Cash & Carry Management July 22

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Frank Khalid sells up after nearly four decades in the cash & carry trade


Dealing with disruption across the supply chain

Wholesalers accelerate their digital journey

JULY 2022

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July 2022

This month don’t miss... 08

Booker adds 13,000 catering customers in the first quarter.



Dunns Food and Drinks boosts its team and launches a sales drive.

Bestway’s Ascot Race Day raises around £100,000 for Barnardo’s.



Editor’s Comment Industry News


In Focus Frank Khalid sells Mitcham-based Elbrook Cash & Carry to family friends.


FWD Conference Wholesalers address the changing requirements of customers and employees, and the FWD takes to government industry concerns.


CRG Conference Country Range Group is on track to hit more than £750 million in group turnover by the end of 2022.


Spotlight Emma Senior, the new managing director of Sugro UK.

During her time with Cadbury, Sugro’s new MD Emma Senior (left) had the ‘absolute pleasure’ of working at the Olympics in London.




Price-Marked Packs With consumers noticing price increases on food and drink, PMPs reassure them that they are still getting value for money.

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Suppliers highlight PMPs as a way to increase basket spend.

July 2022



Taking steps to support staff


oing ‘above and beyond’ at work is something that we often see from individuals, but it is far less common to see businesses acting in this manner. However, in this issue, we have two clear examples of wholesalers providing support to their staff in ways that exceed normal expectations. Thanks to the efforts of health & safety manager Amanda Casey – and backed by the company’s management – Glasgow-based JW Filshill (page 14) has put mental health and wellbeing at the heart of the business. The wholesaler has a Wellness Group, as well as 23 fully-trained mental health first aiders who support their colleagues. The company also organises activities such as hillwalking to promote the wellbeing of its employees. And now, Filshill is working with GroceryAid to raise awareness of the charity’s work among its staff and KeyStore retailers. By giving its drivers keyrings featuring the charity’s free 24/7 helpline number, Filshill assisted at least one of its workers: a driver told Casey that he had been struggling with an issue and called the helpline as a result of seeing it on his keyring. Indeed, 37% of Filshill’s employees have used GroceryAid’s services at some point. This percentage highlights the substantial need for support – whether emotional, practical or financial –

Frank Khalid sells up after nearly four decades in the cash & carry trade


Kirsti Sharratt Managing Editor




for people working in wholesaling. As Filshill is a wholesaler that really does care for, and look after, its employees, the figure across the trade may well be a lot higher. We shouldn’t be surprised by this need for support: the cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact. According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 11.3 million households in the UK struggle to make ends meet because their budgets are being squeezed by wages and benefits not keeping pace with accelerating inflation and tax rises. What is even more startling is that 1.5 million households (5% of the population) have food and energy bills greater than their disposable income. News that Parfetts has awarded its staff an exceptional cost-of-living bonus of up to £500 (page 9) has therefore been applauded, not only by the beneficiaries but also by industry commentators and the wider public. Not every business will wish to pay, or be able to pay, such a bonus, but there are other forms of support that cost very little financially but are nevertheless valued by employees under pressure. For example, publicising GroceryAid’s helpline number (08088 021 122) is an easy step to take but could prove to be life-changing.

JULY 2022

Publisher Winlove Publications Ltd EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kirsti Sharratt Contributor Siobhan Kielty ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Publishing Director Martin Lovell Media Sales Manager Clare Phillips 4,448 July 2018 – June 2019 Audit Bureau of Circulations Printed by Bishops Printers ISSN 1352-254X All media rates, feature lists and deadlines can be accessed online by visiting:

THREE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED THIS MONTH 1. ONLINE Catch up on all the latest news via our website, including developments from wholesalers and suppliers, and view our current online magazine edition, as well as back issues.


Cash & Carry Management is free to cash & carry and delivered wholesale directors, buyers and managers. The magazine is available to other subscribers for just £74 a year or £7 per copy. Overseas yearly subscriptions are priced at £95. Back issues dating back to 2011 are available online.

Dealing with disruption across the supply chain

Wholesalers accelerate their digital journey

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July 2022



Booker boosts sales by nearly 20% Booker increased sales by 19.3% to £2.1 billion in the 13 weeks ended 28 May 2022. On a one-year like-for-like basis the growth was 19.4%. Retail like-for-like sales grew by 2.3%, while catering likefor-like sales were up by 57.4%, with a net addition of 13,000 new catering customers. “Booker performed so strongly during the quarter,” commented Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco. “While this is partly due to the lockdown effect last year, there is also significant improvement in the underlying strength of the business. Booker has added over 13,000 net new catering customers in the first quarter, while continuing to provide exceptional levels of availability and service. “Within the catering market, Booker has been a clear winner and that really is down to the customers it serves.

“What we’ve seen is that Booker is not only winning new customers, but its best customers are winning in the market overall. A lot of that is down to the fact that the Booker customers in catering are trying to manage their menus and they’re pricing more effectively than the rest of the market. So they’re quite competitively priced and Booker works very hard to help them manage their menus and their mix to keep that value proposition.

“That said, overall we see catering inflation running ahead of retail inflation. In terms of our first-quarter performance, it’s never one thing. Clearly our very strong value position is helping a lot. And I think it’s less about the fact that we’ve suddenly made a big play for value, it’s more the fact that we’ve been consistently good value for some time now. And so the customer has learned that it [sic] can rely on us.

“The other thing is that we have very consciously moved away from high-low stunt deals, multibuys, towards an everyday low pricing model, which means that customers can trust they’re going to get a good deal from us, no matter when they shop.” A three-year like-for-like sales figure of 19.6% for Booker represents a comparison to pre-pandemic performance in the financial year of 2019/20. Best Food Logistics was acquired by Booker in early March 2020 and is therefore included in like-for-like sales performance on a one-year basis but not on a three-year basis. Although Tesco recorded a 2% rise in group retail sales on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter, sales in its core UK retail business declined by 1.5% in the period. Nevertheless, Tesco maintained its full-year profit guidance.

Fisher appointed marketing manager Caterforce has appointed Tracy Fisher as group marketing manager. Fisher (right) joins the group from Evri where she was marketing manager and led external communication plans for the corporate rebrand. Before that she held a wide range of marketing roles, including category marketing manager at the Co-operative Group, where she spent nine years. Commenting on her new post, she said: “The variety and diversity of wholesale really appeal to me. I’m looking forward to bringing together all my experience in previous strategic roles and 08

July 2022

applying it to the dynamics of a wholesale buying group. “The success of Caterforce rests on the success of its members, and I can’t wait to get out to meet the membership to ensure we’re delivering the very best service that we can and

embracing creativity and innovation to continually evolve at pace.” Fisher is based at Caterforce’s Macclesfield head office where her immediate priorities include preparation for the Caterforce conference at the ICC Wales on 16 November. She will also be steering her team to deliver on the group’s strategy, focused on growing share of own label and delivering a range of technology-enabled customer solutions. In other news, Caterforce has added 200ml cartons to its recently launched fruit juice range, Eden Grove.

Available in orange, apple and cranberry variants, Eden Grove is made with 100% pure juice. The new 200ml cartons join the existing onelitre packs, and the recyclable packaging is FSC certified. “We created Eden Grove to offer our customers a fruit juice they can be proud to display front of house,” said Chris Chorlton, senior creative at Caterforce.



Bestway Wholesale has opened its second dualbranded Costcutter and Bargain Booze store. The shop in Whiston, Merseyside, which has had a £100,000 refit to incorporate the ‘store within a store’ concept, is expected to attract new customers and encourage different shopping missions during the day. The relaunch also includes an improved chilled and grocery range, encompassing a wide selection of

Co-op own-label products together with a new food-togo section. Jamie Davison, head of new business & store development at Bestway Retail, commented: “This concept store for Costcutter and Bargain Booze aims to meet the needs of our customers so they are able to buy everything they need across a full day. “We have further plans for developing more hybrid concept stores.”

Tackling hunger Brakes has pledged £500,000 over the next five years to support Meals & More in its ongoing fight to end holiday hunger.

Founded by Brakes in 2015, Meals & More has supported thousands of families, providing them with healthy, nutritious food in a safe and enriching environment during the school holidays when support for vulnerable children is not so readily available. The charity has grown

significantly in recent years. During 2021, Meals & More supported more than 750,000 meals through packed meals and food parcels as the pandemic took its toll on communities. Peter Jackson, Sysco GB CEO, said: “When we started the charity, holiday hunger was not well understood. Fast forward almost seven years and it’s very much on the public agenda and we’ve made so much progress. “Sadly, however, it seems that in these challenging times, the work of Meals & More is even more important to many families. We look forward to helping the charity continue its valuable work.”

Exceptional bonus Parfetts is recognising its staff’s hard work and dedication with an exceptional costof-living bonus of up to £500. The move comes in addition to a company-wide sales bonus of up to 2% of salary, which will be paid early this year. All bonuses are tax-free. Joint MD Guy Swindell, said: “As an employeeowned business our people are at the heart of everything we do. It is the hard work and dedication of everyone at Parfetts that drives our continued success. We wanted to look at how we can support people with the current cost-of-living crisis and took the decision to pay an additional bonus this year.” Parfetts has seen sales exceed £600 million for the first time, an increase of over 5% on the last financial year. Teams in the best performing depots of Aintree and Middlesbrough received a 4% bonus. The two depots

saw sales growth of 21% and 18% respectively. Swindell attributed the company’s record sales figure to the continued expansion of Parfetts’ delivered operation and the recruitment of new customers to the Go Local fascia estate.

He commented: “Parfetts has continued to grow despite significant sales periods overlapping last year’s lockdowns and the aftershocks of the Covid pandemic. Looking forward, there are significant opportunities for growth as we continue to evolve our offer.” Parfetts was established in 1980 by the Parfetts family, a majority was sold to an Employee Trust Board in 2008, and it became fully employee-owned in 2018.

Three new directors

Left to right: Craig Newton, Norman Bannister and Tom Curtin.

Dunsters Farm has promoted three members of its management team to director level. The family-run foodservice wholesaler has reported that Tom Curtin, formerly head of systems & operations,

has taken the role of technology director; Norman Bannister, previously head of sales, has become sales director; and Craig Newton, formerly head of purchasing, is now buying director. Commenting on the changes, Hannah Barlow, managing director of the Bury-based company, said: “All three of these members of our team have been instrumental both before and throughout the pandemic. “During their time with us they have demonstrated their commitment to the business. We are confident that these changes will place us in a strong position for the future.”

July 2022



‘Buoyant growth’ for convenience Deliveroo The UK grocery market is set to grow by 11.3% – from £216.8 billion to £241.3 billion – between 2022 and 2027, according to IGD. Inflation will underpin the majority of growth in 2022, with a 3.5% value increase predicted, but this will moderate from 2023 onwards, says the organisation. With the war in Ukraine impacting the UK supply chain and food prices expected to rise by 8.9% in 2022, IGD anticipates that shoppers will respond to this and the spike in general inflation by making real terms cuts in food expenditure. Caroline Myers, director of retail analysis at IGD, said: “Our new forecast sees growth for all retail channels. Though discount will naturally benefit from shoppers’

Diabetes advice Bidfood has created a diabetes module on its e-learning platform, Caterers Campus, to help caterers providing meals for those living in care with the disease. More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes ( and the condition is common among elderly residents in care homes. The new diabetes module includes understanding the causes and symptoms of diabetes, how to cater for diabetes and menu planning.


July 2022

Shoppers will seek out the best promotions.

desire to save money, growth will be held in check by increasing competitiveness from other channels. “Many shoppers on tight budgets will adopt a more for less mentality – managing their spend closely by trading down to cheaper ranges and pack sizes, switching brands for private label and seeking out the best promotions. Shopping will also be

more planned, with many switching to more overtly value-focused retailers. “Retailers’ sales will however be supported by shoppers eating out less often.” Predicted growth figures for 2022-27: a Discount +23.9% a Online +22.6% a Convenience +13.0% a Supermarkets +6.2% a Hypermarkets +5.2% According to IGD, 2022 will see a return to more buoyant growth for the convenience channel as shopping behaviour normalises and events such as the football World Cup in November provide a boost. Thereafter, the channel will continue to modestly outperform the market, sustained by ongoing investment from retailers in new and improved stores.

Nisa experience Unitas Wholesale has recruited Donna Barnett (pictured) as own brand trading controller. Barnett has extensive procurement experience. She previously worked at Nisa for nearly 20 years, starting as supply chain coordinator and progressing to category controller for wholesale. More recently, she was category manager for British Steel Construction. Barnett’s appointment follows the departure of former trading controller Hilary Nithsdale, who moved to the food redistribution charity FareShare. In other news, Unitas has launched a new Plan for Profit licensed category

guide, which highlights the ‘must stock’ lines for independent retailers across wines, beers, spirits, and tobacco and reduced risk products. The guide, which is updated yearly, reflects changing customer behaviours and is developed with category experts and a network of independent wholesale members. Backed by the latest market data, the guide is designed to offer a licensed, tobacco and reduced risk range that has been tailored to meet the needs of independent retailers. New for 2022 is a simplified design, with icons to easily identify bestselling lines in each category.

link-up SPAR UK has a new partnership with Deliveroo covering all 2,160 SPAR stores in England, Scotland and Wales. Deliveroo customers can now access around 2,000 lines from participating SPAR stores, delivered to their door in as little as 20 minutes. As of mid June, 66 SPAR stores were offering the service, including 50 serviced by Appleby Westward, SPAR’s southwest wholesaler. It is the ambition of SPAR UK to sign up as many independent and companyowned stores as possible. “Our partnership with Deliveroo will enable us to meet ever-changing shopping habits,” said SPAR UK’s strategy & operations director Lee Johnson.

British push Sysco Speciality Group has launched a guide to promote British produce. The group, which incorporates Fresh Direct, M&J, Fresh Fayre, Wild Harvest, KFF and Medina Foodservice, informs its customers how buying British can help them with budgeting and environmental issues like food miles and animal welfare. The seasonal range comes from over 100 British producers, and caterers can include the grower or farm location on their menu.


‘Doing good has positive effect on business’ Theale-based fine food wholesaler Cotswold Fayre, which has long believed that doing good has a positive effect on business, achieved a 48% rise in sales in the year ended 31 March 2022. “There were a number of factors for this [performance], including the continuing growth of independent retail from 2020/21 and the demise of one of our closest competitors,” said CEO Paul Hargreaves in the company’s Impact Report. “However, there were also encouraging signs that retailers are thinking more about the planet in how they are running their businesses. “We have continued to encourage retailers to consolidate deliveries, which of course as a wholesaler is something close to our hearts. This not only improves our aim for

increased sustainability but also improves retailers’ environmental footprint.” He added: “The past year has proved that being a B Corp has a hugely positive commercial impact, with customers actively seeking this accreditation from suppliers and retailers. “We are delighted that we now have 39 B Corp suppliers and are helping more to obtain certification.”

Over the last 12 months, Cotswold Fayre offered more than 600 plastic-free products in its range, and most products now use packaging that is easier to recycle. It has also continued switching company vehicles to electric or hybrid. Between 2020 and 2021, 9.8 tonnes of CO2 were saved by moving to a more efficient vehicle. Last year 67% of vehicles in the fleet were

electric or hybrid; now it stands at 100%. Cotswold Fayre, which opened Flourish Foodhall & Kitchen in 2021, recruited 60 new employees in the past year, taking the total to 94. “In the days of the recruitment crisis it has been very noticeable, as a company that treats people and planet better than many other businesses, that it has been easier for us to attract excellent people to work for us,” said Hargreaves. The team carried out 476 hours of volunteering spread across 16 charities. Hargreaves concluded: “The exceptional growth over the past year is a true representation of all our hard work. With our motivated team and passion to make a change we are confident that we will continue to grow over the upcoming years.”

Stock and Sell scheme attracts retailers Some 200 stores have already signed up to Stock and Sell (SAS), an initiative introduced by Blakemore Trade Partners earlier this year for its independent SPAR retailers. By implementing a core range of 600 products including SPAR own-label, and agreeing to a few other conditions around ranging and promotional activity, retailers can start to earn over £10,000 worth of free stock per store at retail value. Blakemore expects that, through the SAS scheme, its independent SPAR retailers will collectively benefit from a profit injection of more than £2.8 million this financial year. The development of SAS 12

July 2022

Jerry Marwood: ‘There is no other network like SPAR.’

was just one aspect of Blakemore’s service highlighted at its SPAR Retail Show, held last month in Telford. AF Blakemore group CEO Jerry Marwood told the 1,000 delegates: “I believe we run our business and our business partnerships in a

way that’s different from our competitors. “SPAR is a truly independent brand working solely to drive sales for independent retailers. We’re here to support your desire to be a successful independent business. “If ever there was a time to be part of a collective like SPAR, then it’s now. All over the UK and all over the world other SPAR retailers are working through problems and sharing solutions – there is no other network like this.” For example, collective buying across the world has brought SPAR retailers in the UK the new No1 value range, which provides shoppers with an even wider choice of ‘quality everyday essentials at great prices’.

Delegates at the conference and trade show also heard about opportunities in home delivery, innovation in store formats, and the business benefits of retailers getting involved in their local communities. Addressing his fellow retailers, SPAR retailer Tristan King said: “Always look ahead positively; there is always opportunity. “In Blakemore Trade Partners we all work with a partner that is prepared to support us with their expertise, manpower and investment. So, make sure you are fully engaged and use all the help, advice and investment that is available to help you make the most of your opportunity.”


New head of sales Achievers launched Dunns Food and Drinks has recruited former Braehead Foods commercial director Ed Faber (below) as its new head of sales and has launched a recruitment drive to add to its sales team.

The appointment of Faber, who has also previously worked at Unilever and Bestfoods, is a key part of Dunns’ strategy to step up its sales operation, and his initial focus will be to increase the Blantyre-based wholesaler’s food offering. Faber said: “The opportunity to drive the evolution of Dunns Food and Drinks’ food operation really excites me.

There is a massive amount of experience internally – and I want to add some more flair to the food side of the business.” He continued: “We’ve had an increase in enquiries from operators looking to serve food outdoors, particularly casually. We are looking at how we can create innovative food options that support that industry shift.” Commenting on Faber’s appointment, operations director Julie Dunn said: “Ed is one of the best in the business and joins an already fantastic team. Ed has hit the ground running and has already set the wheels in motion on initiatives that will be crucial to the next stages of Dunns’ development.” Founded in 1875 as a soft drinks firm, Dunns Food and Drinks has developed into a delivered wholesaler supplying 2,000 customers across Scotland with food, beers, wines and spirits from around the world.

The winners of last year’s Achievers awards.

Entries are now open for the Achievers Awards, the programme that rewards outstanding performance across the wholesale trade in Scotland and marks its 20th anniversary in 2023. The awards ceremony is moving to a new venue – the O2 Academy Edinburgh – on 23 February. Run by the Scottish Wholesale Association, Achievers includes 12 categories for wholesalers and six for suppliers, including a new award – Best Local Supplier.

SWA chief executive Colin Smith said: “Achievers was a trailblazing initiative when it was launched 20 years ago and continues to go from strength to strength as it evolves to recognise industry innovations, trends and challenges.” Wholesalers and suppliers can submit their entries online via the Achievers 2023 entry form until 25 July. Supporting suppliers will judge the wholesale categories, supervised by an independent panel of judges with cross-sector experience.

Filshill raises awareness of GroceryAid JW Filshill and its KeyStore retailers are raising awareness of the charity GroceryAid. Filshill’s health & safety manager Amanda Casey said: “We are delighted to work with GroceryAid to strengthen what we are doing to support our staff by getting the message across that both Filshill and GroceryAid are there for our customers too.” Many KeyStore retailers are now promoting the charity’s services in staff rooms by displaying posters and the 24/7 helpline number: 08088 021 122. At Filshill, Casey is making 14

July 2022

Filshill’s Amanda Casey with colleagues on GroceryAid Day.

sure that all employees are aware of GroceryAid. “Our drivers, for example, because of the nature of their job, are not always around during office hours so they

can’t always have that quiet, confidential chat with someone so easily. So we had a think about how we could engage with them and for GroceryAid Day, we gave

keyrings featuring the free 24/7 helpline number to all our drivers.” That such a simple tool can help an individual was quickly confirmed when a staff member revealed to Casey that he had been struggling with an issue for some time and called the helpline as a result of seeing it on his keyring. “This is exactly what GroceryAid is about,” she commented. “I also know that another two colleagues received support after calling the helpline. In fact, 37% of our staff have used GroceryAid’s services at one point.”



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Support network Brakes launched its most ambitious Pride programme to coincide with the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in June.

The wholesaler has introduced a network of support champions at every site across Sysco GB, including Brakes and Sysco Speciality Group, which will be delivered through the organisation’s Spectrum programme that was created to support LGBTQ+ colleagues. In addition, Brakes’ learning & development team has developed an on-demand training course to help line managers to better understand the specific needs of LGBTQ+ colleagues. Brakes has also changed its social media logos for the whole of the coming year to highlight the ongoing need

Fresh range The Co-op’s own-brand food-to-go range, available to Nisa retailers, has been relaunched with updated packaging and a new selection of wraps, subs and pasta salad pots. In a bid to make the range as sustainable as possible, the Co-op has also significantly reduced the amount of packaging on its food-togo products and removed all single-use plastic cutlery in favour of wooden ‘sporks’. Until 19 July, Nisa is running a picnic promotion in store, featuring a wide range of Co-op ready-to-eat lines on a ‘two for £3.50’ deal, as well as snacks and drinks at discounted prices. 16

July 2022

to support diversity and inclusion, both within its business and across the country as a whole. What’s more, the Aylesford depot will join the company’s head office in Ashford by painting a ‘Pride’ pedestrian crossing as a permanent reminder of the importance of recognising and embracing diversity. Alvin Engutsamy, chair of the Spectrum group at Brakes, said: “Our Pride programme will ensure that, across the business, our colleagues can access the support and information that they need. We hope that the work we do will inspire companies across the sector to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.” As part of its Pride programme, Brakes will be fundraising for the charity AKT, which supports displaced LGBTQ+ young people, providing safe homes and a better future.

Foodservice focus

Confex recently held its first ever Foodservice Fair. “With the foodservice membership growing and also the launch of awardwinning CORE own-brand in the past two years, the buying group felt it was time to stage a foodservice focused event and it was a huge success,” explains marketing & HR director Jess Douglas. The event, at Stratford Racecourse, included presentations from Confex’s MD Tom Gittins, chairman Martin Williams and senior business manager Matt Norman, as

well as some members and suppliers. The audience heard that sales through Confex are up by 58% in the year to date and that it is predicting 200% growth over the next three years. Meanwhile, sales of the CORE brand hit £1.89 million in 2021 and are on course to rise to £4 million this year. The Foodservice Fair also incorporated a trade show, where 37 suppliers showcased their products. “The fair was extremely well received,” said Douglas.

£100,000 for Barnardo’s

Sir Anwar Pervez at the Ascot Charity Race Day.

After a two-year gap due to the pandemic, the Bestway Ascot Charity Race Day took place last month, raising about £100,000 for Barnardo’s.

Bestway’s Race Day has raised over £2.6 million and supported 22 charities since it began in 1994. Dawood Pervez, MD of

Bestway Wholesale, commented: “This high-profile event is hosted by our Bestway family – Sir Anwar Pervez OBE H Pk, chairman of Bestway Group, and Lord Zameer Choudrey CBE SI Pk, group chief executive of Bestway Group – and supported by industry-leading FMCG suppliers. “Charity is at the core of what we do at Bestway Wholesale and our Charity Race Day cements the ongoing work to such charities as Barnardo’s by our family. It’s a great opportunity to bring colleagues from across the wholesale industry together in celebration of a great cause.”


Khalid sells Elbrook to friends One of the best known C&C owners, Frank Khalid (right), is leaving the industry after 38 years following the sale of Elbrook Cash & Carry.


lbrook Cash & Carry has been sold by owner/director Frank Khalid for an undisclosed sum to Ajit and Sanmeet Chawla. In addition to disposing of the 35,000 sq ft cash & carry in Mitcham, south London, Khalid has sold his CHAK89 banqueting and restaurant business to the Chawlas, who are directors of several firms including All Drinks Cash & Carry and Prince Cash & Carry, both in Southall, Middlesex. The Chawlas, who have been family friends of Khalid for more than a decade, have agreed to keep on the existing staff. Explaining his decision to sell Elbrook and CHAK89, Khalid said: “I will be moving to my new head office in Harold Wood, Essex. I will be concentrating on my West London Film Studios business and properties, as well as investing in upcoming companies and my late father’s overseas companies.” It was in a 6,000 sq ft depot in Stratford, London, once owned by TRS, that Khalid cut his teeth in cash & carry, he explained in a previous interview with Cash & Carry Management. “My father Mohammad knew the Suterwallas, who ran TRS, which was

Frank Khalid will now concentrate on his other business interests.


July 2022

how we came to move in [in 1984],” said Khalid, who was 16 at that time. “Before that, I was helping in our Freshco retail shop in Leyton, where I did some shelf stacking and counting the money after school. That whetted my appetite, as did the fact that adjoining the shop was a small area where we did some wholesaling.” The Stratford site was never going to be big enough for Khalid to expand, so when the lease expired and an empty 25,000 sq ft freehold building became available in Barking, he grabbed the opportunity. “We stayed there from 1985 to 1996,” he recalled, “continuing to develop our product mainstays of confectionery and tobacco. But it was only a matter of months before we introduced a licensed range, and from then on we never looked back.” In 1993, Elbrook opened its cash & carry in Mitcham, and three years later, Khalid decided to rent out the Barking branch to focus on the Mitcham depot. He later invested in a portfolio of properties and established CHAK89 banqueting suites that can accommodate up to 650 people and a restaurant that can seat 150. And then in 2006 he bought film studios in Hayes for £8 million. He initially intended to convert the premises into banqueting facilities but after an unsuccessful four-year battle for planning permission he returned the buildings to their original use. The Imitation Game and Bridget Jones’s Baby

are just two of several box-office hits that have been filmed there. Khalid’s business acumen has also been of benefit to the charity sector. His second child was diagnosed with autism, and subsequent responsibilities and priorities have shaped many of his decisions since. His charity work began in 2009 when he decided to mark Elbrook’s 25th anniversary with events culminating in a gala dinner, which was so successful that it became an annual event. With the help of his CHAK89 celebrity connections, he has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes. Khalid has also won numerous accolades for his personal and business contributions, including Star of Pakistan in the Pakistani Achievement Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award in the Asian Food & Restaurant Awards. Commenting on his decision to sell Elbrook and CHAK89, he said: “I’m sad but excited at the same time. “I will be giving time to my family and especially my little granddaughter. I also made a promise to my dad before he passed away that I will be giving my 100% effort to firstly maintain and then make even better the businesses in Pakistan he made. “I also want to concentrate on my religion, learn more and travel the world, and carry on mine and my family’s charity work to help the people that CCM need help the most.”

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Responding to myriad issues Delegates at the FWD annual conference heard how wholesalers are showing great resilience and agility in dealing with continual disruption to the supply chain.


he FWD annual conference, held last month in Burton upon Trent, gave voice to 73 people from across the trade – on stage and on film. It was a demonstration of how the FWD is bringing wholesale together, one of the three main roles of the organisation, explained chief executive James Bielby. The other roles are representing wholesale and promoting wholesale, and he highlighted some of the ways that the FWD is fulfilling these duties: “We are out there going into bat on behalf of the wholesale industry politically; we’re out there in the media, getting the issues aired – both ourselves and our wholesalers; and we’re also organising networking events like this conference today.” Before the conference, the FWD asked its members to vote on practical interventions that the Government could make to help maintain affordable supply. “Around 300 votes came in,” Bielby reported, “and number one by a long way is ‘cut fuel duty’. Number two is ‘reduce VAT on food’, and then the next two are ‘introduce long-term visas for international workers’ and ‘align with EU trade regulations’. We take all of these issues and think about how they fit into the political landscape.” He continued: “The challenges that we face are concerning. We’ve had successive shocks to supply – Brexit; Covid (and we’re still not out of the woods); and then Russia/Ukraine – the

FWD’s James Bielby: ‘We have a new set of challenges we need to address.’


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impact that the conflict has had on food has been immense. I mean, who knew that 60% of the world’s sunflower oil comes from Ukraine? Who knew that 10% of the world’s calories are represented by the grain production in Russia and Ukraine? So we’re having to grapple with these issues and take to government our concerns. “We can see that costs are going up, but it is interesting that the people here and other FWD members said that a fuel duty cut would make a massive difference to the cost of doing business. The effects of the increase in petrol and diesel are obviously huge – 25-30% of distribution costs – and that’s gone up by as much as 40% over the last year.” Other issues that the FWD is tackling on behalf of wholesalers include legislation on public health (HFSS) and sustainability (DRS). “We have a busier agenda than ever,” Bielby remarked. “Having focused on Covid over the last two years, we now have a whole new set of challenges that we need to address and work on as the industry representative.” In terms of promoting wholesale, the FWD has set up the Future Leaders Forum – a networking group designed to inspire, develop and retain emerging talent under 30 years old. The Federation has also relaunched the Standards & Dignity Charter to unify its members on best practice whilst at events and in the workplace.

“This is an opportunity to say to people that when we come together, nobody in this sector should feel they’re disadvantaged, whatever their ethnicity, gender, age, social class or religion,” said Bielby. “Everybody is welcome here and we’ve got a really good story to tell about wholesale – it is a great place to work – and we want to create a trade that’s future-proof.” For people new to the industry, the FWD has introduced a ‘Welcome to Wholesale’ section on its website. More than 40 members contributed to the section, which includes facts, figures and information on businesses and individuals already involved in the industry. Chloe Staniforth, marketing manager at Pricecheck, explained how the wholesaler puts a great deal of effort into not only recruiting talented people, but also retaining them.

Pricecheck’s Chloe Staniforth: ‘People want so much more than money.’

[ FWD CONFERENCE ] She said: “Our working from home policy was accelerated thanks to Covid, but as well as that, it made us re-look at our whole company offering. We realised that it’s so much more than money that people are wanting: it’s career progression, it’s opportunity, it’s training and development, it’s culture and socialising – and that’s a bit of the work aspect that’s been lost over the past couple of years. “Since we re-evaluated our offering and rejigged our wellbeing and retention package, our retention rates have increased by two-thirds when you compare the past quarter to the same period last year. So listening to our team and understanding what actually is important to them is having its benefits.” Andrew Selley, CEO of Bidcorp, also emphasised the importance of listening to employees and of considering how to communicate better with them: “I think people’s attitudes to life and work have changed,” he said. “My message is you have to listen a lot to what people are saying. You have to understand people’s personal circumstances – what effect the last two years may have had on their mental health and wellbeing – and then temper your message: some

Andrew Selley (right) of Bidcorp and John Kinney of Unitas Wholesale.

Creed’s Philip de Ternant: ‘There’s less loyalty than there was.’

of the old gung ho methods are not appropriate or effective any more. “It’s still the same message – it’s still about growth and opportunity and innovation and progression – but let’s think about different ways of communicating.” Creed Foodservice is another wholesaler that has changed its ways of working in response to market challenges, said managing director Philip de Ternant. “We’ve had to look at lead times, suppliers’ minimum order quantities, their availability. We are also holding more stock: if we are out of stock, our customers aren’t really interested why –

they need that product and so they either change their menu or change their wholesaler. “We have reviewed what we do, how we move product, how we buy product, who we buy from, and there’s less loyalty than there was two to three years ago – we will buy from who has got product and make sure our customers are happy,” he stated. De Ternant added that Creed has reviewed its purpose and values. “We’ve looked at the products that make us money and the products that don’t, and we’ve done that with

‘Own-label really plays a part in times like these’ – Sheila Gallagher, Booker Own-label is becoming an increasingly important element of the product offering, said Sheila Gallagher (pictured), the recently appointed commercial director of Booker. “We’re already starting to see people shift their choice from brands to alternative chief brands. And of course own-label really plays a part in times like this by giving people the opportunity to buy an equivalent product at a better price. It applies to customers in all retail outlets but it’s particularly extreme in convenience outlets,” she maintained. “Booker have always had a really, really good framework of what value means – choice, price and service – and there’s a whole plethora of initiatives under each of these,” she added. “One of the initiatives that has been in place for a while is the relaunch of our own-brand ranges, including the launch of Jack’s – part as our Tesco family –

as an own-brand range at Booker. “There are around 380 products we’ve already launched and another 200 or so still to come. The beauty of this is that not only does it tie in really well with that desire by customers to move down the tiers and into own-label alternatives, but by working as part of the broader Tesco group, we access Tesco quality products and offer them at great value prices to our customers.”

Gallagher also spoke of the need to address product availability problems: “Availability is the real bugbear for all of us,” she said. “At Booker, we’re actually hitting our lowest satisfaction rates on availability now. Customers don’t want to hear the reasons why; they just want the product. “We have to ask ourselves some fundamental questions: Is our planning good enough? Is our forecasting good enough? Are we putting too much new product in that’s putting stress into an already stressed supply chain? We want to run promotions but we should only run them where we can fulfil the demand that comes with those promotions. “So this is a call to arms to suppliers – we need to sit down and work through this because otherwise we will have to take some drastic actions on range to try to get our availability in a better place.”

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[ FWD CONFERENCE] customers as well. We have said goodbye to a number and we’re working with those that want a collaborative approach with us in the long-term. “I think we’ve all grown up, and I’m hoping that we will continue in that way where we’re making money again and the money is good.” Rav Garcha, a multi-site Nisa retailer, explained that he shops around to secure the products and promotions he wants for his customers. “I’m lucky because I’m in Birmingham – I can find good value and overcome availability issues by going to different wholesalers and then fill my shelves and make sure the promotions make sense and deliver value for the consumer,” he said. Garcha added that he has a love-hate relationship with PMP (price-marked pack). “We want it but we also want the margin. For us, PMP would have represented an everyday low price; however, if the availability isn’t there, then [this type of] everyday low price is out of the window. So we’re trying to rely on promotions to keep giving value and to stay relevant to the consumer.”

LJ Hanson of Bestway and Rav Garcha, a multi-site Nisa retailer.

LJ Hanson, category controller at Bestway, suggested that wholesalers think differently about promotions in light of the cost-of-living crisis. “The way people have been shopping in the last few years has been about bulk value – spending more to save more. Now it will be about smaller packs because people will be living more week to week, pay cheque to pay cheque. So the value in terms of pence per unit will be different, and it will be more about the initial spend,” she said.

“I think that from a wholesale and convenience sector point of view, we should fare well throughout [the cost-ofliving crisis] as long as we’re supporting things like smaller wash laundry and ensuring that we maintain a focus on promotions.” John Kinney, managing director of Unitas Wholesale, agreed: “At the moment, promotions are vitally important,” he said. “The consumer is looking for value, the retailer is looking for value. We need the right promotions at the right price on the right products.” To conclude the conference, FWD chair Coral Rose summarised the messages given by the speakers: “Share the pain, take a long-term view, communicate, collaborate.” She added: “There have been challenges and there will be challenges ahead but we’ve got this; we can do it. We already have – our industry is a great place to work – and we’re experiencing growth. The future of wholesale is fantastic.” CCM The FWD Gold Medal Awards & Dinner will take place on 24 November.


‘Customer demand gives you a reason to invest ’ – Peter Statham, Brakes As well as reducing harm to the environment, taking measures to be more sustainable adds value to a business, explained Peter Statham, head of sustainability & government relations at Brakes. “It’s hard to be constantly competing on price, and although price remains so important and will continue to be important, where you can add value through doing something more sustainably or providing a product more sustainably, that’s a huge

Peter Statham of Brakes (left) and Colin Smith of the SWA..


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asset for our customer base. And that customer demand gives you a reason to invest,” he said. Considering the balance between the financial cost of implementing sustainability initiatives and the commercial viability, he added: “The legislation that’s coming in requires that we all act, which is great for us [at Brakes] because it sets a kind of level playing field.” Brakes continues to strive to offer more sustainable packaging, and later this year it will begin using an electric multi-temp truck to deliver to customers. “This will be the first of its kind for wholesale, and that’s really exciting,” said Statham. “It’s just one example of how customer demand creates the opportunity to invest and add value.” The Scottish Wholesale Association has been at the forefront of exploring how the wholesale industry can be more sustainable. Chief executive Colin Smith launched a ‘Decarbonisation of the Wholesale Industry’ project in 2021. Phase one involved measuring baseline emissions of wholesalers’ fleets in

Scotland and the production of a ‘road map’ to net zero. “This highlighted the challenges to our members and helped signpost to them what they can be doing and where they can get support,” he said. “This work has actually advanced where we hoped to be because the data it gave are valuable to the technology developers and to the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland. So we have now been involved in a project with Transport Scotland on hydrogen fuel cell HGVs, we have been invited to sit on the Zero Emission Truck Taskforce, and we’re in the process of developing a trial for a multi-temp HGV in Scotland.” Smith added that, as of 1 August, the SWA is bringing in a new head of sustainability & engagement to focus on the decarbonisation project. “They will share data we’re collecting and start sharing the solutions that are out there. This isn’t about one business; this is about industry having to work together,” he insisted.


‘Discipline is what sets us apart’ At the recent Country Range Group conference, delegates heard how the organisation is focusing on scale, data, sustainability and its own-brand to drive further growth.


ore than £2 million in orders was placed by Country Range Group’s 12 member wholesalers during the organisation’s annual exhibition and conference, held last month at Telford International Centre. The event attracted over 100 suppliers, who showcased their products to 300 member executives. At the conference session, CRG’s chairman Ton Christiaanse thanked suppliers for building strong relationships with the group: “It’s a very special year for the Country Range Group – 30 years – which is quite an achievement in such a competitive environment. It has only been possible because of close cooperation with our suppliers and I would like to thank you for that. “The last 12 months have been a period of recovery, and we now have shortages, inflation and other global problems that we can’t really influence, but the group shows resilience and strength. I think this is based on shared ethics, shared beliefs and shared strategy, but also group buying discipline, which makes it possible for Country Range Group to make promises about volumes and growth. That discipline is what sets us apart from any competitive group in the market.” Commercial director Martin Ward reported that, following a full strategic review, CRG has decided that its mission is still to ensure that members achieve faster and more profitable

The CRG exhibition attracted over 100 suppliers and 300 member executives.

Martin Ward: By the end of 2022, group turnover will be more than £750 million.

growth by being a member of the group. It is therefore focusing on four key areas: scale, data, the Country Range brand, and sustainability. On the subject of scale, he said: “We are tracking well ahead of 2019 sales, and by the end of 2022 we will be at over £750 million. Over the next few years, we aim to reach our target of £1 billion in group turnover. “We work tirelessly to make sure that if something can be purchased through the group then it is. The centre and our members are completely aligned on this.” CRG collects purchasing and sales data from all members on a weekly basis, and this allows the purchasing team at central office to identify opportunities to put more products through the group and to understand who buys the products. This data is shared with key suppliers. CRG is also investing in digital transformation. It is further developing its PIM (product information management) to ensure that all the information required to run its online platforms is fed directly to its members’ websites. The Country Range brand is another key focus, and CRG recently commissioned customer research to ensure

that the brand is fit for different customer sectors. “We expect sales to surpass £140 million this year,” said Ward. “After a couple of years of range rationalisation, we’re looking to launch over 25 new products by the end of the year.” Earlier this year, CRG introduced a range of premium potato products, supported with enhanced digital marketing – a new blueprint for the way the group manages product launches. The updated approach included the use of QR codes on the promotional document for each member to take the caterer to that member’s ecommerce platform. The group is similarly looking at different ways to improve sustainability. “Our members are sharing best practice in order to deliver a cleaner future,” noted Ward. “We’re setting ourselves tough targets with regard to operations, people and products.” Head of marketing Emma Holden encouraged delegates to continue to work closely together: “Whether you’re a member or a supplier, our group is here to collaborate in order to support caterers around the UK and Ireland. Talk to us about your innovation – whether that’s products or sustainability – and share ideas and customer feedback, and we’ll be able to create bigger and better opportunities for us all.” a ‘An Evening With’ the Country Range Group, which includes the organisation’s annual awards, will take place on 1 December at St Paul’s Cathedral in CCM London.

Support for charities More than £5,000 was raised for Hospitality Action by guests attending Country Range Group’s masquerade ball. This will be matched by CRG, resulting in a total donation of £10,000. a CRG worked with the charity FareShare to ensure that all the surplus food from the exhibition was redistributed to frontline charities and community groups. a

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[ SPOTLIGHT ] Emma Senior, managing director, Sugro UK something I am often found doing. I am an only child, which has made me a pretty confident person; not much phases me. I am happy in my own company, but my preference is to be around people. I love nothing more than developing those around me and am really passionate about bringing out the best in everyone. What is your favourite film, book and song/piece of music? Film: Four Weddings and a Funeral. Book: Gone with the Wind (and I would say it’s better than the film). Song: this was hard as I have a really varied taste in music, but my all-time feel-good song is Mr Blue Sky by ELO.

‘I like to have a plan’ What have been your biggest achievements in work and outside work? I had the absolute pleasure in 2012 of working at the Olympics in London. This was part of the Cadbury sponsorship and we were responsible for supporting the confectionery outlets. It was a huge task – we arrived to complete disarray – so it was a case of getting on with it, taking over the running and organising of the outlets and working very long hours. But I loved it and got to see some amazing athletes perform as a bonus! Outside work, that one is easy – I have an almost 16-year-old boy. To watch him over the years grow and develop is certainly something I am very proud of. Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? It is really difficult to call out one specific person. Over my career I have worked for some fantastic people, from whom I have learned so much. However, I did listen to the sports presenter Alex Scott a few years ago at a work event. She talked about her humble beginnings as a girl who loved to play football. She had a tough start to life and was rejected from a huge media company as 24

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a presenter due to her accent. Look at her now! It just shows how much you can achieve with grit and determination. What were your ambitions when you were growing up? I wanted to be an air hostess for years. I actually had an interview with British Airways which, back in the day, was a real achievement due to the sheer amount of people who applied each year. What are your interests outside work? I have a busy full-time job combined with being a mum and wife, so my interests are quite simple – I enjoy socialising with friends and I read quite a lot. We have a springer spaniel, so I also enjoy lots of walking and it’s a great way of switching off at the end of a working day. This has been really key with working back at home the last few years. How would you describe your personality and what approach do you take in business (and in life)? I am really organised in both life and work. I like to have a plan and to plan. Many will say I am a bit of a social butterfly, and planning the next event is

What would people be surprised to know about you? I was a school governor for seven years and it was a really interesting experience: supporting the school, recruiting a new head, and seeing how a completely different ‘business’ is run. If you won a holiday, where would you go and who would you take with you? Australia – I have never been and would love to travel there one day. I would go CCM with my husband and son.

20 years at Cadbury After her A Levels, Emma Senior worked in banking for around 10 years, initially with a high street bank and later in a credit finance position within the HSBC group. She then worked at Britannic Assurance for four years before joining Cadbury Trebor Bassett 20 years ago. Senior started in its finance department as a team leader, moved across different functions including export, supply chain and field sales management, and then switched into frontline sales roles on various accounts including Booker, Bestway, buying groups and high street discounters. This month Senior has joined Sugro UK as its new MD.


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A clear mark of trust This is a key time for convenience retailers to retain customers who stayed local after pandemic restrictions were lifted. If the channel is to support shoppers while the cost of living tightens its grip, then offering value for money is a must. Siobhan Kielty reports.


n today’s economic climate, affordability is a key attraction. As the cost of living continues to rise, shoppers are noticing the price increase in the weekly shop and looking to add value where possible. In the convenience channel, price perception is important and price-marked packs help to reassure shoppers that they are not being overcharged. It’s a delicate balance between margins for retailers/wholesalers and appeal for shoppers, but a carefully considered price-marked strategy will ultimately make for stronger sales. Tayto Group has found that 95% of consumers were concerned about the cost and availability of groceries. “In savoury snacks, consumers intend to manage their spending by buying on promotion (33%) and looking for the best value for money (20%). PMPs are, more than ever, an important way of communicating value,” says marketing director Matt Smith.

‘The £1 and entry price points will remain key but smaller pack sizes are almost inevitable’ Matt Smith, marketing director, Tayto He points out that the current financial challenges do have some benefits for convenience retailers: “Recent fuel increases mean that convenience retailers will benefit as people look to shop more locally, as they did in the early days of the pandemic, and PMPs are a key way to show that they are getting great value for money.” It is particularly tough for savoury snacks suppliers at the moment, as sunflower oil is a key ingredient and is produced largely in Ukraine and Russia (60%). “There has been an immediate price hike on all vegetable oils, on top of other unprecedented inflationary pressures from energy, distribution and other raw materials,” Smith explains. “Brands are unable to absorb these significant cost increases and have no choice but to review their pricing, promotional offers and pack sizes – especially on PMP. The £1 and entry price points will remain key but smaller pack sizes are almost inevitable.”


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Golden Wonder covers four main price points in the snacking category, enabling the brand to service multiple missions. “Ensure that you cover the key price points: 30p entry range, 39p/50p impulse packs and £1 sharing range,” Smith advises. “Group price points to make the fixture quicker and easier to shop, and locate a secondary display in a high footfall area – especially on a Thursday to Sunday when people are looking for their weekend treats.” The brand’s on-shelf appeal is being further heightened by promotional £1 PMP sharing packs to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Golden Wonder. The on-pack promotion is also running on the recently launched Golden Wonder Beef & Onion and Chip Shop Curry flavours – a revival of two alltime favourite flavours packaged in classic 1970s bags. The campaign is active across social, digital and trade channels throughout 2022. While sharing continues to be a dominant sales driver, on-the-go snacking is also in growth, and health is on the agenda. Graze is seeing rising demand from consumers for healthier treats that still satisfy a craving for something indulgent. If these boxes can be ticked, along with the desire for value, then the rise of ‘permissable indulgence’ will continue in convenience. To support this growth, Graze is further reducing the sugar, salt and saturated fat content in line with HFSS legislation, and is forecasting to double the volume of its PMPs through the wholesale channel. Mars Wrigley highlights the importance of visibility when it comes to PMP ranges. “Retailers can encourage purchases by placing PMPs at the point of sale by the till or at their store’s entry. Retailers should also look to stock their PMP ranges at eye level – or ‘buy’ level – as this has been shown to drive a 20% increase in sales,” says Phill Jaremczenko-Dye, digital wholesale & new business lead. “Mars Wrigley’s extensive PMP portfolio offers a variety of options for consumers to purchase affordable treats, boosting impulse sales and ultimately leading to an increased basket spend.” The manufacturer’s price-marked range includes plenty of options at the attractive £1 price point. Capitalising on the rising popularity of orange chocolate, Orange Maltesers Buttons are offered in £1 treat bags, while the M&M’s range includes £1 bags of Peanut, Crispy, Chocolate and Salted Caramel variants.

[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ] “Stocking PMPs for this popular brand drives impulse purchases as consumers are more likely to pick up an item with a clearly marked price,” says Jaremczenko-Dye. Swizzels has continued to record strong sales, thanks in part to its price-marked offerings. “Value-for-money confectionery continues to be a hugely popular choice for shoppers, particularly as financial circumstances have changed over the course of the pandemic, meaning demand for PMPs in-store is likely to be higher,” says Mark Walker, sales director. “Wholesalers and cash & carries should aim to stock a range of value products from popular brands to boost sales and attract a number of retailers.” NPD from the manufacturer includes Rhubarb & Custard flavour Squashies in a £1 price-marked hanging bag and a 50p pocket-sized bag, and a Minions-themed Banana & Blueberry flavoured £1 sharing bag of Squashies to accompany the new Minions film release. This is backed with a campaign on the brand’s social platforms. Swizzels has also entered the mallows segment with a Marvellous Mallows Drumstick raspberry & milk flavour £1 PMP. “The mallows category is worth £24.7 million, so it’s the perfect time for Swizzels to branch out into a new market,” says Walker. The supplier is shaping its ranges to incorporate current trends and increase consumer appeal. The Love Hearts brand has been rebranded Kind Hearts, following a partnership with the mental health charity Young Minds. “When it comes to stocking PMPs, wholesalers should focus on offering a diverse range of products,” advises Walker. “Wholesalers should also consider providing a vegan/vegetarian selection to accommodate those with dietary requirements, as well as stocking variety bags and sharing packs that offer something for everyone. This in turn will likely appeal to retailers who will be looking for sweets for a variety of customers.” Mondelez International is also adding to its PMP offerings, with Cadbury Caramilk and Cadbury Twirl Orange both available in price-marked formats. “It’s important to remember that consumers look for excitement from a category like confectionery,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager. “Mondelez now offers its widestever range of PMPs across its confectionery brands and formats. This helps these best-selling brands stand out on shelf with the convenience of clear on-pack pricing to help drive additional sales. “The award-winning Cadbury Twirl Orange, which is now Cadbury’s most popular single bar, is now available in a price-marked pack for the first time. The new PMPs feature 28

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a striking 60p messaging,” Nash continues. “Cadbury Caramilk, an exciting unique product to the category, is available in single and tablet PMP formats, improving stand-out on shelf while boosting shoppers’ trust with the convenience of clear pricing.” The supplier also offers price-marked formats of its sugar confectionery, with brands such as Trebor available in pricemarked single packs and box formats. “Research shows that PMPs offer a number of advantages for retailers, and they are an important part of a wholesaler’s offering. For retailers, the perception of improved value, convenience and trust from their shoppers makes stocking PMPs a good option,” Nash maintains. Another important function of the PMP in the confectionery category is to encourage impulse purchasing. “With HFSS regulations coming into force in retail environments, PMPs will help to drive those impulse buys that will be lost from till points, free-standing display units and percentageoff offers,” says Gabriella Egleton, senior brand manager at Kervan Gida UK, which plans to add a number of new lines to its Bebeto range this year. She adds: “Price-marked packs have spread to almost every product fixture because they are popular with shoppers, are liked by suppliers, and have won the support of the majority of retailers who appreciate their business value.” KP Snacks also advises wholesalers and retailers to incorporate PMPs as part of their ranging strategy, and the manufacturer again highlights the appeal of the £1 price point. “Worth £262.9 million (in crisps, snacks & nuts), this format is popular with retailers and consumers alike, with 82% of retailers saying £1 PMPs are muststocks, and 40% of snack shoppers saying they are more likely to buy a product in PMP format,” says Matt Collins, trading director. “Across the crisps, snacks & nuts market, £1 PMP ranges are growing in value at 13.5%, ahead of overall market growth (Nielsen). £1 PMP ranges are the main driver of growth in convenience and independents, and represent 58% of the sharing segment. The PMP format is now the largest format within crisps, snacks & nuts across symbols and independents.” KP has focused its range accordingly, with an extensive choice of products featuring the ‘round pound’. “We help retailers by ensuring we offer the right product range in the right formats, boosted with the right promotions and in-store merchandising,” continues Collins. “Worth £66.7 million and growing in value at 10.5%, the KP Snacks £1 PMP range offers an extensive portfolio of products, with 24 £1 PMP SKUs designed to excite shoppers and drive impulsive purchases for retailers.”












Golden Wonder’s £1 PMP Snacks range is outperforming the market (+26% vs +17%)*



*IRI Market Advantage | Convenience GB exc Maj M | Snacks | Value to 12 w/e 15-Jan-22.


[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ] Recent additions to the KP £1 line-up include Tyrells core flavours, KP Nuts Aromatic Thai Chilli Coated Peanuts, McCoy’s Sizzling King Prawn and Hula Hoops Big Hoops BBQ Beef – the No.1 fastest-selling PMP in impulse. Also reaching impulse shoppers with the £1 price point is the Seabrook Crisps brand, from Calbee UK. “These larger bags support the impulse market because the £1 PMP gives shoppers another reason to buy while in store for something else or grabbing a quick snack,” says Jon Wood, commercial director. “Prominently displaying the £1 bags will provide stand-out on shelf among similar products.” While promotional and impulse shoppers may be particularly important to the snacking category PMPs, it is important for retailers to encourage the same value perception in staple items. “Customers are becoming more conscious of the price of everything they consume, including everyday items,” says Helen Boulter, multi-sector sales controller at Taylors of Harrogate. “If customers know they can rely on quality products at a fair price in their local independent or convenience store, they will view it as a reliable retailer. This can mean additional purchases during each shopping trip and, as a result, an increase in average basket spend.” Boulter suggests ranging advice that wholesalers can offer to their customers to encourage sales: “Placing the top brands front and centre on store shelves allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for, and allows them to see the price clearly, which can influence their decision to buy. As the UK’s No.1 tea brand, with more than a third of total market share, Yorkshire Tea is an integral part of independent retail store tea offerings and is housed in eye-catching, instantly recognisable packaging,” she explains. “Stocking the best-selling lines plays a huge part in making the most of PMP offerings in the hot drinks sector. With standard black tea taking the largest portion of the tea sector (55.9%), it is key that stores get this offering right.”

Stocking best-selling PMPs alongside complementary items is an effective way to encourage additional basket spend.


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She also points out further merchandising opportunities that can stem from carefully considered display and ranging: “Positioning complementary items nearby can remind customers of what else may be missing from their cupboards. In the tea category, this includes staples such as milk, sugar or biscuits that tea drinkers need to accompany their brew. Having these items within immediate eyesight makes it easy for customers to pop them into a basket and encourages further spend.

‘Placing the top brands front and centre on store shelves allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for, and allows them to see the price clearly’ Helen Boulter, Taylors of Harrogate’s multi-sector sales controller “Also, don’t forget about consumers’ ever-expanding repertoire,” she continues. “Shoppers won’t expect a huge range of products in their local convenience store, but stocking options such as decaf tea will appeal to a more diverse range of shoppers.” Saputo Dairies echoes the advice for convenience retailers to include PMP SKUs across the basics. “In commodity categories that form part of the weekly staple shop, PMPs can drive an improved rate of sale, notably when they appear on well-known, reputable brands that instil consumer confidence,” says Allison Wallentin, category manager for convenience. “The appearance of a good deal can do a lot to turn a browse into a purchase and PMPs can be one vehicle to showcase such value to shoppers. For many consumers, PMPs offer price reassurance. In light of this we believe that in the current climate PMPs will be more important than ever and therefore should be high on the agenda for convenience retailers.” Jacob Douwe Egberts recommends that retailers stock PMPs to help shoppers make confident, snappy decisions that ultimately increase basket spend in convenience. “We are continuing to see consumers looking to replicate their favourite coffee shop experiences at home. Kenco has tapped into this wider market trend, with Kenco’s freezedried PMP range being a muststock for retailers,” says Melvir Singh, category team leader. “Stocking customer favourites such as Kenco Smooth, Rich and Decaf in PMP formats is key to boosting incremental sales. With prices clearly marked, PMPs can help consumers make quick decisions, driving impulse purchases.”

[ PRICE-MARKED PACKS ] Barr Soft Drinks is looking to strike a chord with a particular demographic, by launching a new price-marked range to appeal to Generation Z shoppers. Barr Fruity Lemonade is available in Cherry and Blue variants in 89p 500ml bottles. In initial consumer research with 12-24 year olds, more than 85% said they would buy it again and 77% of non Barr drinkers confirmed their intent to purchase. “With flavoured carbonates acting as the perfect entry point into the soft drinks category, new product innovation is key for retailers looking to drive incremental sales,” says Adrian Troy, marketing director. “We are launching this NPD alongside an exciting range of PoS across all channels. Retailers should stock up on both flavours and make use of the eyecatching PoS to grab shoppers’ attention and encourage impulse sales throughout the summer months.” Also quenching the thirst for value is Emerge Energy, from Refresco. Its low price point is accompanied by a low sugar content, so the range is unaffected by HFSS legislation with no need for reformulation. “We’ve recently undergone our biggest-ever independent consumer taste test,” reports commercial brand manager Eleanor Edwards. “It found that Emerge Original was preferred by as many energy drinkers as the market leader, Red Bull.” With isotonic sports drinks performing particularly well in the summer months, Refresco has added to the line-up from its Emerge Sports brand. The five-strong range is enhanced with B vitamins and is packaged in 30% recycled materials, satisfying a growing environmentallyconscious consumer base. The latest flavour launch of Strawberry & Watermelon – available in a 59p PMP – is set to follow the success of last year’s Emerge Sports Cherry launch. “We’ve found that new flavour experiences are a great way for drinkers to try our brand. Last year, the new Emerge Sports Cherry quickly became the second most popular isotonic flavour, behind our classic Orange. Our great value price and strawberry & watermelon taste profile will allow everyone to find their favourite flavour,” says Edwards. “This summer, as the cost-of-living crisis bites, we’re sure that more and more people will make the switch to Emerge.” The manufacturer is investing heavily in raising brand 32

July 2022

awareness for Emerge Sports, with a consumer campaign aimed at highlighting the value and taste of the range. The supplier has also combined the attraction of price-marked offerings with seasonal relevance – the recent launch of the Strawberry & Watermelon variant is perfectly timed to have the new SKU established on the shelves as Wimbledon fever grips the nation. Suntory has also included a price-marked option for the latest flavour in its Lucozade Alert range. Lucozade Alert Original is available in 500ml price-marked and non price-marked cans. “To help retailers make the right choice on what to stock in their store, we offer the option of price-marked or non pricemarked packs across our range of soft drinks,” says Matt Gouldsmith, channel director. “Pricemarked soft drinks are growing more quickly than non pricemarked packs: 9.7% growth versus 7.8% (IRI).” Mast-Jägermeister UK offers 20cl, 35cl and 50cl price-marked formats, all of which have shown growth. “This showcases the popularity of smaller formats as they offer versatility by fitting in with different consumption occasions,” says Johnny Dennys, head of brand and trade marketing. “Price-marked packs are effective at allowing consumers to recreate that ‘best night’ experience without the need to invest in the full-sized bottle.” FrieslandCampina has increased the attraction of its price-marked offering with a ‘2 for £2’ promotional mechanic on its YAZOO 400ml core range £1.15 PMPs. “The 400ml PMP is a great match for the impulse and drink now occasion, while one-litre £1.79 PMPs are perfect for take-home and sharing moments,” says Wayne Thompson, business unit controller for out of home. “Offer a range of PMP formats to target different occasions and consumers.” Thompson also notes that NPD can benefit from the PMP format, with shoppers more likely to take a chance. “YAZOO is offering consumers something new with its limited-edition flavours that are also available in a PMP format,” he says. “We know that these are a great way to introduce new products to market, and the return on investment can be an attractive proposition, especially when shelf space is at a premium.” He continues: “YAZOO offers permanent PMP variants of all core flavours (Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana and Vanilla) as well as across its limited-edition flavour, Choc Caramel, meaning that retailers can tailor their offering to whatever CCM suits their stores.”

Nestlé Cereals

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® Reg. Trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Non-PMPs are available and pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer.


Changing tastes in chocolate The chocolate confectionery category has weathered the challenges of the past couple of years and manufacturers are looking to create more opportunities this year with trend-based NPD. Can retailers tempt incremental sales out of intrigued consumers?


he confectionery category is holding steady as a reliable performer in convenience, with 2.2% growth over the past two years (Nielsen) and supplier activity keeping sales buoyant. Chocolate confectionery has accounted for 67% of confectionery sales in wholesale and convenience, with growth in segments such as Easter, boxed, multipacks, sharing bags and singles. While singles sales dipped during the pandemic, multipacks and sharing formats saw an increase to balance this. Now that consumers are moving around more freely, singles sales have bounced back to 10.5% growth (Nielsen). Mars Wrigley has hero brands Twix, Snickers and Mars heading its singles sales, while Maltesers and M&M’s lead its sharing sales. “Single, kingsize bars and bitesize treat bags work best at fulfilling grab-and-go shopper missions, making them must-stocks for wholesalers,” says Phill Jaramczenko-Dye, digital wholesale & new business lead. Mars Wrigley’s range also includes a variety of gifting and sharing options, offering consumers the opportunity to celebrate all-important ‘mini-moments’ to drive footfall to stores. “Chocolate confectionery products offer affordability to consumers looking to treat themselves or others as the cost of living rises,” points out Jaramczenko-Dye. Innovations have been trend-led, with manufacturers seeking incremental sales. Mars Wrigley has noted the soaring popularity of blonde chocolate, a flavour that has grown by 597% in the past year (Kantar), and has responded with a Blonde & Sea Salt variant in the Galaxy Fusions range. “We have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of blonde chocolate,” says Jaramczenko-Dye. “The flavour has been found to overindex with groups aged between 28 and 64, making it a clear consumer favourite.” Another trend that is staying the course is protein confectionery. Mars Wrigley features protein-based confectionery from several of its major brands, including Snickers, Mars and Bounty. “We are seeing consumers look for more functionality from their sweet treats, with protein chocolate bars growing in popularity. This market is set to grow, with 34

July 2022

75% of consumers prioritising high protein/low sugar snacks,” he continues. Sugar reduction is also one of the main selling points for the latest innovation from the Maltesers brand. Launched last month, Dark Maltesers are formulated with 30% less sugar and 65% more cocoa, offering a more intense chocolate hit. “The creation of Dark Maltesers is a direct response to our consumers who have voiced that they would like a dark chocolate variety of their favourite treat,” says Leah Dyckes, brand director. “Dark Maltesers retain what consumers know and love about Maltesers while offering a richer flavour profile, widening the consumer base of dark chocolate to younger consumers.”

‘We are seeing consumers look for more functionality from their sweet treats, with protein chocolate bars growing in popularity’ Phill Jaremczenko-Dye, Mars Wrigley’s digital wholesale & new business lead Mars Wrigley recommends that wholesalers and retailers utilise any PoS materials available for marketing campaigns, as well as placing best-sellers at eye level. “45% of confectionery products are picked up from main fixtures (Lumina), meaning that it is essential for wholesalers to make these fixtures more visual,” says Jaremczenko-Dye. Ritter Sport UK & I has NPD from its limited-edition Taste The World range, which has returned for the summer. The 100g blocks are available in three variants, inspired by the flavours of Southwest America, Japan and Costa Rica. The Salted Caramel block is new this year and is expected to have strong sales, with caramel showing as the third largest flavour sector in the UK. The Japan-inspired Cherry & Almond variant is also new and comes in delicately designed packaging drawing from Japanese culture.




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[ CHOCOLATE ] Returning this year is the Costa Rican taste of White Mango & Passionfruit, which proved a hit with consumers when previously featured within the range. All three variants are available until September. “This year, we’re thrilled to have secured such wide distribution, meaning that more retailers can get hold of the range than ever before,” says Ben Daniels, managing director. “And what puts us in an even stronger position is the continued growth of block chocolate and the opportunity this presents to retailers.” It is not only availability that Ritter Sport is confident about this year; brand awareness is also expected to benefit from this latest activity. “Our Taste The World range continues to perform really well, with the range garnering huge interest on social media each year,” Daniels continues. “Consumers know and love the exotic range and look forward to the latest flavours being announced. Thanks to our surrounding PR and social media activity, there’s certainly demand among shoppers for this year’s range.”

‘What puts us in an even stronger position is the continued growth of block chocolate and the opportunity this presents to retailers’ Ben Daniels, managing director, Ritter Sport UK & Ireland Nestlé has also embraced trend-led innovation, with KitKat 4 Finger Orange capitalising on the growth of orangeflavoured confectionery – which has increased by 52% in singles in the last year. Yorkie has also seen an orange flavour added to its lineup, with Yorkie Duo Orange becoming the fastest-selling orange single in the market (IRI). “The Duos format is an important one for 2022 – it now accounts for one in five confectionery singles bought,” says a company spokesperson. “The format has seen 17.6% growth year on year, growing ahead of the total confectionery market. What’s more, Nestlé Confectionery is driving the Duos market, with its range from big-name brands up an impressive 93% and outperforming all other manufacturers. “Retailers looking to capitalise on the valuable chocolate confectionery market should focus on accelerating singles growth through two key areas: Duos and price-marked packs.” 36

July 2022

Wholesalers and retailers should be aware of marketing campaigns and use any associated PoS materials.

The supplier has also expanded its sharing offerings from key brands KitKat and Aero. KitKat Bites are an indulgent sharing format that are being supported by a KitKat brand campaign featuring TV advertising, on-demand, social, digital and shopper marketing support. Aero Melts are also an indulgent sharing innovation, providing consumers with buttons of bubbly chocolate that melt in the mouth. The sharing bags are available in milk chocolate and caramel variants. Also new to the chocolate confectionery category is Cadbury Twirl Caramel, from Mondelez. The launch is supported by an advertising campaign based on hidden adverts for attentive consumers, along with further PR, digital and social media activity. The supplier is also repeating its partnership with Merlin Entertainment. An on-pack promotion gives families the chance to save on days out at Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park Resort and Legoland Windsor Resort. The offer features on Cadbury, Oreo and Barny, with a free standard ticket available with every purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. In line with the rise of veganism, the Cadbury Plant Bar replaces milk with almond paste and rice extract for a similar taste and texture. The two variants, Smooth Chocolate and Smooth Chocolate with Salted Caramel pieces, are registered by the Vegan Society. “We know there’s an increasing consumer appetite for varied snack options, and plant-based alternatives have never been more important. Veganuary exceeded last year’s total sign-ups, with more than 600,000 consumers having attempted to follow a plant-based diet this year,” points out Susan Nash, trade CCM communications manager.

Milk Chocolate,

Peanut butter and...


Reese’s brand is growing at +41.3% vs the category growth of 1.4% in the Symbols and Independents channel*

Building brands in the UK for


For stockist enquiries contact: Tel +44 (0)1604 821200 Email

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unordinary today *Source: IRI Total Marketplace; Chocolate Confectionery – 12 w.e Data to 15.05.22


Boost business capabilities Digital transformation is not just about implementing the latest platforms, it’s about creating a fully integrated IT ecosystem that supports the business end-to-end, advises BCP.


he rate of digitisation across the wholesale trade continues to accelerate as businesses strive to overcome industry challenges. With new solutions constantly emerging with promises to revolutionise your operations, it can be tempting to jump on to the latest tech trends. However, Business Computer Projects (BCP) points out that digital transformation is not just about implementing the latest platforms. It’s about ensuring new technologies work seamlessly with your existing systems, creating a fully integrated IT ecosystem that supports your business end-to-end. Otherwise, your business is at risk of infrastructure holes, application issues and data gaps. Andy Pratt, head of sales at BCP, says: “A successful digital transformation is about utilising technology to standardise business processes and increase productivity, without compromising the customer experience.”

‘With technology constantly changing, businesses need to consider if and how future platforms will work with existing systems’ Andy Pratt, head of sales, BCP The best way to achieve this is to have a core business platform that utilises APIs [application programming interfaces] and can integrate with other systems across your business. The power of APIs means that they boost your business capabilities by extending the business logic of your back-office system to other platforms. This will not only reduce the need to manually maintain data across various systems, but will also better ensure that any future solutions will work well with existing systems. Andy Pratt: ‘Identify key “Undertaking digital transfor- areas that will make the biggest difference.’ mations is complex, and with technology constantly changing, businesses need to consider if and how future platforms will work with existing systems. Therefore integration is key,” says Pratt. Effective system integration provides businesses with advanced capabilities that act as a springboard for better ways of working, new business models and game-changing competitive advantages, including: Increased sales opportunities through omnichannel capabilities Digital integration uses API technology to connect systems 38

July 2022

and platforms. As a result, you can easily add new channels, platforms and technologies into your existing technology landscape, all of which increases your brand visibility and enables you to reach a wider array of potential customers. Better customer service through the availability of real-time information One of the most beneficial aspects of a digital supply chain is that information is transferred between your systems instantaneously and ensures it is always accurate. Not only does this reduce the need for manual data entry and system workarounds, but it also eliminates inconsistencies and ensures quality customer service. Faster time to market by becoming more agile Wholesalers continuously need to adapt to global events, new regulations and changing customer needs. Agility is therefore key. Having a digitally integrated supply chain makes it faster for you to respond to these market disruptions by enabling you to update information easily. Greater scalability that supports accelerated growth Accelerating your business growth is no good unless you can increase your capacity to serve customers without additional costs, such as hiring more staff. Digital integration enables greater scalability by automating manual data-entry tasks and automating processes such as online orders. Whether you are just starting your digital transformation journey, or you have a project that has stalled, Pratt recommends stepping back from the multitude of solutions on the market and getting back to basics. He says: “Look at your business holistically, and identify key areas that will make the biggest difference to your business.” BCP provides a Digital Transformation Consultancy for wholesalers who want to accelerate their digital journey. To find out more please contact Andy Pratt at andy.pratt@ CCM


TWC SmartView enables wholesalers to track sales through entire supply chain SmartView – from data and digital experts TWC – is a reporting platform for wholesalers, foodservice and convenience retail operators that enables the operator and its suppliers to make data-led decisions. In addition to wholesale shipments data, the platform can integrate retail sales data, allowing suppliers to seamlessly track product performance through depots, into retail and out to the consumer, toggling between wholesale and retail metrics. It also enables the most progressive operators to educate their retailers on what is driving performance in their stores. Tanya Pepin, Managing Director of TWC, explains more: “We believe we are offering something unique here – enabling wholesalers, their retail customers, and suppliers to understand end-to-end performance. Our vision is for a channel that is truly data-led, and combining wholesale shipments and retail data provides a holistic view of performance that can inform decision making right through a business.” TWC has a growing base of SmartView clients and there is increasing interest in the combined wholesale and retail proposition, with three clients already on board (showcased here). There is a call to action for the suppliers reading this – this level of transparency is something the supplier community has long been clamouring for. Maintaining the availability of this data relies on suppliers supporting this industryleading behaviour. C J Lang & Son Ltd/SPAR Scotland: Pioneers in Combining Wholesale and Retail Data C J Lang wanted a data solution that could combine their wholesale shipments with EPOS sales data from their company-owned stores – a first in UK wholesale. TWC implemented its SmartView platform with little impact on C J Lang’s operational time and generating a new revenue stream for the business by commercialising their data provision. Having already seen great traction with SmartView with suppliers and retailers, the business is now customising the platform to create Richard Collins, Trading Director, C J Lang unique report functionality. The disciplined nature of the company-owned estate means that opportunities identified from the data can be actioned swiftly in stores. Richard Collins, Trading Director, C J Lang & Son Ltd/SPAR Scotland, comments: “My team is focussed on getting the best deals for our retailers and developing the right range to meet our consumers’ needs. Overlaying wholesale shipments

data with retail EPOS insights enables us to be laser focussed on what is working and what isn’t. We are now having clear conversations with our supplier partners about what we need to focus on to drive mutual growth.” United Wholesale Scotland: Responding to Supplier Demand for Data United Wholesale Scotland is widely recognised as an innovative wholesaler with a strapline of ‘We lead, others follow’. The release of the company’s sales data represents the next step on the wholesaler’s technology and data journey, and its new data service, powered by TWC SmartView, combines wholesale shipments data and retail EPOS sales from a hand-picked selection of retail club stores. Chris Gallacher, MD, United Wholesale Scotland

Chris Gallacher, Managing Director at United Wholesale Scotland, explains why the business has invested in TWC SmartView: “The joint business plans UWS has with its suppliers have got to be meaningful; we will use data to drive our sales together more profitably and that’s going to be a massive change in culture for us at United.” DeeBee: Data to Support Customisation of Retail Activation Plan With a strong group of customers including Today’s fascia stores, DeeBee Wholesale is now building a company-owned store estate to further grow the business. Using DeeBee’s inhouse Re-Scan EPOS system, the business is now well placed to share its wholesale and retail data with its suppliers via the TWC SmartView platform, to grow sales for mutual benefit. Further, the DeeBee commercial team wanted an effective tool to evidence best-in-class execution and to drive improved performance through sharing data. This will allow retailers to individually customise their store activation plan based on evidence of what works and what doesn’t. Andy Morrison, Trading Director, DeeBee Andy Morrison, Trading Director at DeeBee Wholesale, says: “The senior team at DeeBee recognise the wins to our business if we can leverage data effectively. Whilst it is important that it delivers incremental revenue, its real power is in showing our retailers ‘what good looks like’ and highlighting to our suppliers the opportunities both in store and in depot. The SmartView platform is a fantastic tool to do this, easy to use and very intuitive for both suppliers and our team alike.”


Investing in services and skills Don’t do what you’ve always done technology-wise or you will be left behind, advises STL, whose flagship wholesale management platform is attracting new wholesale clients.


enry Ford once said, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ If only that were still true! After all the wholesale sector has been through, and is yet to face, doing the same will only lead to decline, insists Ivan Durkin, managing director of STL Technology Solutions. “To survive, let alone thrive, in today’s market dynamics, operators must be agile, responsive and in control of every aspect of their business,” he told Cash & Carry Management. “That’s why STL’s mission is to keep innovating and investing in new solutions, services and skills.” Ivan Durkin: ‘STL hasn’t rested Although wholesalers on its laurels.’ have already committed to running more than £3 billion of revenues on STL’s new flagship wholesale management platform, STL MMS Evo, it hasn’t rested on its laurels. STL has upped the pace of its ‘solution evolution’, adding new capabilities to its platform both by partnering with technology pioneers in niche sectors, such as (eCommerce app), Tableau (Business Intelligence) and Optrak (Vehicle and route planning), and by developing new modules itself, from Goods Inwards and Supplier Claims Management to Enterprise Purchase & Logistics. “To support this effort, we’ve also invested to evolve our services and skills,” says Durkin. “For example, we’ve brought wholesale systems expert Andy Payne on board, whose four decades of project management is introducing new rigour to our development programme. “We’ve also appointed Antony Wilkinson as our new presales technical support leader. His deep technical knowledge and business understanding is helping customers assess and

STL has recruited Andy Payne (left) and Antony Wilkinson. 42

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specify their requirements so that they can get the most from their IT investments from the outset.” According to Durkin, this strategy has drawn first-time customers to STL who are seeking to future-proof their businesses by ‘doing things differently’, with intelligent software, robust hardware and a response service provider. These new clients include: First Choice Foodservice First Choice is celebrating a decade in the foodservice sector during which it has established 1,000 catering and restaurant customers and 1,000 product lines, a 30-strong fleet and annual revenues of £15 million per year. Now fully focused on foodservice, First Choice has chosen MMS Evo to help it accelerate growth as the UK emerges from Brexit and the pandemic. BestWines Since 1997, London-based BestWines has been distributing a wide variety of alcoholic and soft beverages to nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, bars and pubs. Its portfolio now comprises more than 12,000 products including whiskies, spirits, fine wines, kegs and champagnes as well as soft drinks, and MMS Evo will help retain BestWines’ reputation for trustworthiness, exceptional service and market knowledge as it continues an ambitious nationwide expansion strategy. The Falkland Islands Company The significant advantages of STL MMS Evo have even been noticed on the other side of the world, reports Durkin. The Falkland Islands Company (FIC) has installed the solution to help it track global wholesale trends and maintain a consistent service despite its remote location and fluctuating population. Its customers include land-based islanders and tourists as well as the workers on the nearby oil rigs and visiting ships, including retail and wholesale. Along with FIC’s remote location and extended supply chains, the constantly changing customer profile presents some unique and complex challenges. STL MMS Evo with integrated Business Intelligence will help FIC’s UK-based procurement team to analyse trends, track global supply chain performance, and anticipate demand to improve order accuracy, operational efficiency CCM and customer satisfaction.


Payment service

Handy new feature

A complete payment service using open banking has been introduced by to help wholesalers reduce their operational costs in the face of rising prices. Rob Mannion, founder and CEO of, explains: “Wholesalers simply click the ‘pay’ button next to their account balance on either our mobile or desktop platform, then select their bank to open their banking app. The transaction is completed within the banking app using pre-populated details, creating a one-stage electronic payment that doesn’t incur the fees Rob Mannion: ‘The associated with card payments. benefits are massive.’ “This approach also integrates invoice reconciliation into the process and smooths cashflow as payments go directly into wholesalers’ bank accounts.” Also new from the ecommerce specialist is an advertising module that brings knowledge developed through the company’s BEAM platform to customers. “The benefits of this are massive for wholesalers as it allows them to set up highly targeted advertising campaigns,” Mannion points out.

JJ Foodservice has introduced a new ‘My Shopping Lists’ feature on the JJ website and app, designed to help shoppers make savings by planning ahead. Chief technology officer Mick Dudley says: “With the cost of living increasing, planning menus and budgets more carefully has become even more important.” The ‘My Shopping Lists’ feature allows customers to create, save and edit shopping lists in advance, then add them to their basket when they are ready to place the order. JJ Foodservice points out that the new feature is particularly handy for caterers who need to place different orders on different days. “A restaurant might need a top-up of fresh fruit and vegetables mid-week then a bigger order of drinks, meats and poultry ahead of the weekend,” Dudley explains. More than 80% of JJ Foodservice’s sales come from orders placed online, and the figure is growing. “That’s why we’re always thinking of new ways to improve the online experience,” he adds.

Additional revenue Snappy Shopper gives retailers the opportunity to drive almost 50% additional revenue from implementing a home delivery service, in a way not possible through footfall, reports head of marketing Dael Links. “According to our retailer network, around 80% of their customers who use the Snappy Shopper app were acquired through the platform and would never have visited their physical store. Alongside this, retailers report a £26 average basket spend, compared to only £10 in store.” Snappy Shopper is used by several wholesalers and symbol groups including Parfetts, Blakemore, Nisa, SPAR, Premier, Scotmid and Costcutter.

Digital partnership Jisp and *Shopt have joined forces in a digital partnership. Registering with *shopt gives retailers access to exclusive product offers incentivising the stock and display of featured lines, with Jisp’s Scan and Save solution creating the pull through to shopper sales via its savings & reward app. This will give brand owners full visibility of sales in and sales out across independent stores.

July 2022


Solution Evolution With global events continuing to upset supply chains and market dynamics, experts agree that now is the time to invest in modern IT capabilities that streamline operations and boost productivity whilst enabling your business to respond quickly and evolve strategically. For its part, STL has kickstarted a ‘Solution Evolution’,

fast-tracking its development programme to deliver users even more control, efficiency, agility and insights. Thanks to the open architecture of STL’s solutions, this programme includes seamless interfaces between STL’s next-generation wholesale management platform MMS Evo and specially-selected hardware, software and apps from trusted third parties, including...

Partnering with the best of the best

Deliver smarter


STL’s partnership with PODFather provides wholesalers:

STL has also upped the ante in vehicle routing efficiency, integrating Optrak’s flagship vehicle routing solution with MMS Evo. Parfetts is the first to trial the integrated solution, which is designed to help operators reduce costs by advising the best delivery schedules and routes taking into account:

A proof-of-delivery app which tracks asset movements, captures signatures and photos, then updates head office in real time – all through an Android or iOS smartphone app – saving time, money, paperwork and invoicing delays. Cage Tracker, which provides a simple cage out/in logging system tied to the delivery process to protect asset investments.

Optimise sales By integrating MMS Evo with’s ecommerce app, STL is offering the first truly seamless and realtime omni-channel sales system for wholesalers.

Delivery zone access times Current congestion levels Order sizes Pallet, cage and vehicle dimensions Customers’ preferred groupings Different ambient requirements Timed windows The most cost-effective service per customer

It enables anytime/anywhere ordering which has proven to increase loyalty and total spend, while giving operators deeper customer insights that they can convert conv co nver ertt in into to happier hap ppi p er clients clilien ents ts and and higher hig ghe herr profits. p ofi pr ofits ts.

01204 808008

:H]PUN ^OVSLZHSLYZ [PTL TVUL` Meanwhile, STL’s own Development Team has also accelerated work to meet customers’ changing needs.

Receive smarter Their newest module, STL Goods Inwards Dashboard, drives superior efficiency into stocktaking operations. Running on Android-based terminals or tablets, it displays such information as all purchase orders, goods due status and pallets booked in on a single screen. With versions for single and multiple depots it ensures pickers can: Be ready to receive goods as they arrive Move quickly to and around the pick face Chase overdue deliveries in a timely manner Check un-booked orders, reducing the amount of sales lost through out-of-stocks


Enterprise Purchase & Logistics is designed specifically for delivered operators, supporting confident purchase order decisions by helping them to take full advantage of lorry capacity, routes and any incentives to order as cost-, time- and space- efficiently as possible.

Claim all incentives due The sheer variety of incentives can be difficult to manage, which results in many going unclaimed. STL Supplier Claims Management automatically collates relevant purchase, stock and promotional data from a wholesaler’s back-office system, before emailing claims to their suppliers in line with agreed terms. It then tracks the status of each claim, enabling operators to manage 1 user overdue payments more vigorously to prevent profits escaping. reclaimed

It can be difficult to track and control total replenishment requirements in a multi-site operation. STL’s new

One wholesaler used the module to reel in £1m in previously untracked claims.

Foodservice focus

Sage integration

STL’s Development Team has recently homed in on foodservice efficiency – for example, with new MMS Evo interfaces that enable customers to easily connect with buying groups such as Unitas and Fairway. There’s also a new STL Quotation module, which allows sales representatives to automatically convert pricing agreements into contract or scheme prices within Evo, to avoid the delay, hassle and errorpotential of rekeying.


STL has also designed a new API to integrate MMS Evo with Sage Standard, the cloud version of the popular accounting software. As well as providing the anywhere/anytime benefits of an app-based solution, the interface has enabled the likes of Newg420, First Choice Foodservice and Chapple & Jenkins to seamlessly share data between their accounting and stock management systems for greater control and reduced administration.

Heading into the cloud Such advantages will be amplified further with the release of STL MMS Evo Cloud which is currently in development. This multi-tenanted solution will have one primary platform supporting exclusive databases for each wholesaler, offering customers even greater flexibility and ease-of-use alongside reassuringly superior security, integrity and resilience. For the warehouse, STL has invested in new Androidbased wearable picking units that give operators hands-free mobility for increased productivity. They validate items against orders and invoices as they scan, and support effective stock control and beforedate management. What’s more, their standalone capability allows work to continue even if WiFi is down.

This commitment to continuous investment in sectorspecific functionality has seen Best Wines and Restaurant Wholesale amongst the latest operators to sign up for STL MMS Evo.

And – hot off the press! – STL is currently fine-tuning a new TPD split pack module.

01204 808008


Aim for the perfect mix With innovation in the vodka and ready-to-drink (RTD) sectors exciting consumers, wholesalers can help their customers tap into demand for high quality, on-trend options.


odka continues to be an important category within spirits, and flavoured vodka is growing at 73% in the off-trade (Nielsen). Meanwhile, the RTD market is up by 14% year on year, with the sub-category of RTD cocktails showing 44% growth in the off-trade (Nielsen). BuzzBallz, America’s biggest selling single-serve premixed cocktails, are now available in the UK via exclusive distributor, Hammonds of Knutsford. Six variants (13.5% abv) have been launched: Choc Tease, Tequila ‘Rita, Strawberry ‘Rita, Lotta Colada, Espresso Martini and Chili Mango. The 200ml balls have an rsp of £3.50. Made with premium spirits, real fruit juice and natural flavours, BuzzBallz are regularly featured on US social media and they are expected to prove similarly popular with British consumers. The UK launch strategy is to target 25 to 40 yearolds living in urban areas, who enjoy socialising with friends while on the go, in the garden or park, and on their way to parties, events and festivals. BuzzBallz are fully recyclable and use 15% recycled plastic in their construction. Branded PoS materials are available to support the UK launch. These include counter and chiller racks, free-standing display units and eye-catching signage to create a buzz in depot and in the retail environment. “Pre-mixed cocktails and long drinks are expected to increase share of the RTD market from 25% in 2014 to 60% in 2024, so BuzzBallz present a significant opportunity for the UK drinks sector, especially when consumers are looking for new and unusual options,” says Tim Dunlop, brand director at Hammonds. “BuzzBallz will help depots encourage trial among retailers and drive consumer sales for both planned and impulse purchases – it is the number one biggest selling pre-mixed cocktail brand in the US convenience channel.” Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, believes that customers are looking to cash & carries and wholesalers to provide guidance on drinks, along with new and unusual options to keep their shoppers interested. 46

July 2022

She adds: “This summer we expect RTDs to be the drink of choice amongst millennials, with brands such as Ace+Freak offering consumers bar-quality drinks in a convenient format.” As far as vodka is concerned, Davies reports that it is biting back at gin: “It’s now finding favour again among drinkers eschewing fads and flavours for stylish, elegant drinks with heritage and provenance, a story to tell, and that offer a quality, seriously great tasting drink with character, such as Mary White Belgian Vodka.” Diageo has relaunched its Summer Citrus flavour of Cîroc (37.5% abv) as a permanent line. This follows the success of its initial launch in 2021 when it sold out as a limited edition. The 70cl bottle has an rsp of £35.90. Diageo has also announced the introduction of Smirnoff Berry Burst flavoured vodka (37.5% abv). Initially available exclusively in Morrisons, the new variant will be rolled out in the off-trade and ontrade from September. Marketing investment worth over £2 million will back the launch alongside the brand’s other flavoured variants. To leverage WKD’s status as official alcohol partner of Love Island series eight, SHS Drinks is using broadcast media, co-branded pack designs, price-marked packs, on-pack promotions, in-depot activation, and a social, digital and influencer campaign. Available exclusively to independents is a £3.39 PMP of WKD Pink 700ml, with a neck label alerting consumers that the Love Island variant is included in the ‘2 for £6’ offer running across the entire WKD 700ml PMP range. In addition, a Love Island promotion as part of an activation in pubs and bars will feature for the first time this year. In the impulse channel, pre-mixed drinks cans are experiencing value growth of 14% (Nielsen), and Pernod Ricard is giving consumers the chance to enjoy the UK’s No.1 cocktail (CGA), passionfruit martini, at home or on the go by offering a bar-quality RTD format under the Absolut brand. Support for the 5% abv drink, which comes in a 250ml can and has an rsp of £2.20, includes a media campaign, presence at summer festivals, and PR and influencer gifting. Conversion activity will also be driven through a partnership with Hawk. With the cocktail market now worth £10 million (+27%) in impulse (Nielsen), 2022 will provide a wide range of occasions for consumers to enjoy these in an RTD format, such as outdoor events, maintains Funkin Cocktails, which has achieved 134% growth in value sales in the past year. CCM

! ! l l o r o t y d a e R We are BuzzBallz.

America’s best selling single-serve cocktail brand. Made from premium spirits and natural ingredients. Six ready to drink flavors in unique recyclable PET containers. Produced at bar-strength for an authentic cocktail experience. Now in the UK.

For info scan QR code or call 01565 872 872

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