food operator with a fantastic reputation for service among trade
Return to Landmark Inspira Trading, a delivered wholesaler specialising in household and toiletry products and OTC medicines, has joined Landmark Wholesale. In doing so, its managing director Gary Rosen has re-established a link with the group that he once had with another business, Vitality, based in Tottenham, north London. He has also been associated with NisaToday’s. Rosen set up Inspira Trading with business partner Samantha Bristow in 2009. Operating from a 10,000 sq ft leased building in Arlesey, Beds, the wholesaler increased takings by almost £1 million to nearly £5 million last year.
Gary Rosen with business partner Samantha Bristow.
Rosen told Cash & Carry Management: “I am making use of every inch of space and desperately want to expand. I am currently negotiating to double the area by taking over the vacant building next door.” Inspira, which sells to other wholesalers, larger independents and pharmacy
distributors in the UK, stretching from Aberdeen to Plymouth, also has a thriving export business to countries including Syria, Hong Kong and Ireland. Deliveries are made using a third-party transport firm. Provision is also made for local businesses who want to order and then pick up the goods themselves. Landmark finance director Andrew Thewlis said: “We are looking forward to helping Inspira Trading develop their business and continue their recent rapid growth in non-food.” a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300 a Inspira Trading (01462) 732833
Booker’s internet sales up 10% Booker’s like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks to 30 December were up by 3.2%, with non-tobacco income growing by 5.1% and tobacco falling by 1%. Internet sales, excluding 06
Budgens and Londis, increased by 10% to £333 million. Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “Budgens and Londis are making a solid contribution to the group.
“We also continue to help retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.” a Booker Group (01933) 371000
partners and consumers. “More than ever, we need to use the expertise from our divisions to benefit the whole company, capitalising on economies of scale and sharing best practice.” Blakemore also recognised the role played by his mother Mary, who passed away in September: “She was chairman of the group from 1986 to 2014 and made an important contribution to the success of the business.” a AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066
Retail tips Bestway Wholesale has launched a category management programme for independent retailers, with category advice, planograms, must-stock lines and sales insight in print and online. Sales director Tony Holmes said: “Getting the basics right is fundamental to the success of any business. The products on shelf should reflect those that shoppers expect to see.” These are the categories being earmarked so far: January: petcare, health & beauty, medicines and frozen February: crisps & snacks and household March: soft drinks and ice cream April: beer and cereals May: tobacco, wine and packaged grocery June: fresh and canned food July: cider and biscuits August: confectionery and home baking September: bakery, frozen food and packaged grocery October: spirits and hot beverages. a Bestway Wholesale 0208453 1234
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Monitoring new products Today’s Group, together with members of its supplier council, has introduced a scorecard to monitor new product development. The initiative covers 16 factors, including pack format, outer packaging, case cost, shared margin, price point and comparison with other products. Launch support is also measured. Each NPD – branded and own-label – is assessed against every criterion, with a green colour indicating the products likely to succeed;
there is less confidence when amber or red is displayed. A group spokesperson commented: “The scorecard is intended to both inform and advise members, suppliers and central office of the favourable or non-favourable attributes of new products. However, it can also be applied to understand the
potential success of an existing product. “The use of the scorecard as a barometer by our supplier base should help product development and marketing teams when launching NPD to ensure products have every chance of success in our sector. “For commercially sensitive reasons, I am unable to disclose the names of our supplier partners involved in the scheme.” a Today’s Group (01302) 249909
Branching out to inspire youngsters AF Blakemore & Son has launched a new community scheme to motivate young people entering the commercial world. The Blakemore ‘Branching Out’ programme will support young people across five key areas, enabling them to gain the necessary skills to obtain employment, provide insight into the world of work and, ultimately, help reduce youth unemployment. Employees will work with schools across the company’s trading area to offer
a more strategic approach to employability, including reading support, workplace insights, employability workshops, career support and work experience. Blakemore has had strong links with schools for 10 years, and in that time its volunteering programme has grown significantly and been nationally recognised. By 2020, Branching Out aims to stage 1,200 events, involving 2,000 employees,
inspiring 13,500 young people into the world of work. Of these, 50 or more could be joining Blakemore. Company community affairs officer Liz Bell (left) said: “The programme will allow youngsters to flourish. The young people of today will be our leaders of tomorrow; it is our job to inspire them to work for our business.” a AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066
Shoals more from Brakes Brakes has added to its range of MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fish and seafood. Recently named as the UK’s MSC supplier of the year for the third year in a row, Brakes has introduced three mackerel and two
kipper products. Butterfly filleted boned kippers are 85g-140g in weight and come packed in 25s, while whole butterfly kippers are 170g-220g and available in 14s. The three mackerel lines are 80g-130g fillets, packed
in 18s, hot smoked fillets and hot smoked peppered fillets (both between 60g and 100g and in 36s). The delivered wholesaler’s MSC range now exceeds 150 lines. a Brakes Group (01233) 206000
Merrier Christmas Over the Christmas trading period – a 10-week slot to 1 January – Nisa Retail increased sales by 2.7% to £235.6 million, earnings before interest and tax by 38% to £718,000 and case volume by 3.2% to 19.1 million. The sales figure does not include the wholesale and retail group’s contract to supply the 140-store My Local chain in a five-year deal worth up to £1 billion and signed last September. Part of a 17.7% increase in sales of fresh produce was a successful ‘Festive 5’ promotion, which produced a 288% rise for carrots, 130% for parsnips and 101% for Brussels sprouts. Over the 10 weeks, the group enrolled 77 new retail members compared with 54 over the previous corresponding period. CEO Nick Read said the strong trading performance followed on from contract wins for the 298 McColl’s stores acquired from the Co-op and with Bourne Leisure for delivering to Butlins and Haven outlets. He added: “We believe we have delivered a strong promotional mix to drive sales and footfall in members’ stores. “This has been made possible due to the strong momentum the business has now built in its three-year strategy.” a Nisa Retail (01724) 282028
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Blakemore Spar role Blakemore Trade Partners (BTP), which deals with AF Blakemore’s Spar business, has named Rupert Morris (pictured) as trading director. He joined BTP last May, becoming head of trading three months later. Previously, Morris was commercial director of multi-national retail franchisee MH Alshaya, which operates more than 70 UK and US brands across 3,600 outlets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Russia and Turkey. He also spent six years as Spar UK central office trading controller from 19931999. a Blakemore Trade Partners (01902) 366066
Molner and Newton
Sarah Molner, formerly with Cott, has become technical manager at Country Range Group – a newly-created post – with responsibility for the technical management of the Country Range brand, comprising over 800 lines and worth almost £90 million. Tiffiny Newton has joined from Bako as a category buyer for branded and ownlabel frozen desserts, meat and ready meals. a Country Range Group (0845) 209 3777 08
Up to £150k for group MD The replacement for Martin Williams as managing director of Landmark Wholesale can expect to receive an annual salary of between £120,000 and £150,000. The job, advertised in The Daily Telegraph, specifies that the right candidate must meet the following criteria: a strong leader a excellent track record of success a excellent organisational skills numerate a highly and able to ‘dig into detail’ a excellent understanding of either wholesale, supplier
or convenience markets a excellent interpersonal skills a ability to manage a large and diverse set of shareholders, with the ability to be a politician when required a key strategic insight and ability to anticipate market trends, challenges and opportunities a strong commitment to equality and diversity. Apart from having control of Landmark’s finances, the selected candidate will need to train and motivate staff, maintain effective relationships with suppliers,
represent the group on trade bodies, have responsibility for the Lifestyle Express chain and develop own-label ranges. The announcement that Williams would be leaving the group at the end of December (Cash & Carry Management November) gave no reason why he was going after 33 years of service. Among existing staff, trading director John Searle and finance director Andrew Thewlis are mooted to be candidates for Williams’ position. a Landmark Wholesale (01908) 255300
Anniversary charity challenge This year sees the 10th anniversary of Confex Central Distribution (CCD). Opened to provide a service to group members, the warehouse, in Pershore, Worcestershire, last year had a turnover of just over £25 million, providing more than 10,000 SKUs from 36 suppliers. To celebrate this milestone, Confex is running a series of anniversary promotions, culminating in a ‘charity challenge’ on 6 July to raise money for Cancer Research and Shelter.
The top 10 CCD suppliers and customers will be invited to take part in 10 physical challenges during the day, such as cycling, canoeing, orienteering and kayaking, the aim being to raise £10,000 for the two charities. The activities will end with a barbecue and disco. Group managing director Nicky White said: “Confex Central Distribution continues to drive growth across the group for both our members and suppliers. “This unique service has played a pivotal role in
enabling us to pass group turnover of £2 billion during 2016 and will remain a key tool in our strategic plans to reach £3 billion by 2020.” a Confex Group (01608) 652333
High flier for Palmer and Harvey Patrick Burrows, who has been named as a nonexecutive director of Palmer and Harvey, is currently chief financial officer and deputy CEO of London City Airport, where he is responsible for finance, planning & strategy,
procurement and legal. He was previously group finance director for clothing firm New Look and before that he held a number of senior financial roles at Tesco over a period of 14 years.
His appointment follows those of Tony Reed as P&H CEO (Cash & Carry Management: November 2016) and Alistair Darby as non-executive director. a Palmer and Harvey (01273) 222100
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
CRG makes an impression Luton C&C The Gherkin building in London was the setting for Country Range Group’s 2016 supplier awards event, attended by 130 manufacturers and staff from the group’s headquarters and 13 member wholesalers. In addition to the awards presentation, a raffle raised £3,250 for four designated charities. The winners were: a Branded supplier and business relationship: Premier Foods a Frozen supplier: Proper Cornish a Own-brand supplier: Mulrines a Marketing excellence: Unilever Food Solutions a Service excellence: D’arta a Newcomer: Rich Sauces a Outstanding service: Liz Henney, company secretary
Country Range Group MD Coral Rose (left) with outstanding service winner Liz Henney and impressionist Jon Culshaw, who hosted the awards ceremony.
at Country Range Group. Commenting on the awards, group managing director Coral Rose said: “They are a fantastic way of appreciating and rewarding the hard work carried out by our diverse supply chain
while ensuring that we continue to improve our service and offering.” She added that last year the group increased its branded sales by 10%. a Country Range Group (0845) 209 3777
Landfill bypass wins award Brakes has been awarded a Greener Path award for consistently achieving zero per cent to landfill across multiple sites in the UK since July 2016. Producing around 14,200 tonnes of waste per year across more than 60 sites, the delivered wholesaler has been working with ACM Environmental to devise ‘innovative and environmentally-focused initiatives’. Travis Way, ACM Environmental group finance & operations director, said: “We are delighted to present Brakes with this award as they have been committed to reducing their environmental impact. With multiple and varying sites across the UK, this was a substantial undertaking. We have achieved consistent and
Abra Wholesale has closed its branch in Luton – a year after opening. Former manager Seliah Ranjan, previously a Bestway general manager, has left the company. He was one of 12 staff at the depot. Cash & Carry Management understands that negotiations to sell the 55,000 sq ft freehold building are at an advanced stage. The prospective buyer is unconnected with the C&C/wholesale trade. The Landmark Wholesale member, which has a turnover of around £50 million from the two depots, intends to concentrate trading activities from its remaining 75,000 sq ft site in Edmonton, north London. Plans are also in hand to extend deliveries by using the services of a third-party transporter. Additionally, the company has introduced a mobile app in conjunction with RNF Digital Innovation. a Abra Wholesale 020-8887 9303
10% discount Recycling 45% of its waste.
impressive results with them and are currently servicing all their sites, providing a fully managed, single source waste and recycling solution.” Steve Webster, indirect goods & services manager at Brakes, 45% of whose waste is now being recycled, said: “We have been working in partnership with ACM Environmental for a number of years and together have
managed to reach our optimum environmental performance. “Its state-of-the-art environmental services portal is invaluable in helping us manage compliance and end point disposal as well as monitoring our environmental statistics and carbon calculator across all sites.” a Brakes Group (01233) 206000
HS Wholesale Sweets, formed by the sons of Hancocks Cash & Carry’s former co-owner, the late Adrian Hancock, is offering a 10% one-month discount (until early February) across the range, including such brands as Haribo, Swizzels Matlow, Millions and Dobson’s. The company sells all sizes of ‘competitively priced’ bulk bags of traditional and modern pick & mix favourites. a HS Wholesale Sweets (02476) 381516
[ INDUSTRY NEWS ]
Healthier selection extended Bestway Wholesale is extending its selection of protein snacks and drinks, natural snacks and infant feeding products to fulfil consumer demand. Director of trading for retail grocery Ed Smeaton told Cash & Carry Management: “There is a huge consumer trend for healthier food and drink and, as a result, protein and healthier snacking products are performing very strongly. “Due to the nature of many items being ‘on the go’, convenience stores are well placed to capitalise on these trends.” The range of brands, including Eat Real, Whitworth Shots and Ella’s Kitchen, are being trialled in a number of branches. Bestway will also be working with manufacturers to introduce more glutenfree products. a Bestway Wholesale 0208453 1234
Prize goes to charity Wrapex, which was honoured as out-of-home nonfood supplier at the recent Landmark Wholesale awards event, donated the £500 prize money to national children’s charity Barnardo’s. The Bristol-based manufacturer, which deals with the catering and consumer trades, specialises in clingfilm, aluminium foil and baking paper. It also markets the Speedwrap dispenser. a Wrapex (0117) 965 7000 10
New P&H van sales service Bakedirect has joined the Palmer and Harvey’s direct van sales operations, which already include Sweetdirect and Snacksdirect. The 25-van service, linked to suppliers including Warburtons, McVitie’s, Premier Foods and Carrs Foods, will be providing London retailers with fresh bread and morning goods. Noel Robinson, managing director of P&H’s direct van sales, said there would be “huge time savings” against cash & carry visits. There is no minimum drop.
Robinson: ‘Huge time savings against cash & carry visits.’
Another advantage, he claimed, is that customers will benefit from sales reps’ category expertise and instore merchandising.
Robinson said: “Expanding our direct van sales offering with Bakedirect runs in line with our ongoing commitment to retailers. “Our expertise in this area, as the UK’s number one direct-to-store van sales operation, ensures that retailers have not only unrivalled service, but also guaranteed profit when it comes to their impulse and baked ranges.” The wholesaler plans to expand the operation in the near future. a Palmer and Harvey (01273) 222100
BP deal pumps up Blakemore Blakemore Wholesale Distribution has signed a new two-year contract to supply 320 BP forecourt sites. The arrangement follows a six-year relationship between the wholesaler and the leading motorway and road forecourt brand in the UK. Under the new deal, Blakemore will distribute branded food and drink products to the BP regional distribution centre in Lutterworth, Leics, which will, in turn, service all 320 forecourt sites, including 250
M&S Simply Food outlets. Blakemore Wholesale Distribution sales director Raj Krishan (below) said: “We have developed a successful partnership with BP and I am delighted that we have been able to negotiate an even stronger working relationship between our two organisations. “Over the past six years we have been able to demonstrate a high level of professionalism in supporting BP
and have been able to create a valued, collaborative approach to business.” Krishan added that the link-up would benefit from the expertise of Blakemore’s Logistics, Trade Partners and Retail divisions. Blakemore also services national contracts for the House of Lords, Roadchef, Wickes and Primark. a Blakemore Wholesale Distribution (01902) 366066
‘Cash & carry of the future’ Musgrave Group has opened its refurbished MarketPlace cash & carry in Ballymun, Dublin. Described as ‘the C&C of the future’, the building includes meat, fish, cheese and fruit & veg counters – manned by category specialists – a coffee area under franchise to Capitol Coffee,
and a food theatre creating menu solutions.
There is also a restyled alcohol department featuring 80 new premium spirits, retail and restaurant wines and an array of craft and world beers. Additionally, the branch offers customers free wi-fi facilities and self scanning. a Musgrave Group (0035321) 480 3000
[ SPOTLIGHT ] Sam Henderson, managing director of Lomond Fine Foods and Cake
business, you need to be willing to take considered risks and learn as you go. If you were able to retire tomorrow, how would you spend your time? I would hate to retire tomorrow; in fact, I don’t think I ever will. Lomond is going from strength to strength as we approach our 20th anniversary in May, our bakery business Cake is at a really exciting stage, and I’m bursting with ideas. However if the business reached the point where I’m no longer needed, I’d focus my energy on restoring salmon and sea trout levels to Scotland’s rivers. It’s a challenge I’d love to be involved in.
‘Be willing to take considered risks’ What has been the major milestone or turning point of your career? When I was 20, I secured a fantastic job with great opportunities for progression and travel as a management accountant at Coats Viyella in Glasgow. However, 10 months later I was made redundant, just six weeks before our first baby was due. That was the moment I decided to work for myself rather than being at the mercy of corporate decisions. I then launched our first business – 26 years later, it proved to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? While at university, I took a summer job on a prawn trawler back home on the Isle of Mull. Douglas Wilson, the owner, had started a business picking whelks on the shore. It was long hours and back-breaking work but he raised enough money to buy a small boat so he could pick whelks others couldn’t reach. This led to him buying bigger and bigger boats to fish for crabs, langoustine and prawns. He then started a mussel farm, and he now supplies Lidl 12
with mussels throughout the UK. He even appears on their TV adverts. His work ethic and dedication to create a large profitable business from the most basic of starts inspired me to think big. How do you maintain a work/life balance? Owning and running a business is a 24/7 undertaking. For me, escaping for a day’s fly fishing is the best way to regain perspective, and in the summer I take out my boat for sea trips on the west coast of Scotland. My wife and I also take a five-week trip to Australia every year (he is pictured above during a holiday there). Not only does it enable us to recharge our batteries, but it also ensures we come back to the business full of energy and new ideas. What most frustrates you in business (and in life generally)? I just can’t deal with negative or pessimistic attitudes! I think that people don’t discover what they’re truly capable of as they convince themselves that things can’t be done before they even try. To get the most from life and
What advice would you give someone starting his/her first job? Think ahead by 20 or 30 years and decide where you want to be. Then, follow the opportunities that take you towards that goal and reassess your progress regularly. Without a plan or direction, it’s all too easy to drift. If you had a million pounds to invest in business, how would you spend it? I would set up a chain of on-trend coffee shops or food-to-go outlets in Scotland. I believe there is a huge opportunity for a quality Scottish chain using local CCM ingredients.
A new start Sam Henderson began his career as a trainee accountant in a hotel group before becoming a management accountant with Coats Viyella. Following redundancy, he started his first business with wife Barbara manufacturing sandwiches in 1991, aged just 20. They sold the business in 1996 and started Glasgow-based wholesaler Lomond Fine Foods, which supplies the food-to-go market in Scotland. The Hendersons opened a bakery, Cake, in 2011, producing cakes and tray bakes. Having recently moved into a new factory, Cake is looking to double its turnover in 2017.
[ ACHIEVERS ]
Encouraging best practice It has been 15 years since the Achievers awards were launched, and every year since, the Scottish Wholesale Association has acted on feedback to improve the scheme. hen nearly 500 people gather at the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh next month for the Achievers awards, it will be the 15th year that the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has recognised and rewarded the best wholesalers and suppliers in Scotland’s wholesale industry. Kate Salmon, executive director of the SWA, has been integral to Achievers since its inception, along with Graham Benson, chairman of the independent judges and a former SWA president, and Kirsti Sharratt, managing editor of Cash & Carry Management. Together, they have ensured that the awards scheme has improved year after year. Salmon explains: “Every single year we have acted on constructive criticism to ensure that the awards remain meaningful and beneficial to all involved. A key part of this is consulting with leading wholesalers and suppliers to make sure that all elements of the judging are aligned to identifying best practice in the industry, with criteria that is not only relevant, but also bang up to date.”
Kate Salmon at last year’s Achievers awards ceremony.
entrants in a similar style to the Advantage Group reports. After the first round, the supplier sponsor – along with an independent judge – visit the shortlisted candidates to determine the final result. The independent judging panel has been a unique feature of Achievers from the start. “These people are highly respected in their own field and act as a barometer for fairness by subjecting the
‘Although our awards have evolved over the years, what has remained consistent is our integrity – our uncompromising standards, our incredibly high values’ Kate Salmon, executive director, SWA She adds that two years ago, the Association decided to make radical changes to the judging process for five of the award categories: Best Cash & Carry, Best Delivered Operation – Retail, Best Delivered Operation – Foodservice, Best Licensed Operation and Best Symbol Group. A desktop questionnaire is used to ask the supplier sponsors and other blue-chip suppliers with a sound knowledge of the categories to complete a detailed survey on every entrant. These suppliers are urged to be candid and are also promised anonymity because their scores and comments are used as feedback to the
awards to close scrutiny,” says Salmon. Fairness is paramount to Achievers, she adds. “Although our awards have evolved over the years, what has remained consistent is our integrity – our uncompromising standards, our incredibly high values.” Honesty is also essential to the feedback element of the awards. Constructive criticism is given to all entrants and is designed to raise standards throughout the industry by highlighting best practice. “No single company is the best at everything it does, so we can all learn from each other, and this is where the feedback comes in.
Whether for the wholesaler awards or the supplier accolades, we provide feedback that can help a business improve,” says Salmon. Wholesalers and suppliers take Achievers very seriously – it means a lot to them because they understand how rigorous the judging is, she points out. So after 15 years of Achievers, where does the Association go from here? Salmon says: “We will continue to build on the success of the awards, taking on board comments and suggestions from entrants, supplier sponsors and independent judges along the way. “We will continue to offer our supplier sponsors a solid return on their investment in the form of much closer working relationships with wholesalers and a far better understanding of the Scottish wholesale industry gained through the judging process.” Salmon explains that the revenue raised by Achievers allows the SWA to reinvest in the industry. For example, it has helped to fund the Association’s lobbying activities and training programme, including The Gap Partnership’s ‘Complete Skilled Negotiator’ residential course, which cost the Association £40,000. The organisation is also developing an apprenticeship programme, which will be launched later this year. “I am very proud of how Achievers has evolved and I have absolute confidence in the continued integrity of the awards,” she concludes. “My thanks go to all who have given their time to ensure CCM the judging is robust and fair.”
The point of price marking
[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ]
Price-marked products may be approached with some trepidation by retailers, who have voiced concern about their margins, but used strategically there are benefits thanks to shopper appeal – particularly in the convenience sector, where value perception is key.
here value perception is often an issue in convenience, PMPs reassure the shopper and also drive sales of new products, with almost half of shoppers more likely to try a new product if it is in a price-marked pack. One in three shoppers say that knowing a convenience store sells price-marked packs positively influences their decision to visit that store, and 76% of retailers are more likely to stock a product if it is offered in a price-marked format (him!). Wrigley uses price-marking to enable retailers to offer value. “With perceived higher rates of sale, PMPs are favoured by retailers who look to offer consumers quality and value for money,” says Dan Newell, confections marketing manager at Wrigley. “The £1 rsp price point is a key sales driver for the convenience channel, as it provides consumers with the assurance that their purchase is good value.” Coca-Cola European Partners used price-marking as a means to attract shoppers to NPD last year. “Our recently launched Coca-Cola Zero is currently available in a limited-edition price-marked 49p 330ml can, a value price that is encouraging consumers to try the new addition to the portfolio, building advocacy and helping it to become a sustainable soft drink choice,” explains Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at CCEP.
‘Almost half of shoppers (43%) claim they would be more likely to try a new line if it was sold in a PMP’ Amy Burgess, CCEP’s trade communications manager “PMPs are a particularly effective way to encourage consumers to trial new products, thanks to the perceived value they offer, and research shows that almost half (43%) of shoppers claim they’d be more likely to try a new line if it was sold in a PMP.” CCEP does take into account retailer requirements and concerns about price-marked products. “Retailers are at the heart of our price-marking strategy. PMPs are provided at a price that offers a fair and competitive margin that helps to increase consumer appeal by offering a great perception of value, whilst allowing our customers to reap the full benefits of increased sales,” says Burgess. “While our PMPs are designed to provide an affordable single price point, we also provide plain packs across all of 14
Over three-quarters (76%) of retailers are more likely to stock a product if it is offered in a price-marked format (him!)
our formats and brands to help retailers choose the right option for them. Ultimately, it’s their choice as to which products they choose to focus on in store.” AG Barr has long recognised the importance of pricemarking as a means to increase sales. “We firmly believe that price marking is a winning strategy for both wholesalers and retailers, as it drives footfall and rate of sale and builds retailer and shopper loyalty,” says national impulse controller Guy Gissing. “Price-marked packs are hugely important for those shoppers seeking value from the soft drinks fixture and an essential tool through which wholesalers and retailers can grow sales,” he adds. The supplier ensures that cash & carries can showcase the benefits of PMPs to its customers. “AG Barr highlights the majority of our price-marked packs on the outer cases, and recent promotional packs featured the case price and margin to ensure clarity for the retailer,” he explains. AG Barr uses pricemarking across all pack formats – from 330ml cans and 500ml PET bottles to one-litre cartons and two-litre PET bottles – throughout the year across its brands, which include Irn-Bru, KA, Barr, Rubicon and Rockstar. “We also use price-marked packs incorporating an additional multibuy element,” says Gissing. “This benefits retailers as it encourages additional purchase while still delivering profit, and shoppers feel like they are getting even better value.”
[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ] The importance of the PMP in the soft drinks category is also recognised by Red Bull, whose Red Bull 355ml £1.49 price-marked can brings in an average of £14.60 per store per week. “Price-marked packs are a central component of the wider pricing strategy. Together with an optimised rsp, the role of the price-marked pack is to disrupt shoppers and offer them the visibility of pricing at the point of purchase – both visibility and disruption are key components to encourage purchase in high-impulse categories,” comments category development manager Rich Fisher. “Independent and symbol retailers should stock PMPs across best-sellers at all times,” he adds. “Consequently, as a knock-on effect, it is important for wholesalers and cash & carries to stock PMPs to help their customers boost profits.” A Red Bull study showed that 98% of shoppers would buy a price-marked drink; however, only 80% of retailers stock price-marked packs so there is an opportunity to be exploited. In the spirits category, PMPs sell, on average, three times the volume of standard bottles in convenience (Nielsen). Diageo offers price-marking in various formats to increase the perception of value in a variety of shopper missions, as 20% of spirits shoppers make impulse purchases in convenience stores (him!). “Having a range of price-marked packs available in store instils a sense of confidence and trust between the retailer and shopper, and creates a perception of value,” maintains James Cragg, head of category development at Diageo GB. Benefits to retailers include faster sales than standard packs, saving time on pricing products and acting as a signpost of competitive pricing. Snacking is another category embracing price marking, as consumers in impulse continue to look for a value proposition. Kepak Convenience Foods has its Super 6 microsnack range in £1.99 PMPs to strengthen the offer. “The price sensitivity shown by shoppers is not set to change, and the cash & carry trade will continue to benefit by offering pricemarked packs,” says Angela Daulby, channel director at Kepak. “Those products like Rustlers that are backed by sustained, heavyweight marketing support will have even stronger appeal.”
The inclusion of PMPs to drive the perception of value in convenience is also a strategy for Burton’s Biscuit Company, one of the first FMCG companies to introduce price-marked packs. “Our PMPs are available at accessible price points that will help to attract new customers and encourage purchase from brand loyalists and impulse shoppers,” says head of category and shopper management David Costello. Bel UK is looking to PMPs to drive further growth in the cheese-snacking category in impulse, where £1.99 pricemarked nets have helped the 8% year-on-year volume growth of Mini Babybel. “Many retailers are increasingly favouring the format as they look to offer customers great quality products and familiar brands at the best possible value,” says Chloé Fémenier, head of insight and planning. Kettle Foods has catered to the shift towards smaller pack sizes and price-marked packs in the sharing snacks category, where 84% of sharing packs are 132g or less, and 82% are PMPs (Nielsen). The company’s Kettle Chips brand is showing sales up by 12% year on year, aided by the availability of price-marked formats. “By uniting a premium brand with price marking, we are offering a winning combination of quality and good value, which can positively influence the perception of convenience stores, building consumer trust and achieving improved rates of sale,” says head of impulse Andy Verney.
The performance of single-serve packs has also seen growth, and Kettle Chips 40g bags are up by 18.4% year on year in the price-marked format. “Cash & carries will benefit from stocking the Kettle Chips price-marked packs as they are attractive to retailers and will drive sales in both the single-serve and sharing categories,” says Verney. To drive sales in price-marked packs in wholesale, Kettle Foods provides free point-of-sale materials, including branded bus stops and pallet wraps. The petcare category is a growing one – as a nation of pet-lovers, shoppers are showing more willingness to make secondary purchases. Mars Petcare UK encourages retailers to use price-marked packs as a promotional mechanic alongside standard packs to attract customers. “There is no doubt that care and treats are becoming the must-stock items for retailers, unlocking greater basket spend and encourage those all-important impulse purchases,” says Stephanie Case, category & customer marketing director at Mars Petcare UK. “Knowing that 51% of households own a pet, it’s imperative to catch their attention in-store with the help of price-marked packs.”
[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ] Recent PMP activity Taylors of Harrogate has broadened shopper appeal through an iconic figure in children’s literature. Yorkshire Tea features bespoke artwork by Axel Scheffler, the children’s artist behind The Gruffalo series illustrations, on its £2.79 pricemarked packs, and the packs also feature a bespoke rhyming couplet by The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson. The limited-edition design is part of an ongoing initiative launched by Yorkshire Tea in 2015 to plant one million trees in the UK and Kenya over five years. The design is one of a series created to mark the partnership between the brand and the Woodland Trust. The packs have also been renamed as Yorkshire Tree. The campaign intends to draw shopper attention to the environmental activity and importance. “Our first Yorkshire Tree pack design was hugely successful,” says Helen Boulter, channel controller. “We hope that ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ PMPs will create the same level of standout on shelf and draw both children and parents to Yorkshire Tea, encouraging not only existing tea drinkers to pick up a pack, but also consumers who may never have bought our brand before to add a proper brew to their basket.” The 80 bags Yorkshire Tree packs are available to the convenience channel from January, for eight to 10 weeks, with 120,000 packs being produced. NPD is offered in price-marked formats at Mondelez, which has included price-marked packs in its Oreo Thins rollout. The new product from the £44.8 million Oreo brand is available in Original Vanilla and Chocolate Creme variants in 48g packs with an rsp of 55p, available in PMP and standard formats in cases of 24. The launch is supported by £3 million marketing investment, including TV, outdoor, PR, digital and sampling activity, which forms part of a £8 million high-impact campaign for the brand. “With this launch, we aim to recruit under 45s, those consumers that are currently buying Oreo for their family, but now offering a product that they can purchase for themselves and, in turn, continue to drive growth within the category,” says Helen Potter, Oreo senior brand manager. A new product line from Boost is in £1.29 price-marked format for the independent convenience channel. The national roll-out this month of Protein Boost will enable retailers to make the most of the increasing demand for health and wellbeing products. “Innovation has always been 18
a priority for us and now seems exactly the right time for us to diversify, build on the brand equity that exists in the Boost name and further demonstrate our commitment to the independent channel,” says Kirsty Birks, strategy director. The new SKU is available in 310ml plastic bottles (in cases of eight) in chocolate and strawberry variants. “This is a very exciting piece of new product development for us,” says Birks. “Our new offer provides a simple, convenient and tasty way to take in protein in a format that is not available in the multiples, while offering a great price point and strong profit margins.” The supporting marketing campaign includes sampling, PoS material and a dedicated website. “In 2017, we are keen to build on the momentum and success achieved to date and to take the brand to the next level,” says Simon Gray, founder and managing director of Boost. “Our Champion of the Independents commitment will remain at the core of the business while we will also invest significantly in extending our distribution geographically – nationally and internationally – alongside a greatly upweighted consumer marketing programme.” Proctor & Gamble has continued its support in convenience with three price-marked packs in the liquid detergent sub-category. Sales in this area grew by 15% in the year to July 2016 (IRI), prompting the release of Ariel Liquid 9 Wash, Fairy Laundry Liquid 9 Wash and Bold 2in1 Laundry Liquid 10 Wash, which are all price-marked at £1.99. “We want to continue helping retailers to drive sales and grow this category in store,” says Daniel Jalapour, laundry brand manager at P&G. “We’ve seen time and time again that pricemarked packs are a powerful tool to help with this. By stocking these smaller-sized PMPs, retailers can encourage shoppers to top up on their laundry care products while at their CCM local store.”
For further information: AG Barr (01204) 664200 Bel UK (0333) 900 2020 Boost (0113) 240 3666 Burton’s Biscuit Company (01727) 899700 Coca-Cola Enterprises (0845) 722 7222 Diageo 020-8978 6000 Kepak Convenience Foods (01772) 688300 Kettle Foods (0800) 616996 Mars Petcare (0800) 738800 Mondelez (08702) 400861 Proctor & Gamble (01932) 896000 Red Bull (0203) 117 2000 Taylors of Harrogate (0800) 515988 The Wrigley Co Ltd (01189) 317030
Add sparkle to soft drink sales
[ CARBONATES ]
Carbonates continues to be a huge category for the independent channel, making up two-thirds of a soft drink sector worth more than £391 million (Nielsen). With sugar on the minds of suppliers and consumers, the category is seeing a shake-up.
he shift towards lower-calorie carbonate options is particularly notable after the festive period, and retailers and their wholesaler suppliers should be ready for post-party shoppers. Coca-Cola European Partners still holds the biggestselling soft drinks brand for independent retailers, with its £68.8 million Coca-Cola portfolio. The launch of Coco-Cola Zero Sugar as part of the supplier’s ongoing strategy to change the mix between sugar and no-sugar drinks continues to benefit from a £10 million marketing campaign, and low or no-calorie formats are now making up more than a third of the brand’s total sales. “January is a time when people are often looking to curb their intake of calories following the excesses of the party season,” says trade communications manager Amy Burgess. With January being a ‘dry’ month for an increasing number of shoppers, premium soft drinks are an important option. “With one in five adults now choosing not to consume alcohol (ONS), it’s clear that adult soft drinks provide a major opportunity for independent retailers to increase their sales,” says Burgess. “Retailers can capitalise on these occasions by prominently displaying premium drinks such as Appletiser and Schweppes Sparkling Juice Drinks as part of a ‘Big Night In’ display at weekends. These displays can also include items that are often enjoyed by people socialising at home, such as share-size packs of snacks and nuts, as well as DVDs. Multibuy offers can also encourage consumers to trade up.” CCEP has just introduced a lightly sparkling variant of glacéau smartwater in a 600ml PET bottle (rsp 60p) and a 6 x 600ml multipack (rsp £2.39). The launch is supported by PoS materials and outdoor advertising – part of a £10 million communications plan for glacéau smartwater that began last spring. Britvic increased its premium soft drinks offering with the R Whites relaunch at the end of last year, and the brand will benefit from a media campaign in March that centres on the new design and flavours. “The lemonade category has evolved
considerably since R Whites lemonade was first made in 1845, and flavours are now driving the growth. With years of experience, a brand new range of flavoured variants and an attractive new look, R Whites lemonade is uniquely placed to deliver value growth into the category and further sales for retailers,” says Kevin McNair, GB marketing director. New products should benefit from prominent display, and ranging is important to maximise opportunities. “Shoppers want to discover new things, so make sure new carbonated soft drinks are highlighted in the chiller and with additional point of sale around the store,” says Nigel Paine, GB commercial director of out of home at Britvic. AG Barr has identified four key trends in soft drinks to think about: continued shopper focus on value; growth in convenience; growth in shopper diversity; and shopper desire for a choice of regular, low and no-sugar alternatives. Wholesalers should take their customer base into account when considering their fixtures. “The ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for soft drinks,” says Guy Gissing, national impulse controller at AG Barr. “We work with wholesalers and retailers to ensure they prioritise fixtures using local ‘sales out’ data rather than the national picture. When this advice is followed, wholesalers and retailers can expect to see a significant increase in sales.” The supplier’s Rubicon Spring range has tapped into the consumer desire for healthier soft drinks. The drinks have no added sugar, contain vitamins and green tea extract and are made with natural colour and flavours. “We undertook our biggest-ever research to understand the drivers behind changing attitudes towards health,” says Gissing. “The research highlighted an 18% growth in the number of carbonates shoppers who also buy water and a 19% rise in the number who only buy water (Kantar).” Consumer demand for better-foryou options has also been met by Lucozade Ribena Suntory, which has committed to making all of its portfolio of drinks 4.5g of sugar per 100ml or less, rolling out from May 2017. Sugar will be reduced across the portfolio by 50% in total, with zero or lower calorie alternatives available for every brand. Last year saw the launch of Lucozade Zero, which has generated sales of more than £17 million www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk
[ CARBONATES ] since May, and the relaunch of the Lucozade Energy can to capitalise on the sales of instant consumption drinks, which account for a 26% value share of sales through independents and symbols (IRI). The growth of the adult soft drinks market also helped Orangina to 80% year-on-year value growth and a brand value of £4.6 million in convenience. The company has further plans for the wholesale channel to activate this year: “Throughout 2017, Lucozade Ribena Suntory will support our wholesale partners with a focus on visibility
Wholesaler viewpoint Fiona Spinks, office manager, EFG Foodservice
What are your star performers? I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that Coca-Cola products are the biggest sellers, although new ranges are regularly being brought out by other suppliers that are of interest to customers. Which supplier gives you the best support? Radnor Hills is a new supplier we have started to work with. They have offered a significant level of support with a good variety of lines, and have been very quick to respond to any requests for support and information. How are consumer trends reflected in carbonates? A significant trend towards healthier products has developed in response to the obesity crisis. New ranges that are school compliant are being released and many suppliers are trying to reduce sugar content in their products. There seems to be a swing away from energy drinks towards fruit-based products and drinks that are perceived to be more traditional. What activity/developments would you like to see over the coming year? We would be glad to see a sugar tax. Although it may seem counterproductive for our business to make products more expensive, child obesity is such a significant problem that we would be happy to see customers making buying decisions that do not contribute to this problem. How do you merchandise for the category? Our focus is on maintaining the right stock levels and the range of products that our customers want. As a family owned and run business we pride ourselves on being able to respond quickly to customer requests. Several customers have asked for products that are not as widely known so they can provide unique drinks menus, and we work with them to ensure they have access to the right products for them. We also advertise in a few ways to ensure customers are aware of our ranges.
in depot, compelling, exclusive offers and new initiatives to be launched later in the year to drive more sales from the biggest energy brand in the soft drinks category,” says commercial marketing director Mark Sterrat. Clearly Drinks has also reaped the rewards of the health trend. “We’ve seen demand for our zero-sugar Perfectly Clear products grow again in 2016, with tens of millions more bottles sold than in 2015. This trend will continue into 2017 as consumers start to think about shedding those festive pounds,” says commercial director Maurice Newton. The Perfectly Clear range has earned certification from pioneering lower sugar movement Sugarwise. In 2017, Perfectly Clear bottles will bear the Sugarwise kitemark after analysis by Cambridge University scientists. “Since its launch in March 2016, the Sugarwise portfolio of certified products has grown dramatically as the demand for lower sugar products has increased. Almost 300 products across the sector carry the Sugarwise marque,” explains Newton. For depots to make the most of the category, he says they need to consider what drives their customers: “It’s worth using bay branding to help direct customers to the relevant aisle, and if you’re running any promotions, make sure you utilise PoS opportunities so they don’t go unnoticed. Special offers can be a highly attractive way to highlight particular ranges and to entice customers to purchase certain products,” he says. “Introducing new products with an offer will encourage retailers to explore new options available to them and could encourage repeat purchases.” Retailer interest in new products, along with consumer desire to broaden their tastes, is being met by Grace Foods, which accounts for over a third of all Caribbean food and drink sold in the UK. “This is an interesting time for the soft drinks category,” says Nyree Chambers, head of marketing. “A growing number of consumers are expanding their taste horizons and seeking new and exotic flavours. This trend is reflected in Bigga Sodas, growing by 75% year on year.” The range also includes Grace Ginger Beer and Grace Mighty Malt. “Our advice to wholesalers is simple,” says Chambers. “Demand for authentic Caribbean soft drinks is growing, not just with world food shoppers but with mainstream shoppers, too. Stock up on the marketleading brands that shoppers know and trust to make sure you are part of the growing CCM opportunity.”
For further information: AG Barr (01204) 664200 Britvic Soft Drinks (0845) 758 1781 Clearly Drinks 0191-516 3300 Coca-Cola European Partners (01733) 828000 Grace Foods (01707) 322332 Lucozade Ribena Suntory 020-3727 2420
[ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ]
Tools to build business From ecommerce solutions to apps and data management systems, there is a wealth of innovation in technology that can help wholesalers and suppliers fulfil their potential.
an food and drink wholesalers afford to ignore ecommerce? According to software house Business Computer Projects (BCP), a leading solutions supplier to the sector for over 35 years, the answer is a resounding ‘No!’. Managing director Tim Williams says: “The food wholesale sector can no longer afford to ignore the challenges of creating an effective ecommerce strategy. Simple web ordering systems are no longer a viable option in a world of increasingly IT-savvy and demanding customers with expectations of a B2C experience in their B2B dealings.” In the general distribution sector, ecommerce is now on a strong growth trajectory, but adoption in the food & drink sector has been trailing behind, with many companies still operating with basic, inadequate web ordering systems which lack the sophistication, ease of use and features of the B2C sites that people are now accustomed to in their everyday lives. Williams comments: “The consumerisation of the business-to-business process means it’s vital that wholesalers scale up to true ecommerce solutions. Those who do will gain a significant competitive advantage over those who don’t or are slow off the mark.” Improved customer experience and satisfaction is the obvious outcome, but the potential business benefits for wholesalers are also enormous. Reduced operational costs, increased loyalty and sales growth – from both new and existing customers – are key benefits of the right solutions. And there’s the rub, says BCP. Just as a basic B2B web ordering system is inadequate, so, too, is an ‘off the shelf’ B2C solution. According to the company, the wholesale sector requires a subtle combination of the two: a seamless blending of B2C operability with the extra functionality that is vital in a B2B environment, like complex pricing and promotions. Pricing transparency and client-specific pricing are two of the most critical – and most complex – factors that must be retained in B2B ecommerce solutions.
Account management features, like online visibility of invoices, orders and credit limits, and fast-shop options for customers who always buy the same products are also important for a B2B ecommerce solution. Flexibility and security are also more critical. If customers place an order on the web, via mobile or even with a rep, they want to be able to call and change that order immediately. Recognising the significance of the changing nature of the market, BCP has launched a new-generation ecommerce solution called Oporteo. This has been specially designed to give wholesalers an ecommerce platform that encompasses powerful B2B functionality packaged with the look, feel and functionality of today’s most accessible B2C sites. Williams says: “We undertook extensive research and liaised closely with our clients when developing Oporteo and are confident that it provides the enterprise grade scalability, performance and agility that are critical if wholesalers are to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience, drive online sales and compete successfully in today’s omnichannel marketplace.”
Latest digital development Swords, the specialist wholesale solution from Sanderson, continues to prove itself as the system of choice for more than 120 wholesale and cash & carry businesses. The latest digital development to Swords is the new wholesale app, which targets the ‘always on the go’ newgeneration customer. It has been designed to give cash & carries and delivered wholesalers a competitive edge with 24/7 ordering, whilst providing ‘ultra-convenience’ for customers and boosting their loyalty. The Sanderson wholesale app is fully integrated to Swords and links seamlessly to the web ordering system. Using the app, customers are able to search the wholesaler’s full product range, order through their mobile or tablet, view their account history, and more.
Sanderson’s Electronic Proof of Delivery system improves delivery accuracy and removes paper-based processes.
[ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ] Intelligent technology helps Bestway Wholesale drive sales RNF Digital Innovation worked with Bestway Wholesale to develop a mobile ordering app for its customers back in 2014. That native app built for Apple and Android devices worked well in terms of helping customers manage orders at a time and place that was convenient to them, but Bestway felt it needed a way to communicate more effectively through the app to drive sales. RNF’s solution was to develop a bespoke campaign management tool, known as Beam, that works with Geofences and iBeacons to increase the effectiveness of the comms through the app. iBeacons and Geofences were deployed across Bestway’s 63 depots – the largest deployment of its kind in the UK – triggering relevant and personalised messages and promotions for app users as they travel around the store, while providing valuable data for the business. This data is then managed by the Beam platform, allowing Bestway to engage intelligently with the technology and their customers to deliver personalised mobile content at a time and location that’s appropriate to them. For example, by reviewing the recency and frequency of customer visits, the app can trigger messages to encourage them back into the depot, based on their own past behaviour.
There are further advancements to Sanderson’s other digital solutions, such as its responsive web ordering solution, mobile CRM and Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD). These innovations build on the core Swords functionality and are designed to enable customers to elevate their services, increase sales and operational efficiencies, and reduce costs. The web ordering solution offers the convenience of 24/7 ordering for busy customers, whilst the ePOD system improves delivery accuracy and removes time-consuming, paper-based processes. The multi-dimensional delivery system captures customer acceptance signatures and order amendments at the customer site. The ePOD system also automates the delivery process, which optimises journey plans, supports vehicle management with checklists and provides access to CRM functions to record customer feedback. Northern Ireland grocery and snacks wholesaler O’Reillys has implemented a number of specialist wholesale solutions from Sanderson. Managing director Derek O’Reilly comments: “As part of our ongoing strategy we continue to drive multi-channel innovation to meet the needs of our customers by providing them with the best possible service. The latest web ordering system will generate extra revenue and give us a vital channel to communicate promotions and delivery times with our customers, improving our service levels.” O’Reillys has also invested in its sales operation with the addition of more mobile CRM devices. The mobile CRM app allows the sales team to process orders and view essential stock information whilst with customers. County Antrim-based Anzac Wines & Spirits also uses the 24
Once customers are in the depot, information from the iBeacon technology is used to promote relevant offers. These can be based on anything from past buying behaviour and where they are in the store to weather conditions or key sporting events. The offers and messages customers receive are highly targeted and driven by data obtained from their app. Beam allows Bestway to tailor how many messages people receive so they don’t become spam. For example, if a customer has already received a promotional message and visited a depot, they won’t receive the same message again. Since the programme’s creation, the app has been downloaded over 20,000 times, with more than eight million interactions since September 2015. Net sales from the app are now nearly £4 million per month, an increase of 100% versus the previous year, with the app driving 25% of overall digital revenue (up from 16% the previous year) and more sales than any of Bestway’s UK depots. Bestway has now engaged RNF to develop a number of new apps, as well as investing in the second-generation release of Beam, which enables the wholesaler to pull in live sales data and track effectiveness of individual campaigns too.
Swords solution. Strengths of the single IT system include its core ability to integrate all operations, which improves visibility of information across the business and offers complete flexibility, so the company can add functionality as it develops. The company is also benefiting from mobile CRM. Managing director Garry Connolly explains: “The team is really excited about working with the mobile CRM system as it saves valuable time and helps staff improve customer relationships. Having real-time information at your fingertips is a welcome bonus for our field sales team, helping them to answer stock queries, provide quotes and capture valuable customer feedback.” Another long-standing Sanderson customer, Regal Wholesale, continues to gain substantial benefits from the Swords solution. Following implementation of the latest web ordering system, managing director Chris Hughes said: “The website ordering system looks great and works very well, and most importantly our customers agree! Customers have said the website is easy to use and displays products in a clearer way. Having a user-friendly website is essential for helping us to retain customers and grow sales.”
Getting a WholeView of wholesale There is a vast array of wholesale ‘sales out‘ data available these days, delivered via a multitude of platforms. Viewing each account separately via its own reporting module is fine for tactical analysis. But what if a supplier wants to look at the whole channel in one report to see the bigger picture? To date, this has been both difficult and costly and
[ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ] has only been achieved by some of the very biggest companies. The challenge has been more than just the variety of reporting tools deployed across the channel. Each wholesaler has different category structures, product descriptions and supplier names, which has meant that it takes quite a lot of technical skill and resource to knit different data sets together to create a single report. That was the case until the launch of Alchemy WholeView by supply chain and data management specialist The Whole Sale Company. The new system has been designed to provide simple, highly visual reports on individual wholesalers and, crucially, to display channel views by merging ’sales out’ data together for two or more wholesalers. Managing director Mike McGee says: “We are committed to enabling suppliers to get a real return on investment from the wholesale data that they purchase. We believe that this can be achieved in two ways: firstly, from a quick McGee: ‘An entire sales team and easy reporting tool that can be trained in less than two enables users to grab key hours on Alchemy WholeView.’ facts fast, and secondly, by
creating standard data views and enabling suppliers to get a WholeView of the channel from one login.” He adds: “Supplier sales teams are not IT experts and currently need to be trained on each separate sales data system they are using, and then take time out from their day jobs to mine the data in each individual system. Our intention with WholeView was to remove this burden. An entire sales team can be trained in less than two hours on Alchemy WholeView and they can then see individual account data and, importantly, context that against a channel view because WholeView reports both via a set of reports that all look the same.” McGee concludes: “Feedback from suppliers has been exceptionally positive. Although we have only just launched Alchemy WholeView, we have a successfully implemented it at Boost Drinks and are currently following up on several leads as a result of the interest generated. We are looking CCM forward to a busy 2017.”
For further information: Business Computer Projects 0161-355 3000 RNF Digital Innovation (01926) 676145 Sanderson (0333) 123 1400 The Whole Sale Company (01908) 920602
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[ SUPPLIER STRATEGY ]
Benefits of partnering with JDE Andy Dixon, sales director at Jacobs Douwe Egberts Professional, explains why the foodservice coffee expert is scaling up its investment in the wholesale trade. What proportion of your business goes through the cash & carry/delivered wholesale trade? The cash & carry and wholesale trade sectors form a significant proportion of our business and have been a key focus for us in 2016, and will continue to be in 2017. We want to grow alongside our partners to provide an end-to-end solution into the market. Cash & carries and delivered wholesalers are important for us in doing this, so we are currently scaling up our investment and dedicated sales resource in this area. Our customers are at the heart of our strategy for 2017. We know that in recent years, there has been a significant move towards online sales within the sector and we’ll continue to work closely with our partners to understand and meet their customers’ needs in an ever-changing market. We’ll look to drive mutual growth, led by insight and delivered through championing operational excellence, adding value through merchandising and promotions. How are you looking to develop your business through the wholesale trade? First, we will continue to provide our customers with a portfolio of brands and products to satisfy the broad range of customers who shop in their depots or on their online platforms. Our brands are well loved by consumers and customers alike, from caterers to the office staff drinking our brands at work. In 2017 we’ll make a significant investment to continue building the profile of these brands – from a £6 million advertising campaign for Kenco to the upcoming global relaunch of our trusted instant brand, Maxwell House. In addition to investing in our own brands, we know that working with our customers is key to our growth. Consumers have never been more demanding of the quality of coffee they receive, resulting in a significant trend towards premiumisation. We will continue to support customers in facilitating
Andy Dixon: ‘We are 100% focused on foodservice and 100% focused on coffee.’
trade up and we also want to help them sell more – we can do this by providing simple category management advice and driving awareness through effective merchandising, both instore and online. What is your biggest source of frustration when you scour the foodservice hot beverages section of a cash & carry? We feel that there is an opportunity to improve the discipline and structure of the hot beverages section on fixtures instore and online. We need to make it easier for customers to navigate the fixture and increase penetration as customers add coffee to their basket using merchandising techniques. A focus on the right range, with an impactful display, intuitive shelf layout and clear aisle signposting, is important in achieving this. Similarly, what more can delivered wholesalers do to increase their sales of hot beverages to foodservice operators? The first step is choosing the right partner. Foodservice wholesalers should not need to be a coffee expert. By partnering with JDE, customers can reap the benefits of working with the world’s leading pure-play coffee company. JDE Professional is 100% focused on food-
service and 100% focused on coffee – this gives us a point of difference. Our experience has indicated that customers within the cash & carry/delivered wholesale trade sectors are looking to drive revenue and margin by selling more for a higher value, or by meeting quality expectations at the lowest possible price. We can support a breadth of categories and also price tiers, and we offer a range of brands to meet customers’ needs. In addition, our category expertise and training capabilities make us a valuable and trusted partner. We are also aware of the economic issues impacting the industry. For example, a lot of caterers have been hit by the National Living wage and inflation so it is important to identify where we can add value and help them drive sales. Are there any cash & carries/delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive? There are pockets of excellence across the sector. Whether it’s a national or regional player, if the cash & carry or wholesaler in question is able to move quickly and work collaboratively with their chosen partners, they can give great service. The best offer is a multi-layered, CCM multi-faceted route to market.
[ SEASONAL ]
Springtime is a gift In 2016, spring gifting occasions accounted for a £443 million spend (Nielsen), and the spring season is three weeks longer in 2017, so wholesalers should be prepared. t may seem as if everyone is still feeling the after-effects of Christmas, but there are already a number of gifting and self-eat opportunities for confectionery coming up. From Valentine’s Day to Easter, shelves need reassessing to make the most of springtime confectionery demands. Mondelez accounted for 41% of sales in the spring gifting market – including Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter – in 2016, and is the number one manufacturer in the category. Last year, its Cadbury Milk Tray was the No.1 branded everyday gift for Valentine’s Day, worth £38 million and experiencing 8.5% growth. Marketing activity has included a £3 million campaign, which includes TV, PR, digital, in-store and social media, and the launch of the new ‘Milk Tray Man’. Alongside this activity, Cadbury Roses underwent a redesign as part of a £2 million brand investment, which also incorporated a digital, out-of-home and social media campaign. The brand has targeted Mother’s Day as the perfect opportunity to increase sales. Worth £1 million in value during the season in 2016, Roses has seen growth of 15.5%,
Merchandising advice from Wrigley New product launches: In order to raise sales and capitalise on early consumer demand, it’s vital that wholesalers champion new products in depot. a Plan ahead: Stock spring seasonal confectionery from January through to Easter. Focus on key SKUs that sell well and low-cost novelty items that can help create stand-out from competitors. a Visibility is key: Popular Easter confectionery items should be located at eye level to take advantage of incremental sales. In order to ensure retailers are aware of the choice and range on offer, it’s important to keep a clear and tidy confectionery display – this also makes restocking easier and quicker. a Promotions: ‘Big Night In’ promotions are growing in popularity and are ideal for couples on Valentine’s Day. a Clear signposting: Make the most of your confectionery display by using eye-catching and up-to-date PoS materials to encourage customers to buy on impulse. Nine out of 10 retailers say that an easy-to-follow layout is important; a well-merchandised category with eyecatching displays will improve the retailer’s experience in depot. a Availability is crucial: Remember to re-stock each morning and prior to peak traffic times. A fully stocked display helps to maximise profit potential and guarantee repeat visits from customers. If the main product they are looking for is out of stock, 56% of retailers will either go without it or buy it at another depot (him!). a
while Cadbury Heroes is worth £1 million at Mother’s Day and showed a 20% sales increase in 2016. Mars Chocolate is also expanding its range for gifting with its Celebrations gift pack (rsp £4.99), designed to meet a new gifting shopper mission and supported by pre-filled display solutions to create impact in store. This joins the Celebrations small carton, which offers a gift-to-share solution at a lower price point with an rsp of £3.31, and the existing big brands Maltesers large box and M&M large box (rsp £4.49). “We know three out of four consumers will gift some form of chocolate during the season, so retailers should ensure they maximise the sales opportunity during the Easter period,” says Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager at Mars Chocolate UK. Also aiming for the Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day shoppers is the Raffaello brand from Ferrero. The brand has two new SKUs for these occasions – 140g and 40g Raffaello Hearts – which will be supported with an £850,000 media investment this spring. Meanwhile, the Grand Ferrero Rocher brand, which showed growth of 32% in value and 46% in volume during spring 2016 (Nielsen), will be featuring in the company’s ‘Magic Tree’ TV creative before Easter. “Chocolate remains hugely popular during the spring season, with many shoppers buying for all ages to gift and share,” says customer development director Levi Boorer. Ferrero’s Thorntons brand will also be making its presence felt this year with a TV campaign – the first from the brand in six years. “With the Thorntons brand now firmly under our roof, we will be able to offer retailers something for all of their shoppers’ needs this spring,” says Boorer. A marketing investment of £5 million across Ferrero’s portfolio, plus merchandising solutions and product launches, means there will plenty of activity from the supplier for spring.
[ SEASONAL ] Easter activity Easter confectionery is seeing long-term growth, up from £319 million in 2011 to £346 million in 2016 (IRI), with branded products accounting for 90% of purchases (Kantar). Mondelez, with eight out of the top 10 Easter eggs, advises merchandising stock and making the most of promotions from the beginning of January. The focus should be on bestsellers, it maintains, and displays are a chance to engage with customers and highlight new products, so it’s important to create in-store theatre using PoS materials such as pallet displays. The manufacturer’s research has identified three core values associated with Easter: treat, symbols and rituals. The occasion is up 5% year on year, and two in five shoppers bought additional items, so it’s an opportunity to push sales of gifts such as champagne and flowers. As Easter continues to scale up and focuses on family time, events such as egg hunts are growing in popularity. Cadbury Easter egg trails with the National Trust have attracted over one million participants since 2000, and 83% of mums on Mumsnet participated in egg hunts last year. The Cadbury Dairy Milk bunny is the hero of the Cadbury Egg Hunt campaign this Easter, and a new Popping Candy Bunny is joining the range. Within Easter confectionery, appeal lies in three areas; ‘for me’, ‘for us’ and ‘for them’. January is a particularly important time for self-eat and Cadbury’s Creme Egg is the No.1 countline between January and April. The ‘Gooless Egg’ campaign for the independent channel offers £1,000 prizes for consumers and retailers who find one of the promotional eggs placed in stores. There is also a ‘Take a Shelfie’ competition, worth £250 in vouchers to retailers. Promotional PoS material is available to wholesalers. In total, Cadbury’s Creme Egg will see a £4 million campaign with integrated communications including TV, social media, PR, experiential and in store, along with recipes. The iconic brand is back after a four-year absence from TV with the creative ‘It’s Creme Egg Hunting Season’. In the ‘for us’ occasions, Mondelez has catered to egg hunts with treatsize bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs, as well as the new Minis Mix. Meanwhile, the partnership of powerbrands Cadbury’s and Oreo will be making its mark on Easter confectionery this year, and new products ‘for them’ include large-shell Double Decker and Roses eggs. Ferrero also has big Easter plans, with its Kinder and Thorntons brands making it the second biggest manufacturer in children’s Easter confectionery (Nielsen). The launch of Kinder Joy exceeded sales of £5.3 million last Easter and the product will return this year, supported by shopper marketing and in-store displays. This Easter also sees the launch of My Little Pony 100g egg and Transformers 100g egg. 30
View from HQ Jonathan Summerley purchasing director Hancocks Hancocks has identified a number of key trends for the 2017 spring season and predicts that they will feature in many spring confectionery ranges. “Firstly we expect to see higher levels of investment in new product development (NPD). Consumers are constantly looking for unique products and NPD is a sure way to increase sales and gain market share in the mature confectionery industry. “Secondly, Hancocks is witnessing a shift in flavours – as consumers are expecting more from products, the industry is looking into new flavours and there is a move to creating a more indulgent breed of chocolate by pairing it with well-known dessert flavours. “Another trend expected to be huge this year is the demand for ever larger novelty chocolate products, such as 1kg eggs. We saw this trend starting to emerge at Christmas and this is expected to continue. “There are many ways wholesalers can better support their retail customers, and each wholesaler must tailor its offering to its particular audience. One element which should be priority is excellent customer service, whether this means holding some items for them, helping them load their cars or just passing on years of experience. “Another way wholesalers can help their customers in by providing PoS for tertiary or ownlabel brands. Posters or bunting can be a real benefit for retailers to use all year round but especially when stocking a product for the first time or when building their seasonal displays.” Hancocks achieved an uplift in spring confectionery sales from 2015 to 2016 and it expects this trend to continue this year. Its top three best-selling confectionery lines in 2016 were a Drum of Milk Chocolate Bunnies, Milk Chocolate Egg Nets and Bunny Teeth Lollies – showing that self-eat lines perform well in the spring season. Hancocks is seeing increasing popularity of ownbrand products and tertiary brands in independents. “We mainly attribute this to lower budgets and the closing of the quality gap between the big brands and lesser-known brands. More and more customers are turning away from the homogeneous products offered by the multiples and are looking for products that are uniquely branded; help independents capitalise on this trend by stocking tertiary brands that stand out on shelf and offer higher margins for the retailer.”
All data unless otherwise stated: Nielsen
[ SEASONAL ] In the adult confectionery market, Ferrero is bringing back the Thorntons Dessert Eggs range following sales doubling last Easter. Alongside these and new to the shelves this year are Thorntons Collection Eggs, available in Nuts & Praline, Fruit, Toffee, Fudge & Caramel and Mint variants, with an rsp of £6. “When it comes to choosing what to buy, shoppers have begun to look at how special and unique the products are and to show the thought that has gone into each purchase,” says customer development director Levi Boorer. In a category first for Easter, Nestlé Confectionery has unveiled its Smarties 3D and Milkybar 3D activity packs (rsp £4). Both packs include four pencils along with the confectionery, and consumers can scan their coloured pictures of an Easter bunny (Smarties) or the Milkybar Kid (Milkybar), to see the images come to life. Featuring the same brands, Milkybar Chick in Egg will appear alongside last year’s Smarties Chick in Egg, which was the No.2 novelty launch in the market (IRI/Kantar), with an rsp of £2.55. The Smarties Little Choc Chick and the Milkybar Bunny (rsp 65p) also return to the shelves as the No.3 and No.4 impulse novelties (IRI/Kantar); this year they sport four different foil designs to capture shoppers’ attention. Catering to the rising popularity of Easter egg hunts, the Milkybar Egg Hunt pack is available this year and joins the Smarties Egg Hunt pack, both with an rsp of £3.99. In gifting, the Lion Collection giant egg (rsp £7.49) extends the Nestlé Collection, which has been redesigned this year for a more premium feel. Also new this year is the Quality Street Honeycomb Crunch egg, which joins the range of £3 rsp inclusion eggs. Adult eggs have shown growth of 19% since 2011 (IRI) and nearly 70% of sales occur in the last three weeks before Easter. Unilever brought a twist to Easter confectionery with its Pot Noodle chocolate egg and its Marmite chocolate egg. “The additions were designed to bring fun and drive interest in Easter fixtures, with the Marmite Easter egg coming in a shell egg format and Pot Noodle in a mug and egg format,” says Chloe Irwin, senior licensing manager at Unilever UK.
“These offerings appealed to loyal brand fans whilst attracting new customers to the category, and proved to be a huge success.” For the more traditional consumer, last year’s launch of the Magnum Easter Egg in partnership with Kinnerton Confectionery proved popular in the luxury segment. Within adult eggs, Mars Chocolate reminds wholesalers and retailers that promotions trigger purchasing and can encourage extra spend, and higher-end options offer a greater return for those with limited space for a seasonal range. Its range of large and luxury eggs has an rsp of £5.29, and includes the Galaxy, Malteaser and M&M’s brands. Although the performance of eggs remains strong at Easter, shoppers are also increasingly picking up novelty chocolate shapes. The MaltEaster Bunny – the No.2 self-eat product – has tapped into this trend, offering a wide variety of formats from 62p self-eat to the £1.29 MaltEaster Mini Bunnies and the £3.99 family mix. Meanwhile, the success of last year’s Galaxy Golden Eggs – which became the No.2 small sharing bag during the season – has led to its return this year with an rsp of £1.29. “Chocolate is an integral part of the Easter tradition,” says trade communications manager Bep Dhaliwal. “From gifting through to contemporary occasions like Easter egg hunts, our selection of self-treat, eggs and boxed chocolate, combined with stand-out PoS, provide the perfect combination for retailers looking to boost their sales throughout CCM the Easter season.”
For further information: Ferrero 0208-869 4000 Mars Chocolate UK (01753) 550055 Mondelez International (08702) 400861 Nestlé Confectionery 020-8686 3333 Unilever (01372) 945000 The Wrigley Co Ltd (01189) 317030
[ PRODUCTS & PROMOTIONS ]
Killer flavours added to Rockstar line-up PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
AG Barr is launching a range of energy drinks, Rockstar Revolt, this month. Available in Killer Citrus and Killer Cooler variants, the 500ml cans are pricemarked at 99p and come in cases of 12. The new product joins the Rockstar brand, which is the UK’s No.1 big can flavoured energy brand (IRI). “Energy is a hugely important category for retailers, accounting for more than one in every three drinks purchased,” says Adrian Troy, marketing director. “Big can flavoured energy continues to drive the category and Rockstar flavours are the star performers, delivering 50% of sales.” Rockstar Revolt is a full-flavoured, zero-sugar energy drink that “will appeal to the growing number of consumers who want zero-sugar energy, but don’t want it to look, feel, perform
or taste different to full-sugar energy”, says Troy. The launch is supported by heavyweight sampling and a social media campaign. With an impactful design, the can will provide on-shelf standout to drive consumer trial. “Shoppers are constantly seeking new energy flavours and the new Rockstar Revolt packs will add excitement to the fixture,” Troy comments. AG Barr (01204) 664200
Marlow Foods has announced that two new TV commercials for Quorn will run until the end of February. The adverts highlight the brand’s taste and food credentials and feature two Olympic gold medal athletes – GB hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and swimmer Adam Peaty. “At a time of year when many people are actively seeking healthier options, we’re showcasing just how easy it is to make great-tasting dishes with Quorn as the main ingredient,” says head of UK category management Julian Cooke. Marlow Foods (01642) 710803
Pick up sales
Pladis is introducing a new addition to the McVitie’s Penguin range in mid January with Penguin Mini Biscuits. The multipack has an rsp of £1.69 and includes six inner bags with new petite penguin characters. “As the largest NPD for the brand for several years, we anticipate strong shopper demand to see it on shelf,” says brand director Kerry Owens. The launch has a forecasted retail sales value of £1 million and forms part of the McVitie’s ‘Sweeet’ campaign, which has seen an investment of £20 million. Pladis 0208-234 5000
General Mills is launching a new format of yogurt from Yoplait’s Liberté brand. The Liberté 130g portion pouches (rsp £1.29, six to a case) are available in Blueberry and Raspberry flavours, and are protein-rich and thick-textured, with 0% fat. The packaging style opens up the on-the-go yogurt market which, according to Yoplait research, presents a £30 million category opportunity for yogurt by driving incremental usage. The launch forms part of a £3 million investment in Liberté by Yoplait, and will be supported by a consumer sampling campaign. General Mills (01895) 201100
Burton’s Biscuit Company is rolling out a new pack format from its £45 million Maryland brand from mid-February. The two new SKUs, Choc Chip and Choc Chip Caramel Cookie Bites, come in a 120g pouch with an rsp of £1.49, in outers of seven. “We’re confident that Maryland Cookie Bites will help to drive the growth of in-home biscuit consumption,” says David Costello, head of category and shopper management. The launch will be supported by dedicated PoS material, social media and sampling activity. Burton’s Biscuit Co (01727) 899700
Going for gold