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MARCH 2019


Pleased with progress: MD Darren Goldney on Unitas developments

Last chance to enter the prestigious CCM Chefs’ Own-Brand Awards


4Snacks & Biscuits 4Energy Drinks 4Laundry 4Tobacco & Next

Generation Products



March 2019

This month don’t miss... 08 6

Philip Dennis offers its customers a Mastercard with added benefits.



Three million cases were expected to be sold at Unitas’s trade show.

EFG Foodservice sells far more Country Range fries than branded.



Editor’s Comment Industry News Products & Promotions


Bestway Performance Awards Employees were honoured for their talent and excellence.


Interview with Darren Goldney, MD of Unitas.


Spotlight Colin Smith, SWA chief executive.


In Focus Wholesalers’ own-labels can match or even outperform branded lines.


Achievers AG Barr has won Best Overall Service seven times in the past 10 years.

Colin Smith of the Scottish Wholesale Association admits he finds it difficult to switch off, always trying to keep his eye on the ball!




Product of the month

Employment Law Cate Ritchie advises on monitoring employee activity in the workplace.


Snacks & Biscuits Tobacco & NGPs Laundry Update Energy Drinks

Ian Johnstone explains AG Barr’s success in servicing wholesalers.

Herald sees a surge in sales of its disposable products for caterers.


March 2019


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Banking on women irimavo Bandaranaike started it all in 1960 in Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), followed by Golda Meir in Israel in 1969 and then Margaret Thatcher in the UK (1979) – the first female Prime Ministers of their respective countries at a time when it was unheard of for women to be considered for, let alone be given, such powerful jobs. They, and the suffragette movement before them, played a major role in confirming the ability of the distaff side to match their male counterparts. Now, in all walks of life, females are being given greater responsibility and proving their worth. We have previously referred to the female revolution in this column and highlighted just a few who are in senior roles in C&C/wholesale and with leading suppliers to our sector. Now we learn of two companies who are taking matters a stage further. JJ Food Service is proud of the fact that, following advertisements being placed for branch managers at its Leeds and Sidcup depots, around half the applicants were women. Okay, neither position was actually filled by a woman, but it shows that the foodservice operator is being seen as an equal opportunities concern. The company is an official supporter of Women in Wholesale 2019 and is the launch pad of a ‘Warehouse Women’ initiative.



Pleased with progress: MD Darren Goldney on Unitas developments Last chance to enter the prestigious CCM Chefs’ Own-Brand Awards

Mervyn Gilbert News Editor




However, the prize for the most laudable idea to promote females in the commercial world has to go to Metro, the global cash & carry operator which in 2012 sold its Makro UK business to Booker. To mark International Women’s Day, the Dusseldorf-based company came up with a scheme to present girls born in Bucharest on 8 March 2019 with a cheque for 1,500 euros. “This ‘Little Girls Entrepreneurs’ scheme,” says the cash & carry operator, “is to support their dream of becoming business owners when they turn 18.” It’s not clear what happens if the young women don’t actually go into business and choose a totally different career path. But you can’t knock the project’s originality. Apparently, research conducted in Romania shows that 64% of women want to open their own business but only 6% have the confidence to do so. Imagine this: when the youngsters reach maturity, they could be running a firm that relies on Metro and Makro branches as its major source of supply – a sort of reciprocal gift to a company that gave them a head start. Booker, Bestway, Dhamecha, Brakes and Bidfood take note!

MARCH 2019

Cash & Carry Management is free to cash & carry and delivered wholesale directors, buyers and managers. The magazine is available to other subscribers for just £65 a year or £6 per copy. Overseas yearly subscriptions are priced at £95. Back issues dating back to 2011 are available online.


Snacks & Biscuits Energy Drinks Laundry

Tobacco & Next Generation Products

Email mail.winlove@btconnect.com or call (01342) 712100 for more information.

Address Winlove Publications Ltd PO Box 366 East Grinstead RH19 4ZE Tel (01342) 712100 Email mail.winlove@btconnect.com Publisher Winlove Publications Ltd EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kirsti Sharratt News Editor Mervyn Gilbert Deputy Editor Siobhan Kielty Contributing Editor Kevin Whitlock ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Publishing Director Martin Lovell Media Sales Manager Clare Phillips 4,575 July 2017 – June 2018 Audit Bureau of Circulations Printed by Bishops Printers ISSN 1352-254X All media rates and feature lists can be accessed online by visiting: cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk

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March 2019


[ INDUSTRY NEWS ] Men-toring and women!

Women in Wholesale’s Speed Mentoring event, taking place at the NatWest building in Bishopsgate, London, on 25 April, features several leading lights in the C&C/wholesale sector. They include Sarah Whiddett, Bidfood’s head of insight & customer experience; Yulia Goodwin, head of trading & marketing at Sugro UK; and Coral Rose, Country Range Group managing director. Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ chief executive James Bielby will address delegates on the subject of ‘Winning in Wholesale’, while the mentors include Helen Rimmer, Carlsberg UK’s national account controller; Clare Bocking, commercial director of Tulip; Tanya Peppin, director of The Whole Sale Co; Melanie Hannay, RBS regional director, London Commercial Sectors; Stefan Appleby, consultant, Hanover Communications; Carol Glover, executive coach, Time Management & Prioritising; and Esther Shearwood, of the Gap Partnership. After lunch and the main mentoring sessions, delegates at the WiW event can adjourn to a local hostelry where there will be the opportunity for extended networking. a New Era PR (07956) 030804

Sale of TRS Group imminent?

There are unconfirmed reports that cash & carry and wholesale foods business TRS Group is up for sale. The company, with headquarters in Southall, west London, was founded in 1959 by Taherally Rehmanji Suterwalla. With a current turnover of £109 million, it is now run by his five sons, who include

chairman Faroukh and MD Hatim. Although Cash & Carry Management contacted Hatim Suterwalla for confirmation, he declined to respond. The proposed bidder is understood to be private equity company Exponent, whose spokesman said: “There’s no comment on this, on or off the record.”

Exponent has already delved into the food trade through the sale of Quorn Foods in 2015 and the purchase last year of an undisclosed stake in dairy concern Meadow Foods. TRS has two arms. There is a cash & carry on the Southall site and another at Leyton, east London, while the ethnic foods business is also based at the HQ location. The cash & carry side was a longstanding member of Landmark Wholesale before switching to Unitas Wholesale when it was formed from the merger of Today’s Group and Landmark. a TRS 020-8843 5400

Shortt commented: “We continue to work with customers and major brands to offer the best sales and marketing service in the UK. “As DCS strives for its 25th year of consecutive growth, we recognise the importance of diversification. Pharmacy offers a great opportunity to trade in a key, yet new, channel for us.”

More than 500 people work for DCS Group at Stratford-upon-Avon as well as at Banbury. Sales last year rose by 4% to £223 million. The mainstream business specialises in health, beauty and household products. Customers include Unitas Wholesale members, plus Bestway/Batleys and Booker/ Makro. In foodservice, DCS Group deals with Country Range, Caterforce and Fairway groups as well as Brakes and Bidfood. a DCS Group (01789) 208000

DCS adds pharmacy division

Banbury-based wholesaler DCS Group has launched a pharmacy division, with deliveries made to specialist wholesalers throughout the UK. Chairman and CEO Denys Shortt OBE said he hoped the new operation would contribute £10 million sales within two years. Over £100,000 has been invested in a medicines storage facility at the company’s headquarters distribution centre. It will carry more than 500 pallets of over-thecounter medicines in a temperature-controlled environment.

Drinks wholesalers continue improvement Matthew Clark and Bibendum continued to improve distribution, service and cash contribution within parent company Dublinbased C&C Group in the 06

March 2019

second half to 28 February. A spokesman said: “They have significant underlying momentum across key financial and performance measures, with good progress


made on the identification of synergy measures.” Group year-end debt is expected to be between 305 million and 312 million euros – well below market estimates.

Full-year results of the Bulmers and Magnum cider owner are due to be announced on 22 May. a C&C Group 003531-506 3900

Top speakers for SWA Dawood Pervez, managing director of Bestway Wholesale, Colin McLean, chief executive of Dundeebased Spar wholesaler CJ Lang, and Chieh Huang, chief executive of US-based online wholesaler Boxed, are due to speak at the Scottish Wholesale Association’s annual conference. The event – entitled What’s Next? – is being held from 31 May to 2 June at the Crieff Hydro in Perthshire. Also due to speak is Ross Mackay, co-founder of Daring Foods, a Glasgowbased start-up selling plantbased meat alternatives, securing its first distribution deal with Lomond Fine Foods earlier this year.

Other confirmed presenters include: Andrew Lynas, MD of Lynas Foodservice; Nigel Holmes, chief executive of the Scottish Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association; and Fiona Speakman, client director of data and research consultancy, CGA. Delegates will be addressed by Julie Dunn, SWA president and operations director of Dunns Food and Drinks.

Blakemore Retail staff raised over £1,500 for the NSPCC in a ‘spinathon’ – an event organised by Battlefield store manager Stacey Aitkin-Best and salesperson Sara Chang. The challenge, involving cycling for up to four hours, attracted 37 employees from nine SPAR branches. Further fundraisers are planned in the coming months. a Blakemore Retail (01902) 369867

Pioneer Foodservice’s catering trade show in Carlisle last month was supported by more than 60 regional and national suppliers, including Heinz, Nestlé and Whitby Scampi. Along with standard foods, the Carlisle-based operator included vegan and gluten-free products as well as food packaging made from plants. Also on display were many lines made in the north. ‘Substantial discounts’ were offered to those making purchases at the show. Manager director Graham Jenkins commented: “This was our 21st show and it was the best so far. Visitor numbers exceeded last year’s 1,300.” He continued: “As well as sampling grocery, chilled and frozen goods, visitors could try our own Lakeland beef and a variety of sausages,

Doing a good turn

Pervez and McLean

There will again be a number of panel discussions. SWA chief executive Colin Smith told Cash & Carry Management: “It’s all about ringing the changes and ensuring that our annual conference remains relevant to members and suppliers. “Their time is at a premium so we must provide a platform for networking and create an environment that is conducive to encouraging discussion and sharing information.” Areas of focus for this year’s event are: technology, incorporating training; future growth opportunities in Scotland; and food trends. a SWA 0131-556 8753

21st trade show

Pioneer managing director Graham Jenkins (left) and sales director David Jenkins.

including our famous Cumberland sausages.” The company, which is a member of Caterforce, has depots in Workington and Gateshead, as well as Carlisle. Deliveries are made across the south-west of Scotland, Cumbria and north-east England. The family-run concern has a staff of more than 375. a Pioneer Foodservice (01228) 523474


Booker departures Guy Farrant (below), who became chief operating officer of Booker in 2016 – a year before the tie-up with Tesco – has left the company. He joined as Booker Wholesale MD in 2010 after working for Marks & Spencer, where he was director of the food division. Four years ago he became group COO. Booker CEO Charles Wilson said: “As we are no longer a public company, Guy and Andrew Kitching, group people director, have decided to move on. Guy has been a first-rate chief operating officer of the public company and Andrew has been a great group people director.” Wilson has taken over Farrant’s responsibilities while head of human resources Rebecca Mallows has taken on Kitching’s former duties. a Booker Group (01933) 371000

Club praise SPAR south-west retailers have praised the retailer club set up by regional distributor Appleby Westward a year ago. Typical of their comments was this from store manager Manju Vij from West Bay, near Bridport: “It has helped us grow our SPAR brand sales by nearly £25,000 in 12 months and rebates have allowed us to be more daring on some lines which we might have struggled with.” a Appleby Westward (01752) 854000


March 2019


[ INDUSTRY NEWS ] Blakemore acquisition

The Philpotts chain of 21 stores, in the same ownership as Patisserie Valerie, which was in receivership, has been acquired by AF Blakemore & Son. All 210 staff are being retained. The acquisition follows the SPAR wholesaler’s decision last year to withdraw from the cash & carry sector and concentrate on its retail operations. Peter Blakemore, chairman, commented: “Bringing Philpotts under Blakemore ownership enhances our current retail offer and is aligned with our strategic retail and foodservice plan. “Our experience and knowledge of the foodservice and convenience sectors brings significant opportunities to develop the brand, while taking elements of the Philpotts offer into our wider business.” Blakemore, with a turnover of £1.1 billion, delivers to 1,011 SPAR stores, 282 of which it owns. The West Midlands business also includes multitemp distribution to catering outlets, fresh meat wholesaling, fine foods and design & shopfitting. a AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066 08

March 2019

Confidential trading of drinks More than 40 C&C/wholesalers are participating in a new ‘secure and confidential’ scheme to buy and sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that are surplus to requirements. The service, called Spiritrade, is the brainchild of Jimmy Metta, founder of the on-trade wholesaler Vanquish Wines. Members pay 2% commission on the purchase or sale of the products being transacted. Neither the buyer nor the seller of stock has access to the identity of the other party.

Goods waiting to be traded can be stored at a holding site in Rotterdam, operated by Top Logistics. It is understood that details of a UK base will shortly be announced. A spokesperson said: “All members are vetted and comply with regulation before they are allowed access to the exchange. “Furthermore, all stock is verified before a transaction

completes and all funds are held in escrow (a contractual arrangement in which a third party receives and disburses money or property for the primary transacting parties, the disbursement being dependent on conditions agreed by those parties). “We act as the facilitator between buyer and seller in this scheme, which is similar to ebay. It goes without saying that no rogue traders are allowed. “Spiritrade aims to revolutionise and modernise the drinks industry.” a Spiritrade (07821) 891504

Finance specialist Capital on Tap is partnering with Philip Dennis Foodservice to offer customers of the wholesaler a new Mastercard. The company’s independent retail and on-trade customers are invited to apply for the card through the wholesaler’s website using an online application form. Cardholders have access to interest-free credit of up to £50,000 for a limit of 56 days plus 0.5% cashback when they use the card at Philip Dennis Foodservice or any other merchant. The wholesaler’s managing director Stephen Carr commented: “Our customers are at the heart of our business. We enjoy watching

them thrive and succeed but understand that, in the retail and restaurant industries, cash flow can be a problem at times. “By partnering with Capital on Tap to introduce this new card, we are giving customers the opportunity to instantly obtain the goods they require for their business to succeed and then pay the money off further down the line.”

Zoe Newman, head of partnerships at Capital on Tap, said: “The branded nature of the card is a brilliant way for the wholesaler to promote its services to customers.” Philip Dennis operates throughout the Midlands, Oxfordshire and the southwest, supplying meat, fish, ambient, chilled and frozen produce and non-foods. a Philip Dennis Foodservice (01993) 700030

Wholesaler plays its card

Former cash & carry now an Aldi The former Blakemore cash & carry in Bangor is reopening as a 1,254 sq metre Aldi retail store, employing 37 people and with 113 car


parking spaces. Before announcing its withdrawal from cash & carry last year to concentrate on its SPAR symbol business,

the wholesaler had 12 cash & carries, which were either closed or sold. a AF Blakemore & Son (01902) 366066

First Choice appointment First Choice Foodservice, of Burton-on-Trent, has recruited John Searle (right), 58, to the newly-created post of sales director. He was previously with Landmark Wholesale, having spent 22 years at the group over two periods, leaving in 2017. Searle was Landmark’s senior trading controller before being appointed trading director in 2004. In all, he has spent more than 40 years in C&C/wholesale. Searle heads the sales department of First Choice, a member of Fairway Foodservice group. The

company has a turnover of around £10 million. His appointment follows the recent announcement that Fairway has resigned from its associate membership of Unitas Wholesale, formed from the amalgamation of Landmark and Today’s Group. Searle commented: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with MD Steve Ainger and the entire team at First Choice and help the business continue its already strong sales and profit growth as well as further developing its customer service.”

The winner of a Fantasy Football competition arranged by Unitas Wholesale was Chris Hughes, managing director of Regal Wholesale of Bromborough, Wirral. He donated the £1,300 prize to The UTS Foundation. The local charity provides coaching and health and wellbeing sessions to vulnerable community groups. The money will be used to pay for extra weekly yoga sessions.

Regal Wholesale, which operates from a 45,000 sq ft site, is an online discounter of household, health and beauty, grocery and paper products. It has over 30 years’ experience in exporting, selling to nearly 40 countries, and offers a wide range of global label, non-brand and clearance lines. a Regal Wholesale (0151) 346 1420

James Hall & Co, SPAR UK’s northern wholesaler, is, for the 13th year in a row, sponsoring the Lancashire School Games, with disability swimming taking place in Lancaster next month and able-bodied athletics in Blackpool in July. The event was officially launched at the company’s

Preston distribution centre, where 120 guests heard talks by Team GB athletes, Nathan Maguire (Paralympian sprinter) and Lisa Whiteside (Commonwealth gold medal winning boxer), and had a tour of the 35,000 sq metre site. Among the guests were 80 of the contestants.

Ainger said: “I’ve had a working relationship with John for many years, and I’m thrilled to bring his knowledge and passion to our highly talented sales team. “We share the same goal of positioning First Choice as the go-to wholesaler in the region. His expertise will provide our sales staff with an enhanced skill set to set us apart from the competition.” Established in 2009, First Choice Foodservice delivers more than 4,000 product lines weekly throughout the Midlands, with online ordering and a next-day delivery service available. a First Choice Foodservice (01283) 741 630

Fantastic charitable gesture!

Chris Hughes (right) with Tony Berry, project manager at The UTS Foundation.


New post at Harvest Distributor and wholesaler Harvest Fine Foods, which operates from a 56,000 sq ft depot in the Totton district of Southampton and has a turnover of £16 million, has appointed Steve Whitwam (right) to fill the newlycreated post of sales director. He has worked in the wholesale foodservice sector for 12 years, latterly as general manager of Bidfood’s Worthing depot. His role at the Country Range Group member will cover marketing as well as sales. a Harvest Fine Foods (01202) 470444

Sales role Bestway Medhub, part of the C&C/wholesale business, has named Emma Evanson as national sales manager. She was previously customer relationship manager for the specialist care division of Bestway’s Well Pharmacy. a Bestway Group 0208-524 3535

Long-running James Hall sponsorship Peter Dodding, James Hall’s sales & marketing director, said: “Over 94,000 Lancashire schoolchildren participated in last year’s event and this year promises to be bigger and better.” The wholesaler, founded in Southport in 1863, is run by the fourth and fifth generations of the Hall family.

It delivers to around 640 SPAR stores across the north of England and has a staff of more than 3,500. Divisions include Clayton Park Bakery, Great Northern Sandwich Co, GAP Distribution and Fazila Foods, based in Bolton. a James Hall & Co (01772) 706666


March 2019



Family success Independent toffee maker Walker’s Nonsuch is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Founded in 1894 by Edward Joseph, the company is now run by the fifth generation of the family.

Things have come a long way since this!

Notable events along the way include the purchase in 1947 of a factory previously belonging to boiled sweet manufacturer Horleston Brothers and the takeover of Siddalls Blue Churn Confectionery in 1961. This site, in Longton, Stoke on Trent, remains the home of Walker’s Nonsuch. In addition to UK business, exports have played a big role in the company’s operation, with business being conducted with more than 50 countries. Since 1971, Walker’s Nonsuch has been a regular exhibitor at the ISM show in Cologne. Former managing director Ian Walker served 62 years with the producer until his death in 2017. The current managing director is Adrian Hill. Also playing a major role in the business, which supplies supermarkets, cash & carries and specialist distributors, are Ian’s daughters, Katie, who looks after UK sales, and Emma, who is on the export side. Nephew Edward is the company’s production director. a Walker’s Nonsuch (01782) 321525 10

March 2019

Exploratory talks Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be the keynote speaker for Caterforce’s annual conference, which has the theme ‘The Market Uncovered’. Taking place on 14 November at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, the event will focus on street food markets, key food trends, an insight into the foodservice market and a look at how the group and its seven member businesses (with combined turnover of more than £500 million) are shaping up for 2020 and beyond. More than 250 suppliers and delegates are expected to attend.

Sir Ranulph will tell delegates how teamwork, from crew and expedition supporters, has contributed to his success in global expeditions. Economist, journalist and broadcaster Liam Halligan will be returning to the Caterforce stage to discuss life after Brexit. Other speakers, yet to be announced, will cover the future of foodservice.

Sheffield-based wholesaler and distributor Pricecheck has been named a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion for 2019 by the Department for International Trade. The global fast-moving consumer goods concern sells over 4,500 branded products to customers in the UK and more than 80 countries overseas. Over the past six years,

export value has increased from £8.8 million to £32.3 million. Total company turnover exceeds £80 million. Joint managing director Debbie Harrison attended a presentation ceremony in Durham where recipients of awards were addressed by Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP. a Pricecheck (0114) 244 0887

At the end of the conference, there will be a ‘meet the member’ session where delegates can interact with group wholesalers. Caterforce managing director Nick Redford said: “This will be our largest conference to date. “We’ve invested a lot this year to offer our guests an event that isn’t to be missed.” a Caterforce (01625) 440188

‘Powerhouse’ for exports

Joint MDs Mark Lythe and Debbie Harrison.

Making a splash with Brakes

Left to right: Brakes CEO Hugo Mahoney, Harrogate Water national sales manager Alan Souter and CEO James Cain, and awards host Dominic Holland.


Harrogate Water has been awarded three supplier-ofthe-year ‘Oscars’ by Brakes UK. The supplier won overall supply partner of the year, the service partner award, with a level of 99.8%, and the sustainability partner accolade. The water company’s CEO James Cain said: “Brakes has more than 700

suppliers and to achieve these results is nothing short of remarkable.” In its supplier partner citation, Brakes UK said: “This supplier is a true partner. “It stood head and shoulders against its competitive set this year, providing exceptional service.” a Brakes UK (01233) 206000 a Harrogate Water (01423) 730000


‘Committed to ensuring Bestway remains a great place to work’ mployees throughout Bestway Wholesale’s business – from drivers to depot managers and sales representatives to head office colleagues – were honoured last month for their talent and excellence at the Bestway Performance Awards. The awards were judged by representatives from each department and included three supplier titles, as well as the employee accolades. At the event, which was held at the The Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel, London, managing director Dawood Pervez told the 500-strong audience: “For over 14 years, our Performance Awards have been central to Bestway in recognising the commitment and exceptional talent we are proud to see within our own and our suppliers’ businesses. “The awards are all about championing our people. While there have to be winners within the awards process, every one of our nominees, chosen by their colleagues, are winners. We are enormously proud of our team and wholly committed to ensuring Bestway remains a great place to work, offering strong careers, alongside development, CCM progression and reward.”


Roll of Honour Driver of the Year Stephen Horgan, Bestway Plymouth Picker of the Year Kaushal Kaushal, Bestway Abbey Road Receptionist of the Year Ornuma Burke, Bestway Leeds Depot Colleague of the Year Akhtar Ali, Bestway Romford Customer Satisfaction Batleys Leeds Community Award Bestpets for ‘Watch the Birdie’ campaign Unsung Hero Award Debra Allen, multiple account manager Values Award Herchelle Perez-Terrado, licensed controller Customer Sales Representative, Bestway Vans Direct Rob Spears (snacks division) Catering Salesperson of the Year Syed Shah, regional account manager, London

Customer Service Centre Team Member of the Year Linda Ross, customer advisor Pet Salesperson of the Year Cheryll Flanagan, regional sales development manager Retail Salesperson of the Year Hitesh Mehta, territory sales manager, London Head Office Colleague of the Year Pretash Patel, assistant property and transport manager Head Office Department of the Year Customer contact centre, Perth Depot Manager of the Year Zahid Akbar and his operations manager Habib-ur Rehman, Bestway Manchester Depot of the Year Batleys Liverpool Most Improved Supplier Lucozade Ribena Suntory Most Innovative Supplier Diageo GB for Gordon’s Pink Gin Supplier of the Year Coca-Cola European Partners

All the award winners with Dawood Pervez (seventh on left, back row), managing director of Bestway Wholesale.


March 2019



Offering more for more

On the eve of the inaugural Unitas trade show, MD Darren Goldney updated Cash & Carry Management’s managing editor Kirsti Sharratt about the group’s delivery of its objectives. ess than four months ago, Unitas managing director Darren Goldney announced that the group’s aim to bring about improved efficiency and effectiveness would be fulfilled with a sense of urgency. Cash & Carry Management spoke to Goldney to see exactly what has been achieved in that time and what initiatives are coming up:


How have the past few months been at Unitas? The speed of change has been fast! To put in place a new team, switch head office location, write new contracts of employment, and start negotiating new growth packages with suppliers in such a short period is incredible. I‘m really pleased with the progress so far. Are you delivering the efficiency and effectiveness you wanted? Yes, we are. One of the big benefits of the merger is giving suppliers one point of contact, one trade show, one conference, one invoice. We have delivered all of those things very quickly. Our trade show (at the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool, on 5-6 March) is a good example of how we are trying to make what is a disparate industry more efficient by nailing a lot of work in one

go: last year at the Today’s trade show, there were 2.3 million cases sold; this year we are hoping that figure will exceed three million. The whole event is bigger and there are distinct foodservice and on-trade sections to reflect the specialist functions within our diverse group. We are expecting 100 of our member businesses to attend (compared to 70 at the Today’s show) and over the course of the show and awards dinner we will have over 850 people participating versus 650 last year. We anticipate that our annual conference, which takes place in Vilamoura, Portugal, on 16-20 September, will offer enhanced value as well.

Over three million cases of products were expected to be sold at the trade show.


March 2019


What other changes are you making that will benefit your members and suppliers? The membership structures for Today’s and Landmark were slightly different. We are just about to enter our first fiscal year (in April) and we have new membership criteria, agreed by our board, with a ‘more for more’ element. We are beginning that journey: not only are we saying to suppliers that we would like more, and they are saying they will give us more if we do more, but we are also trying to live that ethos through our membership. We want to create a group that is always improving itself. For example, we have already expanded our ‘Plan for Profit’ core range scheme to more members and we are executing PoS materials quarterly through a third party. The core range we are recommending is now all the way through the line, either with a logo on a PLOF or with a shelf-edge ticket in depot. In April, our promotional compliance tool (Cash & Carry Management: December 2018) will be rolled out through our 50 ‘Plus’ members – those who have opted in to our higher level of membership and who participate in all our promotions. Every depot of these wholesalers (around 80 throughout the UK) will have an optimisation champion who will be required to photograph promotional activity in their depots and send it through our ‘picture portal’ to provide evidence of compliance. Spot checks will also be carried out in some of our symbol and retail club stores. Members who demonstrate ‘week one execution’ will receive a higher level of reward than those who don’t. From May, our national promotions will be consistent across the membership. How have suppliers responded to your request for increased investment? Supplier companies are full of clever people who are very tough about ensuring return on investment and they naturally want to have elements of conditionality. Although some have exhibited a short-term approach, many are very

[ INTERVIEW ] The collaboration scorecard will also give suppliers’ account managers a useful tool to take back to their own business. We are an £8.5 billion group and we want to put ourselves on the radar of suppliers’ finance, supply chain and marketing departments, as well as their trading departments.

Unitas events will provide plenty of opportunities for networking.

positive about what we are trying to achieve. They are cautious about any incremental agreements – they want to invest but with some assurances of activity that will drive extra benefit. We already have a host of new supplier growth packages, a lot of which challenge us. However, they are ‘more for more’ agreements. Our objective is to help them sell more and make more margin from what they do sell. We have developed a way of assessing how well we are working with suppliers – a collaboration scorecard – which involves measuring on a monthly basis four key factors: A strong, competitive, commercial deal. Service. We have developed a benchmark service tracker where we show suppliers their inbound service level benchmarked against their peers. Financial standards. We want to pay suppliers on time and get paid on time. Account management standards. We want our fair share of NPD, etc. Each of the four measures will be graded red, amber or green, with an overall assessment as well. There will also be a section for wholesale members to state if the supplier’s performance differs locally. The plan is to launch the scorecard scheme in April, and we want it to be an incentive to discuss what the supplier and/or we at Unitas can do to improve our trading relationship. We would expect the grades be challenged if there was a reason – for example, a supplier might be given red for service because our forecast was 1,000% higher than the amount we actually bought.

• • • •

You mentioned NPD – what is your message to suppliers about allocation? We don’t want more than anybody else, just our fair share. In total, 99.4% of sales through our members are of branded products, so it is really frustrating when we don’t get branded NPD first. I would question the long-term decision-making of a supplier that gives NPD to Tesco and Booker first as they clearly have a much more advanced own-brand range and will probably replicate and therefore dilute any branded NPD. We are more of a certain bet: when we win, brands win. Do you have any plans to develop your own-brand portfolio? We are the home of brands but we still think own-label can grow. Ironically the way we think it can grow is by rationalising rather than enlarging our portfolio. We have said that all the Landmark brands that previously existed – including No.3, LSV, Prince Consort and Vintners Collection – will continue under Unitas. However, we are estimating that we will have 15% fewer own-brand SKUs by the end of 2019 than we started with. Are you intending to change your retail fascia schemes? No, we will retain the Today’s, DayToday and Lifestyle retail fascias. A lot of our members have invested a huge amount of capital in those fascias, and members that are close together geographically do want a point of difference. What we are working towards is achieving higher standards across our retail estate. Apart from Fairway, have any members either left or joined Unitas this year? Fairway HQ left, but individual members stayed, so nothing materially changed. We have an open door to new members but quality is more important than quantity – they have to enhance the value of the group, which is why our membership standards are now more exacting.

Unitas award winners Foodservice Food and Non-Food Supplier: Premier Foods Foodservice Drink and Impulse Supplier: KP Snacks Foodservice Supplier: Heineken UK Foodservice Own-Brand Member: RD Johns Foodservice Marketing Member: Jones Food Solutions Foodservice Member: RD Johns Foodservice Operator: Osprey Foods International On-Trade Operator: Hills Prospect Retail Supplier: Red Bull Company Retail Business Development Supplier: KP Snacks Retail Own-Brand Member: East End Foods Retail Depot: Hyperama, Peterborough Retail Member: Hyperama Retail Operator: United Wholesale (Scotland) Symbol Store: Today’s Extra, Spencer Road, Derry Best Depot Supplier of the Year – Licensed and Soft Drinks: Red Bull Company Best Depot Supplier of the Year – Grocery: Kellogg’s Rising Star Award: Euro Wines C&C Member of the Year: Global Foods

What do you see as your main task in your role as managing director? My job, and the job of the centre, is to recognise supplier needs and wholesaler member needs and then find the ground that brings these two parties together. It is inevitable that we will have to challenge suppliers but I want them to know we will equally challenge our members and ourselves. In the past there have been too many similar groups and therefore the natural tendency of the leadership teams has been to be less sympathetic to what suppliers want and more sympathetic to what wholesalers want. I’m hoping that suppliers, despite the short-term challenges, will see that we are beginning to do more of the things they want us to do and will come with us on the journey. We are offering them more business in return for more CCM investment.


March 2019


[ SPOTLIGHT ] Colin Smith, chief executive, Scottish Wholesale Association much more relaxed and enjoys life more. The sun certainly helps but there’s also the attitude of ‘tomorrow’ – why do we always rush to do everything today when there’s always ‘tomorrow’? What advice would you give someone starting his/her first job? Your first job is simply the first stepping stone of your career. Seize the next opportunity and don’t be afraid of failure.

A desire to achieve What has been the major milestone or turning point of your career? I can pinpoint two major ones. The first was to give up my 20-year career in wholesale – where I’d worked my way up the ladder from marketing assistant to Scottish regional manager – to source private funding to build and run my own 6,000 sq ft convenience store. My second major milestone was taking the decision, four years later, to sell the store and jump into the unknown world of unemployment! Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? My biggest inspiration hasn’t been one person but the collective of my forefathers. I grew up in what was Scotland’s oldest family bakers, until my father closed the business in the early 1990s. My father was always working, and during holidays I would join him in the bakery or doing deliveries. I grew up hearing tales of my grandfather and his father, as well as seeing photos, of how they grew the business from a single shop to a large local bakery. This not only inspired me to have a very good work ethic (often to my wife’s annoyance!) but also instilled in me the desire to achieve – in everything I do. 14

March 2019

How do you maintain a work-life balance? As my wife and two young boys of four and eight years-old (pictured) will attest to, this is what my forefathers didn’t teach me – how to switch off! I recognise in myself the need to keep going: just one more email or one more task to tick off that never-ending list. Technology is great but I think we all suffer from the addiction of being connected. What most frustrates you in business (and in life generally)? That we don’t work in African time! My wife is from South Africa, and when we go back there it seems that everyone is

If you were able to retire tomorrow, how would you spend your time? I gave up my c-store life, not to retire but to take things easier and spend more time with my family while I looked for my next work adventure. During that time off, I project-managed an extension to my house as well as helping my wife set up her own home business. I don’t think I’m made for retirement! What type of business would you go into if it wasn’t wholesale? I tried a different career choice and came back to wholesale. Maybe a complete change like a racing driver or car mechanic…I guess age isn’t on my side though! If you had a million pounds to invest in business, how would you spend it? I’m very lucky and privileged to have fulfilled this ambition by raising such funding through my ‘dragon’ investors to build Pinkie Farm Convenience Store CCM in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

University placement sowed the seeds Colin Smith has a degree in Business Studies from Edinburgh Napier University. As part of this course he spent a year at Bellevue in its sales & marketing department, and after graduating in 1998, Bellevue offered him a full-time position as sales & marketing assistant. In 2003 he joined Costco as marketing manager in the Edinburgh depot before returning to Bellevue as


head of sales & marketing in 2008. After Bellevue was bought by Batleys, Smith’s role changed to regional manager (Scotland) for the Best-one symbol group. He then ran his own c-store in Musselburgh from 2014 until he sold it in early 2018. In June 2018 he was appointed chief executive (designate) of the SWA and he took on full responsibility at the end of the year.

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Monitoring in the workplace: how to strike a fair balance Meet the HR expert

Make sure that the punishment fits the crime

Cate Ritchie, 121 HR Solutions Cate Ritchie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

ccording to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), 56% of workers believe that they are being monitored at work. But only 38% felt able to challenge forms of monitoring that they were uncomfortable with. The right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence is set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, which is incorporated into UK law. In the employment relationship, it is necessary to strike a fair balance between the employee’s right to privacy and the employer’s interests. When monitoring employees’ activity in the workplace it is important to: a Ensure that the employee has been notified of the possibility of the monitoring and provided with adequate safeguards. a Ensure that the extent of the monitoring and the degree of intrusion into the employee’s privacy is appropriate to the reason for the monitoring in the first place. a Provide reasons to justify monitoring the communications and content.


a Consider whether it is possible to use a less intrusive form of monitoring than accessing actual content. a Consider the consequences of the monitoring for the employee. Monitoring employees will always depend on the individual circumstances but as a principle it is important to provide the employee with detailed information about the processing, including the purpose of the monitoring, how long the monitoring data will be kept for and who the data will be shared with. CCM

121 HR Solutions provides employers of all sizes with professional, cost-effective human resource support. If you would like advice on any HR matter, contact Cate at cate@121hrsolutions.co.uk or phone (0792) 121 3890.

Security around personal devices at work With 62% of businesses and charities reporting a data breach in the last 18 months, the question of allowing staff to use their own devices at work has come under scrutiny. Many employers allow their staff to bring their own tablets and phones into work but this does create an IT nightmare for businesses that are not sufficiently tight around data security.


March 2019

With GDPR in place, emphasis on employee responsibilities has risen. A study has found that 61% of businesses have experienced data issues with staff devices which has increased the need for a security policy before allowing staff to use personal devices for work. Businesses need to treat personal devices the same way they treat desk computers when it comes to security.


An employee has been awarded £25,588 after an employment appeal tribunal found he was unfairly dismissed for taking a magazine out of a bin. The employee was dismissed for gross misconduct after he allegedly took a copy of TIME magazine, worth about £4.40, from a rubbish bag on a stairwell. The employer’s defence was that it took a zero tolerance approach towards theft, even when the item that was supposedly stolen held such a low value. The employer was a security company and said that if the aim of the business was to protect clients’ property and contents then it was entitled to have a zero tolerance policy if that ethos was breached. The employment tribunal agreed with this approach but the employee took the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). It ruled that the dismissal was a disproportionate sanction “having regard to the value and significance of the property item in dispute, and the length of service and good employment record of the employee”. There have been several recent cases where the tribunal has examined the length of employment and previous record of the employee against the context of the alleged breach and has found that the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. The employer must take all of the circumstances into account when making its finding following a disciplinary hearing.


Plus live demos, STREET FOOD & BARS, games & competitions, ENTERTAINMENT, industry bands and much more! This fundraising event is being held in aid of GroceryAid, the charity for the grocery industry.

*Price includes all food & drink

Looking beyond the label


The amount of care and investment going into own-label products is giving foodservice operators the chance to create stand-out menus in an increasingly cut-throat market.


ith 2019 in full swing, it’s time to plan your product selection for this year’s CCM Chefs’ Own-Brand Awards. Last year’s event was a great success and provided a few pleasant surprises, with several entries surpassing the expectations of the judges. Buying group Country Range was a winner in multiple categories, showing that development in own-label products has led to a viable alternative that can match – and even outperform – branded offerings. One of its members, EFG Foodservice, is a catering wholesaler supplying its customers with both branded and own-label products. Office manager Fiona Spinks (pictured) explained the wholesaler’s approach to an own-brand range. What Country Range own-label products do you offer, and what are the best-selling lines? We offer more than 500 Country Range SKUs across the ambient, chilled, frozen and non-food categories. In terms of volume, our best-selling Country Range products are the Country Range frozen fries – of which we sell far more than equivalent branded products. We also sell large volumes of Country Range fruit juices, flour, baked beans and condiments. What do you think is your customers’ view of own-brand products? Have most of your customers trialled them? The vast majority of our customers already buy Country Range products as part of their orders. It is clear that our customers value these products highly as the range accounts

for approximately 40% of our turnover. Although some operators still prefer to take the brands they are familiar with, the Country Range products are considered by our customers to be very high quality and cost-effective. When they buy a product from the range, they know they can trust that it will fit their needs, at a good price, and that they can be assured of the quality of the product. How do you think your own-brand offering measures up against branded SKUs? We have the highest confidence in the Country Range products and believe that they are equal or superior in quality to the branded goods we stock. The Country Range team are determined that products should only be added to the range if they are of excellent quality, to ensure that the own-brand proposition remains strong. This gives us certainty that no matter whether customers buy branded or Country Range products, they will always receive quality goods. Our purpose as a company is always to offer customers the products they want with the best possible service levels, whether branded or own-brand. What developments have you noticed in own-brand NPD over the past year? NPD is crucial to make sure that we can keep up with new trends and demands. Much of the Country Range NPD in late 2018 focused on desserts, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Given the growing demand for gluten-free products, it’s vital that caterers offer a range of desserts which appeal to this growing audience but still look and taste sensational. To meet this demand Country Range also introduced three new gluten-free desserts: Carrot Cake, Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate Cake. 2019 has so far seen the additions of Crispy Shoestring Fries to the existing fries range and Bacon & Cheese Turnovers to the Country Range breakfast and brunch offering. How does stocking a range of own-brand products benefit your business? Our priority is ultimately to provide customers with the products they need, at a fair price, with an excellent standard of service. The Country Range brand is a significant factor in CCM meeting this goal.


March 2019



A winner time and time again

AG Barr has repeatedly won the Achievers ‘Best Overall Service’ award. Ian Johnstone talks about the supplier’s success and outlines his strategy for the wholesale industry this year. o win the Scottish Wholesale Achievers award of Best Overall Service once is a huge achievement but to win it seven times in the past 10 years is truly remarkable. This is because it involves Scotland’s wholesalers firstly nominating their top suppliers and then voting each month over a four-month period for the service provided by the shortlisted companies. The suppliers are scored on deliveries (including admin support), wholesaler support and channel/customer support. To be given excellent scores month after month, year after year, means there must be a consistently high level of service. This year, AG Barr won with a score of 44.77 out of 50 – well ahead of any other supplier (Heineken was second with 41.33). “To win by such a big margin this year makes me think we are definitely doing something right and we have to make sure we continue to do that,” comments Ian Johnstone, AG Barr’s Scotland impulse sales controller.


‘When our customers tell us that we are doing the right thing, it fills me with pride’ Ian Johnstone, AG Barr’s Scotland impulse controller “When our customers tell us that we are doing the right thing, or something better than other suppliers, it fills me with pride and shows that our customers appreciate what we are doing for them.” Johnstone attributes the company’s success to the right mix of customer relationships, relevance in terms of brands, and service. He explains: “At AG Barr, we have built up strong relationships over many years, and we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of those relationships. They are backed up with relevance – we have strong 20

March 2019

The team from AG Barr celebrate winning Best Overall Service to the Scottish wholesale industry. Left to right, bottom row: Keir Stewart, Ian Johnstone, Craig Barr, David Gibson. Top row: Sam Talbot, Billy Constable, Lorna Thomas, SWA chief executive Colin Smith, Steve McGarry, Lee Gibson, awards host Jennifer Reoch.

brands that are important to wholesalers, their customers and the consumer. Then we provide a really good service – our people are going through the wholesalers’ doors on a regular basis and we ensure that deliveries are on time and not short, for example. “Other suppliers do individual parts well but we seem to have the right mix, which I why I think we are on to a winner.” AG Barr has a team of five people serving Scotland’s wholesale industry full-time plus another person part-time. Johnstone has recently restructured this team, selecting regional business development manager Craig Barr to be a foodservice specialist. Johnstone explains: “We listened to the Scottish Wholesale Association saying how important foodservice has become so we have put all our foodservice wholesale customers into one portfolio and we are getting Craig quickly up to speed to become an expert in foodservice. As part of this, he is being mentored by SWA president Julie Dunn.” Another development in AG Barr’s strategy is an objective to drive value over volume. “Wholesalers and their


customers need to get a little bit more for their money,” comments Johnstone. “The prices of our brands have been stuck for a long time and they need to start moving north, so we want to help drive that. We believe that everybody can start making a little more margin, but we are also ensuring that our packs for the wholesale channel are in line with the discounters and supermarkets. So we are trying our best to keep the wholesale industry competitive while moving the pricing up a bit.” AG Barr is launching a new campaign for Irn-Bru in April. This follows reformulation of the drink last year and, although the details are currently under wraps, the initiative will emphasise that Irn-Bru is still the No.1 soft drinks brand in Scotland and show that the company is still putting a great deal of investment behind it. Meanwhile, the team headed by Johnstone is clearly not resting on its laurels: “Although we seem to have a recipe for success in serving the wholesale industry, we are always trying to up our game. How our customers view us CCM is incredibly important to us.”







Consumers want choices

The snacking category is expanding as manufacturers launch more options to fulfil a variety of missions, with healthier choices at the top of the list. hen it comes to sweet snacking, consumers are demanding quality and choice to satisfy a number of need states. While healthier eating is certainly on the agenda for the majority of shoppers, this is not necessarily at the expense of traditional snacking choices. “Shoppers still like to indulge every so often and treatier biscuits are also driving the market. Everyday treat biscuits are growing at over twice the rate of the market as shoppers take the opportunity to treat themselves in between healthier snacking,” advises Jeremy Peters, head of category & insights at Burton’s Biscuit Company. Burton’s is, however, aware of the increasing momentum of the healthy eating drive and its effect on the category. “Whilst everyday and treats are driving growth in sweet biscuits, cereal bars and healthier options have also made an impact, with the ‘health’ segment expected to grow by 14% to 2021 as consumers look for lower fat, salt and sugar options that don’t compromise on quality, in addition to their usual favourites,” Peters explains.


‘Whilst everyday and treats are driving growth in sweet biscuits, cereal bars and healthier options have also made an impact’ Jeremy Peters, Burton’s Biscuit Company’s head of category & insights “The increased focus on quality, health and free-from options has had a major impact on the sweet biscuits category in the last 12 months.” The manufacturer has responded to the health demands with initiatives such as the 100 calorie mini packs and sugar reduction for its Maryland brand. This year there is further activity along the same lines with the introduction of Maryland Sugar Free Cookies. The new product sees Burton’s answering current demands in an increasingly competitive category: “The trend towards health, as well as provenance and traceability, has led to an influx of up-and-coming brands into the biscuit aisle, challenging traditional biscuit manufacturers, whilst demand for value has driven interest in retailer brand products,” says Peters. “An increasing amount of space is being given to healthier 22

March 2019


options and cereal products, with space for chocolate biscuit bars being reduced in some retailers.” Another area for supplier attention is on-the-go snacking, and Burton’s Wagon Wheels brand has added to the category with the launch of singles from this month, aimed at the rising out-of-home lunch opportunities. Mondelez is also focusing on various snacking missions through a portfolio that answers different need states. “The key to driving biscuit category growth is to offer products that meet the needs of today’s consumer. Mondelez does this through three key pillars: wellbeing, treat and munching,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager. While its BelVita brand continues to perform strongly in the wellbeing segment through marketing, a high repeat rate and NPD, further growth opportunities are also to be found from the Oreo and Cadbury brands. “In recent years there has been a trend of switching and trading up, from everyday, traditional biscuits to more premium brands,” she adds. Marketing activity is currently underway for the Cadbury Fingers brand, with the return this year of the ‘Finders Keepers’ on-pack promotion. “Last year, stores enjoyed an average Cadbury Fingers sales growth of 6% during the Finders Keepers promotion. With the brand now worth £31.8 million, this is a brilliant opportunity for retailers to reap the benefits and score more sales this season too,” says Nathalie Chuard, brand manager. Meanwhile, Oreo is also currently running a consumer promotion, offering shoppers prizes of up to £1,000, branded merchandise and free pack coupons through a partnership with Snapchat. The campaign runs until 30 April and is supported by TV, video-on-demand and social media activity. Bahlsen has also invested in marketing, with a recent £1.5 million spend on a heavyweight national campaign including prime-time TV ads for its Choco Leibniz and Choco Moments brands. Maximising opportunities provided by the special treats segments, Bahlsen was the largest branded manufacturer of special treats in the last quarter of 2018 (Nielsen). “The UK sweet biscuit category is worth £2 billion; within this, Bahlsen accounts for £33.5 million of the category and is growing at 16.3% year on year, hugely outperforming the biscuit market – currently at 3.3% year on year,” says Julien Lacrampe, trade marketing manager. “Even though healthier eating is prevalent at the moment, shoppers still want to enjoy their favourite quality, indulgent treats.”



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[ SNACKS & BISCUITS ] The manufacturer has also provided free-from NPD for children, launching a gluten-free and lactose-free variant of Zoo biscuits last year. Healthy choices are on the agenda for pladis, which has brought out two new ranges from its go ahead! brand. Nutty Crunch is a baked bar with a vanilla drizzle, available in peanut and hazelnut variants. Fruit & Nut Breaks are cereal bars made with fruit and nut pieces and are available in apricot & hazelnut, and almond, coconut & chia seed variants. All four products contain fewer than 100 calories per bar and are expected to boost the £39 million go ahead! brand with the support of the ‘New Year, New You’ healthy eating agenda. “We’re really ramping up our presence in the better-foryou snacking category, targeting consumers looking to enjoy convenient, delicious snacks throughout the day,” says Christopher Owen, marketing controller. General Mills is also bringing further healthier snacking choices to the category, with a conveniencefriendly singles format of its Fibre One brand. Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Peanut Butter Popcorn bars contain 90 calories and 30% more fibre than the average UK equivalent product. Sugar reduction is another health demand from both Public Health England and consumers, and Nairn’s has expanded the choices in this area with its Coconut & Chia Oat Biscuits. These have 55% less sugar than the average sweet biscuit and are also low in calories. Wholegrain oats have been combined with on-trend coconut and chia, resulting in a sweet snack that is relevant to today’s shopper. “As sugar continues to be under the spotlight, both from a retailer and consumer perspective, the launch of our new Coconut & Chia Oat Biscuits – the lowest sugar biscuit within our product range – couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Martyn Gray, managing director. “With research showing that nine out of 10 people in the UK regularly eat sweet biscuits and that sugar content is a main concern for 85% of the population, we’re confident that our Coconut & Chia Oat Biscuits will appeal to a wide proportion of the market.”

Also adding on-trend choices to savoury snacking is Hawker’s, whose vegan snacks are distributed by Petty Wood. Its Vegan Society certified range of popped chips are made from soya and potato, are gluten- free and do not contain palm oil. Variants include Cheese & Onion, Smokey Barbecue, Sweet Chilli and Salt & Vinegar, with the range catering to the rising consumer interest in plant-based foods. “The unique combination of soya mixed with potato, heated and popped, gives us our point of difference,” says company founder Chris Christofi. Vegan options are also prevalent for Seabrook, with an entirely vegetarian range that includes vegan Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Beefy, Prawn Cocktail and Lamb & Mint variants. Seabrook’s product range is also accredited by Coeliac UK as gluten-free. “While demand is high, it can often be tricky to find vegetarian and gluten-free foods to eat on the go in mainstream outlets, and many ‘free from’ snacks are often at the premium end of the price point,” says Jon Wood, commercial director. With value in convenience a priority, Seabrook has added two price-marked packs to its wholesale portfolio: 80g Crinkle Cut £1 PMP and a 6 x 25g variety pack £1 PMP. Kettle Foods is running a consumer promotion on Kettle Chips in partnership with Virgin Experiences. Over 20 million single-serve packs, multipacks and PMPs offer a chance to win one of hundreds of ‘real food experiences’, with prizes including cookery classes and wine tasting. All entrants receive a 20% off voucher for Virgin Experience Days. “This on-pack promotion is value-adding for consumers, with great on-shelf stand-out and a compelling prize from a household brand,” says Sarah Beck, channel manager. CCM

Crisps and savoury snacks

For further information: Nairn’s Pop Oats range is one of the manufacturer’s many innovations catering to the fast-rising gluten-free market. “The last two years have been a very busy time for us in terms of new product development, with 17 new products launched and more coming soon,” reports Emma Heath, head of marketing. “Our gluten-free range has gone from strength to strength and coincides with the opening of our bigger, state-of-the-art gluten-free bakery just over two years ago. New products have included flatbreads, chunky biscuit breaks, an oat bar range and the UK’s first popped oat snack.” 24

March 2019


Bahlsen (01923) 728500 Burton’s Biscuit Company (01727) 899700 General Mills (01895) 201100 Hawker’s/Petty Wood (01264) 345500 Kettle Foods (0800) 616996 Mondelez International (01214) 582000 Nairn’s 0131-620 7000 pladis 020-8234 5000 Seabrook Crisps (01274) 546405

New price-marke d packs

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Surge in sales of Herald disposable products PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

British manufacturer and importer of quality disposables Herald is enjoying an increase in sales across its full product range. For over 30 years, the family-run company has provided disposable products for the bar, catering and hospitality sectors, manufacturing certain items as well as importing goods from all around the world. Herald’s extensive disposable product range consists of plastic cups, paper cups, cutlery and other related tableware; bar disposables, including plastic glasses and cocktail accessories; and food containers and packaging, including foil trays. Also available are novelty straws; bakery items; candles; lemon wipes; and disposable aprons, gloves and headwear, along with other janitorial products.

Herald’s selection of disposable cutlery is gaining a particularly keen following among wholesalers and foodto-go establishments, with customers impressed by the quality on offer and the easy availability when accessing the goods, which are mainly held in Herald’s warehousing space in London. The three different ranges of cutlery available – Carizma, Tuzcani and Windzer – provide a wide variety, allowing customers to shop according to style and budget preference. Herald Plastic 0208-507 7900

Grape variant Coca-Cola European Partners has launched Fanta Grape Zero, following high demand for the flavour on social media by the brand’s core younger audience. “33% of young adults aged 16-19 drink Fanta in Great Britain and we know that innovative flavours are key to remaining relevant with this audience while attracting new shoppers,” says vice president of commercial development Simon Harrison. The new variant is made with natural flavours and is the latest in a programme of activity for the brand. It comes in 330ml cans (single and fourpacks), 500ml PET bottles and two-litre bottles. The launch is supported by Fanta’s £5 million marketing investment utilising social media, digital and out-ofhome activity, as well as sampling. CCEP (01733) 828000

Zero added sugar

Wine with spirit

Barr Soft Drinks has launched a Mango Zero Added Sugar sparkling version of Rubicon, the UK’s No.1 exotic juice drink brand (IRI). “With more than one in five flavoured carbonates shoppers now opting for low-calorie drinks (IRI), and almost three-quarters expecting to see a low-calorie option within a brand (Kalm Research), the launch of a greattasting, authentic zero-sugar mango variant will add an exciting choice to the chiller,” says marketing director Adrian Troy. The new variant is available in a 500ml 99p pricemarked PET, 12 to an outer, and a twolitre plain pack PET (rsp £1.79), six to an outer. Barr Soft Drinks (01204) 664200

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new rosé wine and gin fusion under the Echo Falls brand. The product, which has an abv of 9% and an rsp of £5, blends the brand’s rosé wine with a gin infusion and summer fruit flavours. The introduction is in response to the increase in popularity of gin, which is growing at 47.6% (Nielsen). David White, marketing director at Accolade Wines, says: “This spiritinfused wine is a unique style which combines all of Echo Falls’ much-loved qualities with the latest drinks trends, creating an exciting new sales opportunity for the trade. “Our sweeter styled fruit fusion appeals to those who like the idea of wine but can find the taste challenging.” Accolade Wines (01932) 428600


March 2019

KitKat additions Nestlé UK has announced the national launch of KitKat made with Ruby chocolate. The crispy four-finger wafer bar (rsp 85p) is coated with Ruby chocolate, derived from Ruby cocoa beans. Also new from Nestlé are two new singles variants of KitKat Senses. The Salted Caramel and Hazelnut bars have an rsp of 85p. The KitKat Senses brand will benefit from a heavyweight media campaign in 2019, with a first burst of TV advertising running from April to June. Further support includes social, digital and videoon-demand advertising, sampling and in-store activity. Nestlé UK 0208-686 3333



Team players

More protein

Healthy growth

AB InBev has announced the sponsorship of the England Women’s Football Team by Budweiser. The new partnership comes ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. Women’s football and the Lionesses have been building visibility and the momentum is set to continue. “You only need to look at their winning performance in the SheBelieves Cup to see that this year is going to be epic for the team. We ultimately want the country to raise a glass and get behind them,” says Paula Lindenberg, president of AB InBev UK & Ireland. AB InBev (01582) 391166

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK has launched two products to answer the rising demand for protein. The new Mars More Protein and Snickers More Protein each have 10g of added protein, as well as reduced sugar. Both have a calorie count of under 200Kcal – the Mars More Protein Bar has 40% less sugar than a standard bar, while the Snickers More Protein Bar has 30% less sugar than a standard bar. Available in impulse now, both have an rsp of £1.29. The launch is supported by a threestage partnership with Tough Mudder. Mars Wrigley (01753) 50055

Dina Foods has expanded its range of falafel for the rising food-to-go, vegan and vegetarian opportunities. The Mediterranean food company offers innovative variants such as beetroot and sweet potato to operators. “This is a growth part of the business. The market is still really only getting acquainted with falafel, which can be used in anything from a convenient vegetarian salad wrap to a healthy hamburger or as tasty party food. There is tremendous opportunity for future development,” says founder and managing director Suheil Haddad. Dina Foods 020-8621 5511

TV exposure

Raspberry launch

Lifting the bar

Nomad Foods is rebranding its premium frozen fish sub-brand, Inspirations. Premium Recipe, Lightly Dusted and Battered Fish will join the Captain Birds Eye family line-up, after a redesign of the Captain last year. “We’ve invested heavily in research to ensure this is the right move for the brand and our customers. The Captain is our most distinctive asset: he’s the No.1 food icon in the UK,” says Rebecca Nascimento, UK general marketing manager – fish. “What’s more, the range will benefit from the halo effect of our £7 million marketing campaign.” Birds Eye 020-8918 3200

Britvic is adding to its Pepsi MAX brand with a new raspberry flavour joining the existing ginger and cherry variants. The launch is supported by out-ofhome, TV, sampling and in-store activation over the year. “Pepsi MAX delivers on all three category drivers – taste, health and relevance – and the launch of the new flavour will deliver against these, helping retailers to continue to drive growth within the category,” states Trystan Farnworth, commercial director, convenience & impulse. Formats include take-home two-litre bottles, 500ml PMPs and 330ml cans. Britvic (0345) 758 1781

Weetabix is bringing its Alpen brand into the protein category with a new range of protein bars. The NPD is to play a part in the brand’s £1 million communications campaign this year, as the protein category continues to gain traction. The range comes in two flavours, Chocolate and Berries & Yoghurt, and is available in singles (rsp 69p) and a fivepack (rsp £2.69). The bars contain less than 130 calories per bar, have 19g per 100g of protein – over 100% more than the average cereal bar – and are high in fibre. Weetabix (01536) 722181


March 2019



The burning question

While tobacco continues to play a vital role in FMCG, category management has never been more important. Vaping needs a stronger hold in convenience and further legislative restrictions are on the way for tobacco, so how should the category be approached? t the moment, the tobacco market – a staple performer – is seeing multiple changes that are presenting both challenges and opportunities. More legislation is on its way in May and education around previous changes is ongoing. Consumers, too, are forming new habits and suppliers are diversifying from traditional products to pick up incremental sales. Although tobacco continues to have a huge presence, with the total UK tobacco market worth £14.5 billion (Nielsen), suppliers, wholesalers and retailers need to pay close attention to ensure that they keep up with the changing needs of adult smokers. Imperial Tobacco is seeking sales with several innovations, recognising the need to attract new shoppers. “The tobacco category remained bullish last year, despite smoking rates and overall sales volumes continuing to decline,” says Paul Coggins, head of key accounts. “In spite of the EUTPD II and standardised packaging regulations, opportunities still exist to bring products to market that meet evolving consumer demands and ensure adult smokers continue to enjoy innovative new tobacco experiences.” The roll-your-own (RYO) category is one that has been increasing share of the tobacco category, particularly since 2017. “Since the introduction of the EUTPD II regulations in May 2017 the speed of the shift from factory-made cigarettes (FMC) has increased significantly,” continues Coggins. “UK RYO market share in relation to FMC stood at almost 39% in November 2018, and current trends suggest this pattern is set to continue.” As a result, Imperial launched its Riverstone brand, designed to appeal to FMC smokers moving over to the RYO sector as well as dualists. Also for RYO smokers, Rizla Polar Blast has been introduced – the first filter tip containing a crushball. “Continued focus on NPD is critical, but in a challenging environment it’s also vital to communicate that innovation to retailers. Our salesforce spends significant time with our customers, both in-depot and in-store, explaining the importance of new products. This is conveyed through a variety of methods, including gamification techniques, eye-catching stands and a raft of educational and training materials,” points out Coggins. JTI has sought out opportunities in the FMC category, particularly targeting the growing capsule segment. “In terms of cigarettes, there are two clear trends in the current



March 2019


tobacco market: the growth of the capsule segment – which is now responsible for 15.4% of total cigarette sales in the UK – and the growing value segment, as consumers seek out valuefor-money products,” says head of wholesale Jan Louw. The supplier extended its capsule range last year with the addition of three value products: Sterling Dual Superkings 20, Sterling Dual Double King Size 20 and B&H Blue Dual Superkings 20. This year has seen further expansion of the segment with the launch of Sterling Dual Triple Green and Benson & Hedges Dual Double Capsule. “Considering how strongly JTI’s 2018 capsule product releases have performed, these two new cutting-edge innovations, under the powerful brand houses of Sterling and B&H, are sure to help retailers maximise sales in the capsule segment before the menthol ban comes into force in 2020,” says Ross Hennessy, head of sales. Consumer movements around the tobacco category since EUTPD II came into force have also aided growth in cigar sales. STG UK recommends that convenience stores use customer interaction to encourage trial, giving the convenience sector an opportunity that wholesalers can support. “Research from our ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign into shopper purchasing habits showed that most smokers are actually very open to trying cigars and willing to consider switching, given the right factors,” says Alistair Williams, country director. “The research showed that 79% of smokers who regularly visit a convenience store would try an alternative tobacco product, such as cigars, if it was recommended

Track & Trace is on its way “Establishing Track & Trace from a logistical point of view is arguably the most challenging part of the operation. Once the Track & Trace system is in place, the majority of parties involved within the tobacco supply chain will have to scan products in and out of their facilities. “It’s worth stressing that the legislation will impact wholesalers more heavily than retailers, especially in terms of specific equipment and scanning, since Track & Trace’s tracking element ends with the outbound scanning to the first retail element.” Paul Coggins, head of key accounts, Imperial Tobacco


[ TOBACCO & NGPS ] by store staff. To make the most of this opportunity, wholesalers should help retailers to grow their category understanding, including the different cigars available in each segment and what type of consumer they are most suited for.” Retailer knowledge should include supplier activity such as the name change for the UK’s leading cigar brand from Café Crème to Signature. “While the cigar itself remains wholly unchanged, the new name has been proven to resonate extremely well with consumers, offering them reassurance on the exceptional quality synonymous with the brand,” says Williams. “The new Signature brand name is rolling out in stores in early 2019 with a phased transition to ensure high awareness among retailers and consumers.” The manufacturer is also providing further category support to retailers and wholesalers with www.stgtrade.co.uk, its online trade platform. As well as a chance to reward wholesalers and retailers giving back to their local community through its ‘Local Heroes’ initiative, the website provides users with industry advice on how to maximise the cigar opportunity in stores. “To succeed in cigars, it’s all about taking time to train staff on the category, ensuring you have the right products for your customer base at the right price and, above all, engaging with retailers to educate them on the importance of talking to their customers about the category,” says Williams.

‘It’s all about taking time to train staff on the category, ensuring you have the right products for your customer base at the right price’ Alistair Williams, country director, STG While there has been consumer movement within the various segments of the tobacco category, there has also been a significant interest in next-generation products (NGPs). Suppliers are committing to development and investment in this category, which is under-represented in the convenience channel. According to Imperial Tobacco’s blu UK, 70% of vaping sales stem from online or vape shops. “Despite only being around a decade old, the UK vaping market continues to develop and evolve at pace from both a commercial and technical perspective,” says Chris Street, head of sales and marketing operations at blu UK. “The category is estimated to be worth £728 million, with sales channels spanning online and vape stores in addition to traditional retail outlets. While it may be difficult to ascertain the true scale of this fast-growing category, what is clear is that the opportunity it presents for retailers is huge.” 30

March 2019


The opportunity presented by vaping is huge.

Sales opportunities need to be recognised as shopper demands arise: “As consumer interest in vaping continues to grow, retailers are likely to see vape product sales opportunities emerge linked to key occasions, such as the NHS-led Stoptober initiative, as well as VApril. While it’s important for wholesalers to maintain stock levels throughout the year, we would recommend taking extra care – and driving extra customer attention towards their vape offerings – at these peak times to avoid missing out on sales,” advises Street. “Consumer demand for personalisation is a growing trend within the category and is something we’re looking closely at as part of our new product development plans.” JTI also highlights the importance of knowing market developments and trends: “Within the vaping category, capsule and refillable products are currently the fastest-growing devices and are now used by most adult UK vapers,” says Nick Geens, head of reduced risk products. “Retailers can tap into the growing refillable market by stocking Logic LQD, which recently updated its e-liquid bottles with a new design and competitive rsp of £3.99. The revamped LQD bottles can be sold as part of JTI’s ‘3 for £10’ promotion.” British American Tobacco is also continuing its drive to bring smokers into the vaping category through innovation. “We are entering the most dynamic period of change our industry has ever encountered. We are experiencing an extraordinary coming together of societal change, public health awareness and, crucially, access to technological innovation in the nicotine category,” says Gemma Webb, general manager. BAT’s brand Vype has two new products: Vype iSwitch and iSwitch Maxx. The iSwitch Maxx is Bluetooth enabled and connects with the MyVype app, allowing users to remotely lock the device, CCM tailor its power setting and monitor puff count.

For further information: blu UK (0800) 0149 355 British American Tobacco 020-7693 6999 Imperial Tobacco (0117) 963 6636 JTI (01932) 372000 Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK 020-8731 3400



Lifting your laundry sales

A focus by suppliers on category-leading performance, sustainability and innovation ensures that convenience retailers can offer shoppers quality as well as value. hile the laundry category remains fairly static in terms of growth, the ACE brand showed an increase of 8% last year (Nielsen). Distributed exclusively by Robinson Young, the brand is the fastest-growing in the laundry additives market and the company continues to add to its portfolio. Robinson Young will be introducing more products later this year and extending the range for whites, especially as babies and children are the biggest producers of dirt and stains, says Shirley Peet, marketing manager. “Consumers are now choosier than ever and are wanting great products at reasonable prices, so brands that offer versatile, affordable products will continue to develop customer loyalty and remain popular.” Laundry products may not be an obvious purchasing choice for the convenience channel but Peet maintains that, given the right merchandising, this can be an important area for retailers: “Cash & carry customers supporting the ACE range are showing impressive results,” she says. “In independent stores, laundry products are often distress purchases but when consumers realise the ACE range is good value – and better than the market leader – they repeat the purchase. This range is now becoming a popular product for independent stores.” The ACE selection of products has also been designed to meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer. Not only does it offer a variety of laundry stain removal and care items that include pre-treater spray and the everyday white liquid to remove grease and sweat from white cotton, it also now features the hero ACE for Colours powder in eco packaging.


In addition, the original ACE fabric stain remover liquid is now available in a smaller 550ml bottle. Peet told Cash & Carry Management: “It’s imperative we seek ways to lessen our impact on the planet, which is why we have reinvented the packaging for our best-selling product, ACE for Colours. The smaller bottle is compact and recyclable. It also supports many of our current stockists who are limited to shelf space with the 700ml bottle, and will encourage more sales with non-customers willing to trial the product.” Also developing products with environmental factors in mind is Unilever, which has brought out a range of laundry and household cleaning products made from plant-derived ingredients. The ‘Seventh Generation’ range is also synthetic fragrance-free and bottled using 100% recycled and recyclable materials. Further activity from the supplier in the laundry category comes from investment in its No.1 fabric cleaning brand, Persil (Kantar). A £6 million marketing spend is supporting the relaunch of Persil 3-in-1 capsules with improved packaging and formula. New fragrance technology is said to provide consumers with a longer-lasting effect, while a packaging refresh clearly highlights the products’ unique selling points. The brand update is being highlighted by a programme of TV, out-ofhome, digital, PR and in-store activity, along with a series of partnerships with parkrun and the England Rugby team to highlight Persil’s ‘dirt is good’ proposition. The supplier has also added to its No.1 fragrance detergent brand (Kantar) with the introduction of Surf Coconut Bliss. Claimed to be a first for the laundry category, the coconut-scented variant is designed to tap into the desire for summer fragrances that has driven sales in the personal care market. “The coconut trend has been huge in personal care, so we felt it was time to capture the ultimate beach fragrance in a laundry bottle,” says Gemma Cleland, vice president, home care, Unilever UK & Ireland. “We’re expecting it to be a real hit with consumers.” The Coconut Bliss variant is available in powder, liquid CCM and capsules.

For further information: Laundry products can be more than just a distress purchase in convenience if the right range is available to shoppers.


March 2019


Robinson Young (01284) 766261 Unilever (0800) 731 1597

Spring clean with ACE‌ ACE sales continue to grow, with more and more loyal customers. Stock up now to keep your laundry shelves looking bright and full of colour.

To book an appointment to discuss how ACE can improve your household offering call Robinson Young on 01284 766261 or email info@ry.tm

Energy expansion


The energy drinks category continues to show growth in both development and sales, worth £668 million in impulse (IRI) and offering broadening opportunities for retailers.


he energy drinks sector is still evolving and recent developments from suppliers are expanding the boundaries. Off the back of the sugar tax restrictions imposed last year and guidelines to prevent the sale of energy drinks to under-16 consumers, it would seem a fair assumption that the category would be having a tough time. On the contrary, there is still a dedicated consumer following for the traditional core products, while supplier innovation and marketing investments are creating further growth opportunities. At Red Bull, performance is encouraging all round. “Red Bull continues to target expansion in the core markets of Western Europe while also focusing on the continued roll-out of the Red Bull Organics range,” comments Mark Bell, strategy and planning manager. “With the heightened importance placed on the health agenda over the past year and the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in place, consumers are swaying more towards sugar-free options.”

‘Consumers are swaying more towards sugar-free options...It is imperative that wholesalers offer a low kcal alternative’

Lucozade Ribena Suntory also highlights the importance of offering a full range for retailers to choose from, in order to respond to key trends. “Depots should offer their customers a range of flavours and formats to target different types of shoppers, including price-marked packs to help retailers demonstrate value for money in store,” says Matt Gouldsmith, channel director – wholesale. He adds: “Growing at 13%, Lucozade Energy is a fundamental part of any retailer’s chiller. Similarly, Lucozade Sport, the best-selling sports drink in the category, will form the basis of a store’s sports drink range. In the past year, Lucozade Sport grew by 3.5 million litres in the symbols and independents channel – the largest growth contributed by any sports drink brand (IRI).” The supplier has added to its Lucozade Energy range this year, with Apple Blast now a permanent line. LRS has also introduced a new variant to its Lucozade Sport brand.

Mark Bell, Red Bull’s strategy and planning manager

Taking account of changing attitudes

Worldwide, more than 6.75 billion cans of Red Bull were sold in 2018, an increase of 7.7% from 2017. Take-home is one area showing notable growth, and retailers should consider this mission as a sales opportunity, along with increasing shelf space for sugar-free options. “Diet is worth £143 million, which equates to 10.7% of the sports and energy category, increasing by 18.2% from 2017,” says Bell. “It is imperative that wholesalers offer a low kcal alternative, meaning that a higher proportion of space is being dedicated to low kcal products.” The manufacturer has launched a new variant for this year. Red Bull Coconut & Berry is joining the innovative flavoured Editions range in a 250ml premium white can. The flavour profile has an initial coconut taste with a fruity berry finish, and the product is available in both Energy and Sugarfree variants. “This continues our strategy to allow shoppers choice in each and every Red Bull pack produced,” says Bell. 34

March 2019


Russ Goldman, buying director of Rayburn Trading, offers advice on how to approach the energy drinks category: “The sports and energy drinks category is continually growing – now is a better time than ever to make the most of the market. However, after a massive change in consumer attitudes to the soft and energy drinks market over 2018, wholesalers and retailers need to be more careful about what they decide to stock. “Less sugar seems to be the way forward for many suppliers. Price-marked packs continue to help retailers as they show a good deal and value to consumers. Eyecatching displays next to the checkouts displaying PMP energy drinks is a good way of increasing sales and appealing to the impulsive shoppers. “Placing energy drinks alongside complementary goods such as energy or protein bars is also a smart way to increase sales beside the register.”


[ ENERGY DRINKS ] The Apple vs Raspberry Fruit Punch is available in 500ml PET bottles in singles, PMPs and four-packs. The NPD celebrates the partnership between the brand and sporting icon Anthony Joshua. A £5 million campaign running from March to May across social, digital and out-of-home will increase brand awareness prior to Joshua’s fight in June. Joshua’s ‘Stay Humble’ message appears on the packaging. LRS continues to focus on the increasing consumer health demands, both with its marketing investment in brands such as the functional water Lucozade Sport Fitwater and its sugar-reduction commitments. “Over recent years we have seen a long-term trend towards drinks with lower sugar as consumers become more and more interested in living healthier lifestyles,” says Gouldsmith. “With taste being the biggest driver of soft drink choice, our drinks development team has worked incredibly hard over the past few years to deliver on both counts.”

With sugar reduction playing a large role in the energy category, Intercarabao’s Thai brand Carabao continues to gain traction in the UK since its appearance in the market three years ago. The range is low sugar and sugar-free, and its nationwide presence in convenience is being expanded through a roll-out with SPAR that coincided with the Carabao Cup Final, which took place on 24 February. Brand awareness has been heightened by the manufacturer’s tie-in with football at both top level and grass roots. In addition, the brand has positioned itself as marketed to all through its partnerships with women’s football teams and initiatives such as ‘We Are Female Fans’. “As the low-sugar trend intensifies, our unique proposition will hopefully allow us to be able to engage with new customers across the country,” says Mark Young, managing director. Barr Soft Drinks’ Rockstar range has also capitalised on the sugar-free demand while retaining the supplier’s focus on flavour, with Rockstar Twister joining the brand. “Among core energy drinkers, Rockstar is sought as a better-tasting energy drink, with consumers really connecting with the broad range of flavours, making it a must-stock brand for wholesalers and cash & carries,” says Adrian Troy, marketing director. 36

March 2019


“Rockstar has a sustained support package of brand associations such as music events, gaming and motorsports which is key to building brand equity and awareness with its core consumers, and which translates directly into sales.” Marketing campaigns also play a prominent role for supplier Boost Drinks, which this year is once again running its ‘12 for 10’ promotion on Boost Energy Original 500ml, and also offering one-litre Original, Original Sugar Free and Exotic at the promotional price of £1. “Wholesalers should use point of sale to highlight sports and energy drinks, creating eyecatching displays that draw the retailer’s eye,” says Simon Gray, founder and managing director. “We’d always recommend that wholesalers introduce posters and pallet wraps as well as making their internal promotions clear; we are happy to work closely with the wholesaler to achieve all of this. It’s also beneficial for wholesalers if they do their research to stay informed on the latest consumer trends so that they can make sure they have the products retailers will be looking to stock.” Already this year the supplier has brought out a new product, Boost Energy Red Berry 250ml. After impressive sales in Northern Ireland, the variant has been introduced to the UK market with an impactful marketing campaign. This has included sampling events, and national media coverage accompanied a partnership with Tinder to run a Valentinethemed competition for consumers to win their ultimate dream date. Coca-Cola European Partners is bringing out NPD from Monster – a brand that last year reached more than £200 million in retail sales in the UK. At the end of March, a sixth variant is joining the £50 million Monster Energy Ultra range. Monster Energy Ultra Blue is a sparkling, citrus & berry low-calorie energy drink, available in a plain 500ml can and a £1.25 PMP. The new product taps into the rising popularity of flavoured low-calorie energy drinks, the fastestgrowing segment in energy. The Monster Energy brand is one of the driving forces behind the growth, contributing 88.1% value sales to the flavoured low-calorie energy segment (Nielsen). “The launch of Monster Energy Ultra Blue follows on from the success of Monster Ultra Violet last year, which is the second bestperforming variant in the five-strong range,” says Simon Harrison, vice president, commercial development. “We’re confident that the new variant delivers on taste, which is the main factor for those buying energy drinks and will help attract new consumers to energy as well as appealing to our engaged core fan base.” Refresco UK is also gearing up for activity with its Emerge energy drink. “In the spring, the brand is being relaunched across social and digital media with a new look and new brand message. In quarter two, the Emerge 39p PMP


These days, more and more shoppers want a low-calorie alternative to their favourite drinks.

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That’s why the Red Bull Sugarfree range has grown, offering shoppers new flavours, new sizes and a choice in how they get their wings. With Red Bull Sugarfree growing at +15%*, selling Sugarfree alongside Red Bull Energy Drink can help your category sales fly. So if you want to give your business a lift, it’s easy to see:

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[ ENERGY DRINKS ] will be replaced with a 49p PMP, providing greater margins for C&Cs and wholesalers,” says James Logan, commercial director. “Emerge is introducing energy category deals for wholesalers and cash & carries in the first quarter.” Again, the advice is to ensure that low and no-sugar options are available, but not at the cost of full-sugar variants: “Original flavour makes up 70% of the market share by value and grew by 5% in the last year. The remaining 30% is made up of consumers switching between different flavours,” continues Logan. “No-addedsugar energy drinks accounted for 17% of category sales by value in the last year, adding £24 million in growth. “However, regular drinks account for 79% of the category by value and continue to grow – showing there is still strong demand for full-sugar variants from shoppers and so both should be included in ranges (IRI).”

Alternative energy demands It is not only sugar reduction that consumers are seeking from their energy drinks. There is also a growing demand for functional drinks and it is a valuable opportunity. In response, suppliers are widening their thinking when it comes to NPD and, as a result, the category is showing a broader reach. Radnor Hills has moved into this category with its Radnor Plus Energy range. The family owned and run company has been producing bottled water for more than 25 years and this is the first move into the energy category. Marketed as an on-the-go healthier alternative, the lightly sparkling range contains no sugar, has added B vitamins and 70mg of natural caffeine, and contains five calories per 500ml bottle. Two variants are available: Lemon & Lime and Cranberry & Raspberry.

There is also an opportunity to broaden the usage in the market beyond the young adult male base, to bring in both older consumers and female shoppers,” says marketing director Adrian Troy. “We recommend that retailers merchandise Rockstar First Start as part of the on-the-go section of the chiller to meet the needs of busy shoppers. Nearly one in three purchases of chilled soft drinks is an energy drink, so this section should offer a varied range of products and flavour choices.” CCEP has also moved into a new area with its energy NPD. Espresso Monster is a blend of brewed coffee and Monster energy, available in Espresso & Milk and Vanilla Espresso variants in 250ml cans (rsp £1.99). Entering the chillers with its March launch, the new products are targeting the ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee sector while offering a caffeine hit equivalent to that of a hot coffee. “The new variants will enable us to attract new drinkers to both the energy and RTD coffee sectors, while delighting Monster’s core fan base with our continued investment in exciting and great tasting innovation,” says Simon Harrison, vice president, commercial development. “This, combined with the current growth of cold coffee RTD drinks and the energy sector, makes now the ideal time to bring Espresso Monster to market.” The launch is supported by PoS materials and off-fixture CCM displays to increase in-store visibility.

For further information: Barr Soft Drinks saw morning consumption as an underexploited market and has aimed its Rockstar First Start brand at this occasion. Available in two variants – Mixed Berries and Orange Clementine – the products contain fruit juice and caffeine from natural sources and have fewer than 30 calories per can. “Barr Soft Drinks has identified a significant growth opportunity for energy drinks as part of the morning routine. 38

March 2019


Barr Soft Drinks (01204) 664200 Boost Drinks (0113) 240 3666 Coca-Cola European Partners (01733) 828000 Intercarabao (0118) 907 3052 Lucozade Ribena Suntory 020-3727 2420 Radnor Hills (01547) 530220 Red Bull (0203) 117 2000 Refresco UK (01278) 441600

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