Cash & Carry Management Oct 21

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CJ Lang to invest a record amount in its SPAR stores


Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace CATEGORY INSIGHT

4Hot Beverages 4Biscuits 4Confectionery 4Medicated Confectionery



October 2021

This month don’t miss... 07 16

Hyperama rebrands its delivered foodservice business.




Creed Foodservice unveils a new customer venue.

Over 400 stores have signed up to Nisa so far this year.


Editor’s Comment Industry News


In Focus As it hits £200 million in turnover, CJ Lang is moving towards a higher margin offer for SPAR stores in Scotland.


Talking Point Are you an employer with equality, diversity and inclusion policies that allow your staff to thrive? Bestway, Mevalco and Brakes explain how their approach benefits their employees – and their business.


Ton Christiaanse, chairman of Country Range, has developed decent cooking skills over the years – which his dog seems to appreciate too.

Spotlight Ton Christiaanse, non-executive chairman of Country Range Group.




Hot Beverages By keeping up with consumers’ tastes, wholesalers can help their customers make the most of the hot drinks category. Siobhan Kielty reports.

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Medicated Confectionery Biscuits Confectionery

Brakes promotes diversity and inclusion across the business.

The tea category is worth £85 million in convenience.

October 2021



Striving for best practice


hat do equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) look like in your business? Are there policies and procedures in place that go beyond the minimum standards imposed by UK legislation? I ask these questions because only three of the 15 wholesalers that our writer Abigail Brierley contacted for our special report gave information on their EDI strategies – a low response rate even given the added pressure on the industry at present caused by supply chain difficulties. Several of the companies said they were unable to comment, and it made me wonder if wholesalers simply adhere to the basic legal requirements in relation to EDI, rather than striving for best practice. In our article (pages 14-16), Bestway and Mevalco explain how they incorporate effective EDI measures into their daily operations in a way that not only supports employees, but also gets the best out of them. Brakes has the most visible methods of support in place, with groups for women, BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) and LGBTQ+ employees. It also educates its staff – from the boardroom to the warehouse – to enhance understanding and empathy. What’s more, in each manager’s performance review, part of the conversation is about the role the individual can play in supporting all colleagues, with

CJ Lang to invest a record amount in its SPAR stores


Kirsti Sharratt Managing Editor




required EDI actions and outcomes specified for the year ahead. Alvin Engutsamy, chair of Brakes’ LGBTQ+ group, says that there has been a sea change in attitudes across the business in the four years since the group was formed, with people much more willing to celebrate diversity. As well as learning from companies like Bestway, Mevalco and Brakes, wholesalers that are unsure of how to implement an effective EDI policy can turn to authorities in this field, such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. It offers a wealth of free advice on its website (, including the steps that organisations can take to improve EDI, from communication and training to addressing workplace behaviour and evaluating progress. Acas ( provides step-by-step guidance and an EDI policy template that can be adapted to meet the individual needs of a business. With all the challenges facing wholesalers at present, EDI might not be a priority. However, while the moral case for EDI is clear, there is also a business case that might persuade more firms to act: effective EDI practices can enhance corporate reputation, employee retention and financial performance. Just ask Bestway, Mevalco and Brakes.


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

Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace CATEGORY INSIGHT

4Hot Beverages 4Biscuits 4Confectionery 4Medicated Confectionery

Email or call (01342) 712100 for more information.

Address Winlove Publications Ltd PO Box 366 East Grinstead RH19 4ZE Tel (01342) 712100 Email Publisher Winlove Publications Ltd EDITORIAL Managing Editor Kirsti Sharratt Contributor Abigail Brierley Contributor Siobhan Kielty Contributor Kevin Whitlock ADVERTISING AND MARKETING Publishing Director Martin Lovell Media Sales Manager Clare Phillips 4,448 July 2018 – June 2019 Audit Bureau of Circulations Printed by Bishops Printers ISSN 1352-254X All media rates, feature lists and deadlines can be accessed online at:

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October 2021



New MD of Q Steve Clarke, former purchasing & marketing director of Kent Frozen Foods (KFF), is to become managing director of Q Catering Supplies. He has also bought a substantial minority shareholding in the business. Clarke (pictured) was a director of KFF for over 15 years and is also a director of Produced in Kent. Commenting on his move to Q Catering – a Fairway Foodservice member based in Sittingbourne, Kent – owner Roger Snelling said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve to the business. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in foodservice wholesaling as well as business acumen. “My intention is to gradually spend less time in the business and let Steve progressively take over the management.” Clarke added: “Having been out of the foodservice wholesale sector for a while I

Commitment Bidfood has joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), alongside over 1,000 worldwide businesses, to reduce its emissions in line with climate science. Bidfood has a target date of 2045 to achieve its sciencebased target reduction, and will be focusing on lowering its emissions across internal operations, as well as working with customers and suppliers to see how together they can reduce their overall carbon footprint. Julie Owst, head of sustainability at Bidfood, said: “I hope our step forward compels other food organisations to join us.” a Bidfood (01494) 5559000 06

October 2021

was keen to get back in and be involved as an owner. I have known Roger and Q Catering for some time and this opportunity to purchase a substantial share and actively be involved in the management and strategy was an opportunity I could not miss. I am looking forward to getting back into the industry and renewing some of my previous contacts and relationships.” Established in 2003, Q Catering delivers to caterers across Kent and East Sussex. a Q Catering Supplies (01795) 425050

Reduction in fees As part of its strategy to adopt a more membercentric approach, Unitas Wholesale is reducing its membership fees, which will take effect for the trading year 2021/22. Managing director John Kinney explained that a new flat levy structure will lower the membership cost for all members who earn overriders. This change will mean members saving more than 60% in their levy fee versus the previous year. The group also recently announced its Annual Awards 2019/2020 for its member wholesalers and suppliers at its Autumn Trade Event at the ACC Convention Centre in Liverpool. The awards were hosted by comedian and TV personality Patrick Kielty, and the winners were: a Standard/specialist member: Pricecheck a On-trade member: Sutherland Brothers

Foodservice member: Williams Foodservice a Retail member: Dee Bee Wholesale a Award for environmental & sustainability: Robinson’s Fresh Foods a Symbol store: Today’s, Kirk Michael, Isle of Man, serviced by Agrimark a Grocery supplier: Kimberly-Clark a Own-brand supplier: Wrapex a Impulse supplier: KP Snacks a On-trade supplier: Halewood Artisanal Spirits a Licensed supplier: Concha y Toro a Foodservice supplier: Premier Foods a Special recognition for services to wholesale: Interel Group. a Unitas Wholesale (01302) 249909 a

Saving tonnes of carbon Birchall Foodservice has begun work on the installation of 388 clean energy solar panels on its main warehouse roof in Burnley, Lancashire. The panels will help the wholesaler to save over 50 tonnes of carbon each year, reduce operating costs and control future energy bills. Birchall Foodservice intends to invest these energy savings in a new fleet of electric vehicles and the continued development of its people, the majority of whom are from the local area. Nicola Watson, operations director, said: “We are fully committed to reducing

our carbon footprint throughout the business, and the installation of these solar panels is the next step in our journey to becoming one of the greenest foodservice providers in the country.” The panels are one of a number of sustainability initiatives that the Country

Range Group member has introduced over the past four years, including the formation of its ‘Plastic Action’ group who have worked to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic used within the business. a Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446


Tiger roars into action Nottingham-based cash & carry/wholesaler Hyperama has rebranded its delivered foodservice business as Tiger Foodservice. A Caterforce member, Tiger Foodservice supplies the hospitality, leisure and contract catering sectors and specialises in both food and non-food items, including a strong own-brand range, fresh fruit, vegetables and premium fresh meat. Tiger Foodservice operates out of Hyperama’s 100,000 sq ft depot in Nottingham and offers multitemp delivery to customers in the Midlands, Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire up to a radius of 100 miles from its base. “Backed by an established family business, Tiger Foodservice is an exciting new name on the block for the Midlands area,” said CEO Marcus Singh. “With more

than 45 years’ experience in the wholesale sector, and following significant investment in people, logistics and technology, we’re delighted to be able to offer foodservice operators even more choice, quality and value. “We have just officially launched the business with rebranding of business

stationery, lorries, invoices, catalogues, etc. Prior to this the delivered foodservice arm was called Hyperama Foodservice; moving forward it will now be called Tiger Foodservice.” Singh added: “We have recruited two additional expert buyers with strong foodservice experience to work alongside our existing team to ensure that customers benefit from the best deals possible, and have also invested in a new multitemperature delivery fleet as well as a new website and app for easy ordering. “As a family-run business we are agile and can respond quickly to changing customer requirements. We value feedback and every interaction we have with a customer drives our continuous improvement.” a Tiger Foodservice (0115) 943 8943

Top executives at FWD conference Sue Knowles, marketing director of Costco, and Hugo Mahoney, CEO of Brakes, are among the key speakers lined up for the Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ annual conference, which takes place in Burton upon Trent later this month. The theme ‘Bringing Wholesale Together’ reflects the fact that it will be the first face-to-face gathering of the FWD’s wholesaler, supplier

and service provider members since 2019. “It comes at the perfect moment to review the seismic changes of the last 18 months and discuss the sector’s response to the current challenges, while giving the supplier audience invaluable insight into wholesalers’ vision for their businesses in 2022 and beyond,” said FWD chief executive James Bielby.

Other wholesalers taking the stage will be: Neil Turton, managing director, and Yulia Petit, head of trading & marketing, at Sugro; John Kinney, managing director, and Mark Aylwin, chairman, of Unitas Wholesale; Bestway’s managing director Dawood Pervez; Andrew Selley, CEO of Bidfood; and Country Range managing director Coral Rose. In addition, executives from Hills Prospect, Woods Foodservice, Dunsters Farm and Thomas Ridley will be talking about their businesses and offering advice to suppliers on how to make the most of partnerships in the sector. a FWD (01323) 724952

Star recruit Croydon-based Seven Stars Cash & Carry has joined Confex. Established in 2018, Seven Stars began trading as Ever Fresh Dairy, supplying eggs and bread to small cafés and takeaways in London. Now the company offers over 5,000 lines, covering frozen foods, dairy, baking, confectionery, groceries, oils & fats, drinks and hygiene products. Its customers include hotels, restaurants, cafés and grocers, and its minimum order for delivery is £300. In other news, Confex has partnered with Carbon Neutral Britain to measure and offset its carbon footprint and become certified as a Carbon Neutral Business. a Confex (01451) 824234

Medal wins SPAR has won two medals at the first BBC Good Food Drinks Taste Awards 2021. Harmonist Rhubarb & Ginger Flavoured Gin was crowned Best Pink Gin, while SPAR Premium French Grain Vodka won the Best Vodka category. Adam Georgiou, SPAR UK brand manager, said: “We will be maximising these wins on pack and promoting the awards to allow our retailers to make the most of the sales opportunity ahead of Christmas and the rest of the year.” a SPAR UK 020-8426 3700

October 2021



Promotion Mental health staff support at Savona Savona Foodservice is looking to appoint a new director of sales following the promotion of Kelly Williams to director & general manager of the company’s South West depot in Ilfracombe. Williams (pictured) joined Ilfracombe Wholesale Grocers in 2005 as a part-time telesales operative and progressed through various roles over the years including marketing manager and sales director.

JJ Foodservice has trained 11 members of staff across 10 branches to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders. The move is part of its investment into supporting and promoting the wellbeing of staff. Jaz Sandhu (right), learning & development manager at JJ Foodservice, said: “It’s been a tough year and our team have worked incredibly heard through unprecedented circumstances. We want everyone to know that if they ever need to talk there’s a qualified person nearby who is willing to listen and help.” The new Mental Health

First Aid graduates are: Jesus Holgado and Jaz Sandhu (Enfield branch), Rohina Upadhey (Aston), Karolina Kasperczak (Basingstoke), Amanda Stepakova (Bristol), May Zin

(Dagenham), Mark Sheldon (Doncaster), Agnieszka Binek (Leicester), Roya Tehrani (Manchester), Onur Aslan (Newcastle) and Nazmi Uzunov (Sidcup). In addition to the Mental Health First Aiders, JJ offers an Employee Assistance Programme, which is a free, confidential telephone support service giving employees access to counsellors and advisors 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Staff can use the service for support with emotional, medical, legal and financial issues. a JJ Foodservice (01992) 701701

Dementia guide for care sector Since Savona’s acquisition of Ilfracombe Wholesale Grocers in 2016, Williams has retained her position on the board of directors. Due to her promotion, the Country Range member is seeking a director of sales. a Savona Foodservice (01271) 862569

Fresh facility Creed Foodservice has unveiled a new customer venue at its High Wycombe depot. The facility has been designed to showcase new products and concepts to the wholesaler’s customers. As part of the opening of the new venue, Creed employees, customers and suppliers took part in a Macmillan Coffee Morning, which raised £140. a Creed Foodservice (01452) 858180 08

October 2021

Bidfood has launched a Catering with Confidence: Dementia guide and support tools for the care sector. The company reports that an estimated 70% of care home residents are currently affected by dementia. The Catering with Confidence: Dementia guide contains advice, top tips, recipes and products to help operators best support residents living with dementia. The recipes focus on easily consumed finger food, such as kipper Scotch eggs, blueberry & brie tarts and vegan cupcakes with salted caramel ganache. Within the guide, there is also a link to Bidfood’s Caterers Campus online learning module, specifically designed on the topic of dementia, to help customers gain the knowledge, key skills and tools they need to support those with dementia. In addition, Bidfood has

launched a podcast in partnership with customer Rob Byrom, hospitality manager at Hallmark Care Homes, to delve deeper into the subject of dementia, sharing case studies and best practice. Gemma Benford, head of customer marketing at Bidfood, commented: “Our amazing healthcare customers support a wide range of people across the country living with dementia on a daily basis. As part of this,

we know how important it is to feed residents nutritious, tasty and easy on-the-go meals to suit their lifestyle needs, but also well-loved comfort food or nostalgic meals that feel familiar. “This is why we wanted to create a set of useful tools, tips and recipes to better support our customers on their mission to look after the UK’s residents living with the disease.” a Bidfood (01494) 5559000


New group vows to fight food waste A new group of companies has been formed to tackle food waste, creating 10 jobs at its South Yorkshire headquarters. Surplus Group is made up of Approved Food, the UK’s largest online-only retailer of short-dated food and drink; Morris & Son, a residual and clearance stock specialist that serves businesses in the value wholesale and retail sector; and a new social enterprise, Surplus For Good, which will take food at risk of being wasted and redistribute it to the most vulnerable members of society. The 10 new jobs span different areas of the business, from software architecture to operational staff in the main fulfilment centre and the new packing facility at the group’s purpose-built 52,000 sq ft premises at Dodworth Business Park, Barnsley.

Andy Needham: A renewed focus on helping customers, suppliers and society.

Surplus Group managing director Andy Needham said that his aim is to build relationships with suppliers and customers across both the consumer and wholesale sectors that would help partners meet their own sustainability targets while reducing waste through effective redistribution. He added that while businesses want to attract good value for their residual stock,

many are now looking beyond price for a reliable, experienced partner to take full responsibility for ensuring the stock is redistributed properly, whether for commercial return or donation. He said: “Essentially, we are doing what we have always done but taking it one step further, with a renewed focus on helping customers, suppliers and society in general. “The impact of waste as an environmental issue has become increasingly important for manufacturers, retailers and business stakeholders. The time is now right to engage with businesses and organisations on this issue to ensure that they meet their environmental, social and corporate governance goals. We have provided this service to some of the world’s most recognisable companies for a number of years,

Back to in-person meetings Sugro recently hosted its first physical trade show and networking event since the start of the COVID pandemic. The event provided the group with an opportunity to update members and suppliers on its 2021 trading progress and 2022 plans. In addition, more than 800 oneto-one networking meetings between members and suppliers took place on the day. Sugro managing director Neil Turton said: “Members and suppliers were genuinely happy to see each other after so many months of restrictions. The atmosphere throughout the event was very positive, with a fantastic spirit seen in both members and suppliers which flowed

into some substantial business being done on the day.” Yulia Petitt, head of trading & marketing, added: “We look forward to delivering our busy events schedule across 2021 and 2022 which will provide both members and suppliers with some

fantastic opportunities to interact, network and continue to drive the business forward by capitalising on key elements of Sugro strategy which is focused on further digitalisation, diversification and group data service.” a Sugro (01270) 628728

without telling anyone what we actually do. “By building confidence in our ability to take control of the surplus stock problem and to resolve it as simply as possible, Surplus Group has the opportunity to build rewarding partnerships with suppliers and customers.” Needham added: “Waste and the environment are just two key topics close to our heart and we want to be far more vocal about them. We will look for every opportunity where we can work closely with government bodies and NGOs to become a trusted authority in these areas who not only talk the talk but walk the walk as well.” Surplus Group employs 85 people across its site in Barnsley and its confectionery wholesale division in Stockport. a Surplus Group (0114) 359 9311

Facebook presenter The Women in Wholesale conference takes place online on 7 October. Speakers include Abby Guthkelch, head of global executive solutions at Facebook, who will offer advice on leadership. Tracy Fox, business development director at Pricecheck, will discuss how the business attracts diverse talent, and also talking about recruitment will be Dominic Flanagan, UK HR & training manager at Costco. There will be a questionand-answer session with Blakemore’s operations manager Chloe Ball, who manages a team of over 150 people. a

October 2021



Booker HGV drivers vote on pay deal As Cash & Carry Management went to press, HGV drivers at Booker’s Thamesmead site were to vote on a new pay deal. As a result, the strike action due to have started on 4 October was suspended. Unite the union said that its members would vote on the proposals, which are confidential, with the result due to be announced on 11 October. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Progress in this dispute is welcomed, but I urge Booker to understand that Unite remains dedicated to

advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of all its HGV driver members across the UK and we will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.” The crux of the dispute was that Booker Retail Partners had put in place a temporary £5-an-hour pay

Marking 40 years Bestway is currently running a £10,000 prize giveaway as part of the 40th birthday celebrations for the Bargain Booze off-licence chain. Every time a customer spends £15 or more in store, they are given a free scratchcard, with the chance to win a share of £10,000 of Bargain Booze vouchers alongside thousands of prizes from chocolate bars to beers. The promotion is running until 11 October, and customers who receive a nonwinning scratchcard will have a second chance to win one of five top prizes from a


October 2021

number of key sponsors in an online draw. In addition, Bargain Booze colleagues and staff will attend a ‘40th Birthday Bash’ this month. This will take place after the company’s annual ‘Drinks at Home’ trade event. In other news, a retail customer of Bestway has won a £5,000 depot credit in an exclusive promotion run by the wholesaler in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. The promotion, which was linked to the Euros 2020, was developed to drive footfall into depots and supported by ‘stunning’ PoS displays. The ‘Buy to Win’ deal gave retailers entry to a prize draw if they bought 20 cases of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke over an eight-week period. The winning retailer was Ayesha Noor, manager of Blackfield Post Office in Southampton. a Bestway 020-8453 1234

uplift for drivers at its Hemel Hempstead depot because of the HGV driver shortage, but then refused to implement a similar rise for the drivers at the Thamesmead site. Unite regional officer Paul Travers said: “After three days of tough negotiations this week, we have agreed to

take the proposals back to the drivers with a recommendation to accept. On that basis, we have suspended the threat of industrial action while our members are being balloted.” Peter Ricci, a night driver at Booker, defended his employer on social media: “I work for a great employer. I earn well (comfortably over £50k a year), and have great benefits. Yes, I work hard. Long hours, but totally within the legal limits. I choose to work the extra hours, not forced to, and I am paid for it.” a Booker (01933) 371000 a

Sustained growth A total of 401 stores signed up to Nisa in the 35 weeks to September 2021. This followed a record 2020 when, despite the challenges of the COIVD-19 pandemic, 624 stores joined the group. Of the 401 new stores this year, 128 converted to Nisa’s latest Evolution format. Steve Leach, sales director of Nisa, said: “The sustained growth in new partners and stores is testament not only to the brilliant team at Nisa, who have gone above and beyond during the past 18 months in continually challenging circumstances, but also to the strength of Nisa’s proposition for independent retailers. “This is where we strike the balance between recruitment and the support of existing partners, through our fresh thinking approach to partner support, competitive pricing and an unrivalled own-brand range.” One Nisa retailer, located at Earl Shilton, Leicestershire,

is now offering shoppers a cold beer at the same time as they pick up their groceries – draft beer is available in the bistro at the rear of the store. The bistro has also been rebranded as Pig on a Fork, with new signage and menus. Owner Sukhi Dhami said: “Now we have added draft beers, it means our shoppers can really treat themselves, and with it all being under one roof it is a unique set-up. “We know lots of the big supermarkets have coffee shops and cafés, but how many offer a nice meal and a drink of wine or a cold beer?” a Nisa Retail (01724) 282028

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Building profits is a priority CJ Lang is moving towards a more simple, higher margin convenience offer and is making a record investment in its companyowned SPAR stores.


he SPAR Scotland wholesaler and retailer CJ Lang & Son is on track to hit £200 million in turnover for 2020/21 – up from £194 million in 2019/20. Speaking at the company’s virtual tradeshow last month, CEO Colin McLean said that, in addition to the rise in turnover, CJ Lang has increased profits. “For far too long we were shifting an awful lot of low-margin products. This business only made just under half a million pounds in profit in 2017/18. We doubled that to just over a million pounds in 2018/19 and then grew it to just over £1.5 million in 2019/20. Although our results aren’t published yet, we have continued to grow our bottom line,” he reported. “We have to be more focused on how we can build profits. Profits protect jobs,” he added. A key contributor to CJ Lang’s profitable growth is its food-to-go programme – there are now CJ’s counters in more than 80 of the 107 companyowned stores and the roll-out will be

Colin McLean: ‘The next few months are likely to remain very challenging.’

completed by the end of the year. “We are well on our way to delivering a very profitable food-to-go business,” said McLean. “We will sell over £2 million of Costa coffee this year – that drives footfall into our stores – and we are selling hundreds of thousands of morning rolls every year. Our higher margin food-togo offer typically replaces a loss-making Subway or post office counter.” On the back of its investment in food-to-go and a new transport fleet, CJ Lang is now about to make its largest ever investment in its company-owned estate – stores will be modernised and the ageing refrigeration equipment will be replaced. “Spending money on new refrigeration is a must as we want a far better chilled and produce offer for all our customers,” he explained. “By investing in our refrigeration we will also take

a giant step forward in our energy conservation.” The company is also planning around 30 store refits, including its top 10 shops and summer seasonal stores. SPAR Crosshouse in Kilmarnock will be renovated in the early part of 2022, with other stores including Kilwinning and Erskine to follow shortly afterwards. At present, CJ Lang is focusing on removing manual tasks from its company stores. Initiatives include trials of electronic shelf-edge labels and digital media screens. In addition, automatic store based ordering, already in place for cigarettes and spirits, is being rolled out across all ambient and chilled categories over the next 12 months. “This is about moving towards a much more simple, higher margin convenience store offer,” said McLean. CJ Lang is also supporting and investing in the 220+ independent SPAR stores in Scotland. A new website for its independent customers will go fully live by the end of October, and this will enable easier ordering of regular stock, promotions and seasonal stock, McLean promised. A one-stop help desk will also be introduced. McLean also revealed that, having spent the summer months working with a team of consultants from KPMG to review CJ Lang’s end-to-end supply chain and business IT systems, the board is now considering the recommendations with a view to enhancements in these areas.

More than 160 suppliers took part in CJ Lang’s virtual tradeshow, offering special deals to SPAR Scotland retailers.


October 2021


A new website for independent customers will enable easier ordering of stock.

Meanwhile, the company’s management and 1,700-strong workforce are striving to address the challenges currently affecting the business. McLean commented: “We are nearly five months into our latest trading year, but the past three months have been particularly tough and stressful. It has been described as a perfect storm: a combination of the pingdemic, inbound supply chain shortages, raw material issues, Brexit, lorry driver issues, and in some areas a struggle to recruit experienced staff. “We continue to do a terrific job overall at managing a very tricky situation. In some instances we are having to send our own trucks to collect beers, wines & spirits from our suppliers south of the border, just to protect customer availability. We have managed to protect the depot and our delivery operation from falling over but we have provided a lot of additional support centrally just to keep it moving. “The next few months as we move towards Christmas are likely to remain very challenging with the ongoing supply chain issues, and we are having to carefully protect today’s business whilst also building our future direction.” He added: “Many other retailers want a slice of the growing convenience market and we will still need to keep pressing ahead – and quickly. Only recently Asda announced that over 200 petrol stations would convert to convenience stores. That’s a lot of new competition coming into our sector. “Our business today is in a much stronger financial position than it has been for many years and we can look to

build on this. SPAR Scotland has a long way to go as we unleash the full potential of this business.” CJ Lang’s trading director Richard Collins highlighted some of the opportunities for boosting sales: “Shoppers in Scotland top the league when buying on impulse [but] the shopper in Scotland is one of the lowest users of convenience stores and of shopping online. 14% of shoppers in Scotland have not used a convenience store in the last month and only 43% have shopped for groceries online (IGD). This means they are our opportunity.” Looking at the performance (wholesale sales) of specific product categories versus two years ago, Collins reported that all categories except fruit & veg were ahead. “The impulse categories of crisps, snacks and soft drinks are strong, although confectionery definitely has work to do. To the suppliers in this category I would urge you to do

something a little bit different. Licensed is doing exceptionally well, as is tobacco, and it is also pleasing to see the growth of frozen and bread & cakes. Food to go leads the way in terms of percentage growth.” Collins added that, at retail level, all categories are achieving strong sales with the exception of grocery, confectionery and fruit & veg, and he urged suppliers to use CJ Lang’s SalesTrack service in conjunction with TWC to drill down into how they are performing and inform their future activities. Collins also spoke about forthcoming initiatives, including a £26,000 giveaway to green projects in local communities (nominations from 1 November) and TV advertising of in-store promotions in November and February. For Christmas, CJ Lang has already secured and invested in stock and is introducing allocations for key lines, “to take the spikes out of the supply chain”. On top of the usual seasonal occasions, 2022 will have two extra events that offer potential for incremental sales and profits, Collins pointed out. These events are the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with two extra bank holidays (2 and 3 June) and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar (21 November to 18 December). Collins invited suppliers to work with CJ Lang to maximise the opportunities: “If you have plans, share them with us so that we can execute them in our stores and also give you ideas on how we can CCM best exploit them together.” The SPAR Scotland Conference 2022 will be held on 22 September at Macdonald Aviemore Resort.


Suppliers are being invited to work with CJ Lang to exploit the incremental sales opportunities offered by two big events that will take place next year.

October 2021



Creating a support infrastructure so that all employees can thrive By Abigail Brierley Exclusive report


wareness of the need for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policies and procedures has emerged more prominently across the UK workforce in recent years. The wholesale industry is no exception. By looking at a selection of businesses in the sector, namely Bestway, Mevalco and Brakes, it is apparent that firms can incorporate effective EDI measures into their daily operations in a way that not only supports employees, but also gets the best out of them. Brakes has an ethos of diversity and inclusion right at its core: “Being a responsible and inclusive employer is fundamental to Brakes,” explains Jake Freeman, chairman of the recently

EDI explained Equality in the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants. People must not be treated unfairly because of reasons protected by discrimination law (‘protected characteristics’) – for example, because of a person’s sex, age or race. a Diversity is the range of people in a workforce. For example, this might mean people of different ages, religions, ethnicities, genders, and people with disabilities. It also means valuing those differences. a An inclusive workplace means that everyone feels valued at work. It lets all employees feel safe to come up with different ideas; raise issues and suggestions to managers, knowing this is encouraged; and try doing things differently to how they have been done before, with management approval. a



October 2021

Brakes repainted the zebra crossing at its headquarters in the Pride colours.

formed Global DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Council at Brakes’ owner Sysco. “Through our various DEI programmes, initiatives and training, open dialogue and engagement efforts, we strive for a culture that empowers colleagues to bring their whole selves to work so that they can be successful every day.” As a business Brakes has five values: Committed to Inclusion, Rooted in Integrity, Drive Together, Define Excellence, and Grow Responsibly. “Belonging means reserving a seat for anyone at every table. When we invite diverse, inclusive, authentic and honest voices to each conversation, we change the narrative and begin to write a new chapter in our story. The way we see it, diversity is not just good business; it is what’s right,” says Freeman. Bestway’s managing director Dawood Pervez also believes it is important to seek to employ a diverse range of people: “A diverse workforce is vital to ensure the right mix of skills and full representation across all our communities. It’s something that we have been passionate about for many years and we always recruit the best talent for our vacancies on an inclusive basis. It’s also important to recruit individuals who do

not mirror your own beliefs and approach (which can be a temptation for many). Employing people who are individuals and hold their own views is far more stimulating, productive and enables great outcomes,” he maintains. The business case – as well as the ethics – of having effective EDI policies in the workplace is also highlighted by Justin Slawson, joint CEO of Mevalco: “All the indications are that businesses that promote and embrace a diverse workforce are, on average, more successful than those that have lagged

Dawood Pervez: ‘Our policy is designed for each employee to feel respected.’

[ TALKING POINT ] behind. The UK is known for its ethnically diverse society and it’s the right way of doing business to ensure the workforce reflects these demographics.” Whilst it is encouraging to see that many businesses in the wholesale industry have such a positive view of creating inclusive working environments, real and tangible progress can only occur when robust EDI measures are in place. There are a variety of ways that companies can create an inclusive, diverse and supportive working environment. Mevalco is committed to achieving this from the very beginning of its recruitment process.

The right support Slawson explains: “Due to the fact that we are a small team, we employ an outside HR consultancy that has deepseated knowledge in recruitment when it comes to best practice. We actively review who has applied for positions and ensure our adverts are worded to reflect our inclusion policies. All shortlisted candidates are seen by myself and co-directors and we are entirely mindful of recruiting a team that is based on diversity and inclusion. And once people have joined us, we give them the right support to do their job.” Bestway also considers EDI when hiring new staff: “Our HR team is very mindful of recruiting a team that is based on diversity and inclusion,” says

Pervez. “We never look at a person’s religious, cultural, age, gender or sexual persuasion; we simply recruit the best skills for the job in question. At Bestway, we have many years’ experience in this field due to regional locations of our stores and depots, and our talent pool reflects the locations in which we recruit.” Furthering this approach, Bestway has a Quality & Diversity Policy which aims to ensure that all employees are fairly treated, with dignity and respect, throughout their employment. “It’s representative of all sections of society and our customers, and is designed for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.” Mevalco, Bestway and Brakes, whilst having variations in their EDI approaches, all share in the commitment to offer support to their staff. Mevalco’s team size – it employs fewer than 30 people – has played a role in its methods of support: “We are a close-knit team and if anyone within our business requires support, they all know that our door is open to help them,” says Slawson. Bestway is a much bigger business and therefore support is offered at different levels: “All our colleagues are of equal importance to us at Bestway and, as part of our inclusion policy, support is available for all of our workers and provided by our managers who are supported by our HR team.” It is Brakes, however, that has the

Justin Slawson: ‘Our adverts are worded to reflect our inclusion policies.’

most visible methods of support in place, especially towards its LGBTQ+ staff, as well as less visible support measures. A lot of work is done by Brakes’ LGBTQ+ group Spectrum: “Spectrum is active across all our depots,” reports Freeman. “On every front desk, you’ll find postcards and signposts directing colleagues to help and support. We have Spectrum members and ‘allies’ at every site, on hand to provide a helping hand and ensure that the experience of all colleagues is one of mutual trust and respect.” Spectrum initially worked with the Stonewall charity to put processes and procedures in place and now its Council meets monthly, coming together to discuss best practice and plan specific events at sites across the business.

Listening session

On every Brakes front desk, there is information directing colleagues to support.

“From the boardroom to the warehouse, we work towards promoting diversity and inclusion,” Freeman adds. “Just this week CEO Hugo Mahoney held a listening session with the Spectrum committee to understand how Brakes can improve the way it embraces diversity.” As a permanent and public statement of its commitment, Brakes repainted the zebra crossing at its Ashford headquarters in the Pride colours. Brakes has associate resource groups for women and BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic), as well as LGBTQ+, communities. Freeman explains: “The business has readjusted its strategic priority to better recognise the needs of

October 2021


[ TALKING POINT ] ‘People are much more willing to celebrate diversity’ Alvin Engutsamy (pictured), chair of Brakes’ LGBTQ+ group Spectrum, says: “We’ve been up and running for approaching four years now and have seen a sea change in the attitudes across the business. People are much more willing to be curious about differences and celebrate diversity. “We’ve worked very hard to support colleagues within the business and it is brilliant that the CEO will sit with us and listen to our concerns and ideas for making Brakes even better in the future. Since we started, the feedback that we’ve got from the business has been nothing short of amazing.” He adds: “We have a three-year plan and vision to provide a safe space for colleagues to bring their whole self to work and we’re well on

everyone in the workplace, and our BAME, IMPACT (women) and LGBTQ+ groups are all very active.


October 2021

course to achieve this. Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone belongs and thrives at Brakes, whilst recognising that Brakes can only thrive when everyone feels they belong.”

“We know this isn’t a one-stop shop of knowledge and we continue to educate our leaders, creating a deep

understanding and empathy towards each other, utilising numerous learning channels to continuously open, nudge and shift mindsets. As part of managers’ annual performance review, diversity and inclusion and the role that the individual can play in supporting all colleagues must be part of a conversation, with specific outcomes and actions required for the year ahead.” It is encouraging to see that cash & carry/delivered wholesale companies are not only aware of the need to have Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies in place, but also follow through to create a support infrastructure so that all their employees can thrive. Indeed, the fact that the likes of Bestway, Mevalco and Brakes practise what they preach – and can show how positive EDI action benefits their business – gives rise to optimism that effective EDI measures will be increasingly adopted by the CCM wholesale industry. Abigail Brierley is in her third year at Durham University, studying for a BA in International Relations.

[ SPOTLIGHT ] Ton Christiaanse, non-exec chairman, Country Range Group What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? Being more or less confined to home during the pandemic wasn’t easy. I like to move about and meet with people. However, focusing on running – I ran virtually from Land’s End to John O’Groats: 1,800 km) – and other sports was a good way of coping with lockdown.

‘Work ethics matter’ What have been your biggest achievements in work and outside work? Having led a number of restructuring and transformation projects in my career, I have had several successful results. In my last interim role as group CEO for Aviko, in 14 months we changed the top structure, acquired a business in China, started the largest investment the group had ever made and returned the highest profit in the history of the company. But as it’s the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I think that helping the team at RCI Europe (travel and leisure business) to cope with both the operational and emotional upheaval was probably the most intense test of my leadership – I was the MD of RCI at that time. My largest private achievement would be my personal transformation from being dangerously overweight to a far more healthy and balanced lifestyle, which even in the food industry is possible if you are disciplined enough! Who has been the biggest inspiration to you? At a young age I saw my father working hard, taking risks to achieve success, and being able to give his sons a good education and a enjoyable childhood. Work ethics matter. Another source of

inspiration was my late friend Robert Pino – entrepreneur, coach, consultant, TV personality, writer but above all a reliable buddy to have a lot of fun with. What were your ambitions when you were growing up? I’m still surprised that I never won Wimbledon or starred in the latest James Bond movie! What are your interests outside work? I have developed decent cooking skills over the years which forces me to do sports four to five times a week. How would you describe your personality and what approach do you take in business (and in life)? I have a wide interest in business and tend to look at the bigger picture. As most people are very good at what they do, I empower and delegate where possible. In leadership roles I try to dip into the details to better understand what people do and why, as well as respecting their skills and experience. There are general rules to live by though: live up to your promises, embrace diversity, behave within a strong ethical framework, give instead of take, and don’t be afraid of change.

What is your favourite film, book and song/piece of music? Too many to choose from – I like most movies by Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. Nowadays movies are replaced by high-quality TV series on streaming services, and my favourites are still British drama. A writer I like is Conn Iggulden – his historical fiction is superb, especially his series on the Mongol Empire started by Genghis Khan. Music-wise I’m a real omnivore but in general I prefer classic rock. If you won a holiday, where would you go and who would you take with you? I would do exactly what I planned to do anyhow: a relaxing trip to Portugal with my family. What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a Trekkie [a fan of Star Trek], and I CCM also once worked in a zoo!

International roles Ton Christiaanse studied Business Administration at Nyenrode, the Netherlands School of Business. He began his career at Unilever and subsequently worked for a number of FMCG/food companies, including Aviko, Sara Lee, RCI, Chiquita and Brakes. He has lived in seven different countries and his work roles have covered a total of 30 countries. Christiaanse is currently chairman of AK Stoddart and non-executive chairman of Country Range Group, which he joined in July this year.

October 2021


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What’s everyone’s cup of tea? Wholesalers need to ensure that they can offer their customers a core range spanning products loved by regular brand-loyal shoppers, while coffee shop replicators and NPD designed to attract younger consumers should also be flagged as potential sales drivers.


offee and tea sales have highlighted areas of opportunity as consumer trends shift this year. Out-of-home habits have moved into shopper interest in trading up for a more indulgent experience, and younger consumers in particular are looking at health and environmental credentials in their brand choices. The tea sector is worth £85 million in convenience, while coffee is worth £201 million and outperforming the total hot beverages category (IRI/Kantar). While staying at home became the norm last year, consumers sought indulgence when they did venture to coffee shops. Coffee drinkers are still looking for a moment of luxury from their everyday coffee experience and consumer demand means that it is more important than ever to ensure that every cup of coffee exceeds expectations. Jacobs Douwe Egberts has ensured that both its catering and retail offerings enable operators to provide a coffee-shop experience. Research shows that the vast majority of UK consumers – 95.7% – are coffee drinkers. Of these,

77.2% drink coffee daily (Allegra). “With the ongoing expansion of speciality coffee moments across the out-of-home market, both retailers and wholesale managers should be updating their ranges to effectively tap into these evolving consumer trends,” says Catie Newson, segment marketing specialist. “It’s important for operators to stay on top of the latest market demands and consumer understanding in order to stay relevant to their consumers.” The top three coffee beverages in the out-of-home market are latte, followed by cappuccino and then flat white (Allegra). For smaller businesses, the Kenco ‘Coffee Shop Favourites’ range is ideal in that all operators need is access to a kettle in order to produce a selection of the top five ‘coffee shop favourite’ coffee drinks. “The range makes it possible for operators to introduce and emulate full coffee indulgence in out-of-home environments to venues with more limited capacity,” says Newson. The limited social opportunities seen in 2020 have also given rise to further opportunities

October 2021


[ HOT BEVERAGES ] for the at-home segment. Kenco Instant Specialities are outperforming in the retail market, thanks to the demand for frothy, indulgent styles in a convenient offering and a rapidly growing interest in the cold and iced coffee category. “Coffee trends in retail are led by demand in out-of-home coffee consumption, as consumers seek to bring the coffee shop experience to a quick, convenient home format,” continues Newson. “Stocking a full range of coffee solutions is key to reach all customers to suit their coffee needs.” For wholesalers, flagging up opportunities by merchandising stock by sub-category is an effective technique. “There’s a genuine opportunity for outlets and shops of all kinds to maximise the opportunity by better meeting the needs of consumers. To maximise sales further, it’s important that wholesalers provide a selection of top quality products and offer variation to cater to a selection of coffee preferences, boosting overall sales and giving consumers more to choose from,” advises Newson. One emerging trend is the growth of organic coffee – which has seen a rise of 26% in the UK (Allegra). JDE’s latest range, Douwe Egberts Barista Edition, uses only 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified arabica beans, which produce full-bodied coffee. “Half of consumers believe that offering 100% arabica coffee is an important indication of a high quality coffee shop,” points out Newson. “Operators should tap into this growing demand for quality and authenticity by stocking the right range of products.” The JDE Barista Edition is available in Signature Espresso and Rich Espresso blends. Nestlé UK has been supporting an important cause through its championing of the Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning, which officially took place on 24 September. In advance of the event, Nestlé donated 10p from the sale of every jar of Nescafé Original 95g £2.99 PMP. The supplier also donated £1 to Macmillan with every purchase from the Decaf Nescafé Original Professional range. Nestlé hopes that the activity has helped to raise vital funds for the charity, which has seen a dip in income along with a rise in the need for its services, due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. The Nescafé roadshow recently visited

depots and convenience stores, offering wholesalers and retailers the chance to win treats and a Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee machine while raising awareness of the importance of supporting the work of Macmillan Cancer Support. Taylors of Harrogate emphasises the growth in decaffeinated coffee – it is up by 16.5% year on year and now represents 10% of the total coffee segment (Kantar). Taylors of Harrogate’s Decaffé coffee answers this demand with an emphasis on full flavour without the caffeine. Meanwhile, the supplier’s Coffee Bags continue to perform well as the bestseller in the £13 million sub-category. They contain fresh roast and ground coffee and work just like a tea bag, brewing in two minutes. Retail packs are available as well as out-of-home packs (80 individually-wrapped), suitable for hotel rooms, conferences, travel and workplaces.

‘Roast and ground coffee is growing faster than any other sector within hot beverages’ Helen Boulter, Taylors of Harrogate’s multi sector sales controller “Roast and ground coffee is growing faster than any other sector within hot beverages. With ground coffee making up 64% of these sales, cash & carries should consider increasing their range and ensuring the best-sellers are available for their customers (IRI/Kantar),” says Helen Boulter, multi sector sales controller. Taylors of Harrogate is the UK’s favourite ground coffee brand (IRI). Speciality and wellbeing teas are still on the rise, according to Tata Consumer Products. Within impulse, fruit & herbals are up by 2.6% and decaf teas are ahead by 1.1% (Nielsen). “After the surge in stock-up buying of tea in the early days of lockdown last year, tea sales have returned to more normal patterns, but last year’s anomalous sales patterns mean year-on-year comparisons are difficult to make,” says Parminder Walia, category development manager. “As we enter the period of the new norm, the role of wholesalers in helping stores to recognise trends in the market and advising on the right selection of tea stocks is essential.”

Wholesaler coffee shop focus JJ Foodservice has launched a new brochure for UK cafés and coffee shops. The wholesaler was recently voted the UK’s third most popular coffee distributor in the State of the Nation Coffee Report 2021 and recently exhibited at the Casual Dining Show, partnering with Lavazza. The new brochure highlights a range of Lavazza coffee blends, bakery products, snacks, soft drinks, biodegradable packaging and other café essentials.


October 2021

There are two choices for ground coffee: 1) Taylors and 2) less popular brands Coffee is worth £201 million* in convenience so it pays to get it right

Stock the best-sellers

Ta lors is the UK’s fa Taylors favourite o rite ground coffee brand.**

Don’t forget Decaffé

Keep up with the trends

Ground coffee has grown by 7.8% YOY.*

Drive incremental sales through merchandising

Decaf has grown by 16.5% YOY and is worth 10% of the total coffee category.***

Position coffee close to associated categories like biscuits and sugar.

*IRI & Kantar, 52 w/e 19th June 2021 | **IRI Value Sales 52 w/e 19th June 2021 | ***Kantar 52 w/e 21st March 2021

[ HOT BEVERAGES ] Tetley is the top tea brand in the convenience and impulse channels, with a volume share of 24.2% and 34.8% respectively (Nielsen). In total impulse, Tetley 80s PMP is the top selling SKU in the category (Nielsen). Walia advises wholesalers to pay attention to shopper desire to upgrade their tea experience, a trend mirroring that found in the coffee segment. Recent Tetley launches are responding to this demand – Tetley Gold Brew is a blend of quality African and Assam teas, while a range of Tetley Discovery teas have the finest black teas from estates across Africa as their base blend. This new range includes Black Tea with Lemon & Ginger, Black Tea with Apple, Cinnamon & Vanilla, and Black Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Goji Berry. “The core bulk of tea buyers sit in the black tea space and this discerning group are receptive to paying a little bit more for improved taste experience,” Walia explains. While grocery multiples see almost a quarter of all tea sales coming from non-black teas, the convenience sector is finding this opportunity harder to capitalise on. Tetley’s fruit and herbal range provides a familiar and trusted brand encouraging shoppers to try different teas at an attractive price point, and the Super Fruits range are strong choices ahead of winter. “With the prospect of a tough winter of seasonal colds ahead, functional food and drinks are likely to increase in popularity,” says Walia.

‘The role of wholesalers in helping stores to recognise trends in the market and advising on the right selection of tea stocks is essential’ Parminder Walia, Tata Consumer Products’ category development manager Tata Consumer Products is investing in advertising as well as development for its Tetley brand. From this month, Tetley will see increased brand awareness through a £2.5 million marketing programme. The six-month campaign will centre on a new advertising creative and brand positioning that will be reflected across traditional media and multi-digital channels, along with in-store and in-depot activity. Tata is also continuing its sustainability focus, rolling out fully biodegradable bags across the core black tea ranges, beginning with packs of Tetley Everyday 120s. Environmental credentials are also a priority for Good Earth, a tea brand new to the UK. Eight variants of biodegradable 22

October 2021

string and tag tea bags are available to foodservice, enabling operators to easily and economically capitalise on the growth of fruit and herbal teas and a new, younger consumer base. “Good taste and naturalness are our watchwords, but so is consideration for the environment and we believe that this is becoming an important consideration for many in their food and drink choices,” says brand manager Liliana Jaurequi. Taylors of Harrogate has the nation’s favourite tea brand with Yorkshire Tea (IRI), which has added £5.2 million to the tea category (IRI/Kantar). “Our top sellers within convenience are our 80 teabag PMP, followed by our 40 teabag PMP,” says multi sector sales controller Helen Boulter. “PMPs are a great choice for independent stores as they give consumers confidence in pricing, making them more likely to purchase.” Boulter also notes the rising interest in trading up over the last year, and suggests that cash & carries stock a premium tea such as Yorkshire Gold to respond to the trend. She adds: “Don’t forget growth areas like decaf. With shoppers switching to decaffeinated options, decaf is a key driver of growth in the tea sector, growing by 8.9% (IRI/Kantar). It is essential that wholesalers have a strong decaf tea available.” In addition to its retail offering, Taylors of Harrogate produces packs for foodservice operators. “We have packs suitable for all out-of-home businesses including standard teabags, string and tag, loose leaf as well as individually-wrapped,” reports Greg Harvey, out of home sales controller. “Our finest blend, Yorkshire Gold is perfect for premium caterers and is available individuallywrapped and in a loose-leaf format. Teas from our three favourite origins – Assam, Kenya and Rwanda – are selected for Yorkshire Gold and we buy them from the top 10 tea gardens in the world.” Typhoo Tea Gold (80s), which was awarded two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2019, is now available in the convenience channel in a price-marked pack, joining Typhoo Tea in £1 (40s) and £2 (80s) PMPs. “Stocking everyday tea alongside great tasting decaf and quality gold formats allows customers the option to confidently trade up and gives retailers an opportunity to increase basket spend,” says Melody Chapman, sales & marketing director at Typhoo Tea. “With more people now working from home post-lockdown, millions of consumers have rediscovered their love of a traditional cuppa and are drinking more hot beverages in the home. This has led to an increased demand for tea and coffee,” she adds. “There has been a significant move towards convenience store shopping, as ease of shop, value assurance and availability become more


Stir up your tea sales with the Nation’s favourite ** tea brand Number 3 brand Total Market*** Number 1 brand in Impulse & Convenience*** Number 1 brand Total Scotland*** * PMP prices as at August 2021 ** Buyer numbers and household penetration Kantar year to 17 July 2021 *** AC Nielsen volume sales year to 17 July 2021

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Find more help and advice at


View from HQ Kenton Burchell, group trading director, Bestway Wholesale What are the most significant trends in hot beverages? Shoppers are switching to healthier, decaffeinated options (Kantar) and there are opportunities to increase these ranges in convenience. Ready-to-go coffee is worth £94 million in convenience and growing at 15.6% year on year (IRI). Coffee pods are the fastest growing segment in the total market, up 18% (IRI). Fruit & herbal (+6.1%) and decaf (+8.9%) are the key growth areas within tea (IRI/Kantar). Has there been a switch from retail packs to foodservice packs of hot beverages as hospitality has reopened? Hospitality is having a slow return to pre-COVID levels; the industry is being cautious with there still being an increase in infections. This has been coupled with low consumer confidence, which is taking time to rebuild. We have not seen a significant return to foodservice packs as yet – many office workers will remain on a hybrid working model which potentially could mean that a full return is not likely until next year. How are you promoting hot beverages to your customers? We continue to support this category though the mix of promotions (wholesaler and consumer deals). We produced category advice earlier this year which provided our customers with marketing insights, planograms, ‘must feature lines’ and general guidance. What advice do you give to your customers to help them maximise sales and profits of hot beverages? a Stock the best sellers. Having the right range of brands is vital to avoid losing sales. a Extend into areas of growth such as fruit & herbal, decaf and green – these areas will deliver increased and incremental value. a Improve range of products, price and promotion – breadth of range as well as price and promotion are also key factors to satisfying the hot beverages shopper. a Ensure hot beverages are easily located in store, ideally adjacent to associated categories such as sugar, biscuits, cakes and morning goods. This will inspire shoppers and increase basket spend. a Introduce more products in fast-growing segments, such as premium coffees, beans and machine pods. How seasonal is the hot beverages market nowadays? Hot drinks has become an all-year-round category, especially with the emergence of pods, iced drinks, fruit teas and other innovation. Although sales of hot chocolate are higher in the winter, consumers drink it all year round.


October 2021

important to many consumers. Brands continue to outperform own-label in this channel, as shoppers look for their favourite household names, and price-marked packs are becoming ever more crucial.” The company has a strategy to increase Typhoo Tea’s distribution in the convenience channel, and is backing the brand with a campaign that reinvigorates its “bold personality”. Just under £1 in every £10 in hot beverages is spent on hot milky drinks, and 67% of sales are accounted for by hot chocolate (Kantar). Premiumisation is reflected in the hot chocolate segment, and Mondelez International updated its Green & Black’s packaging this year, supported with a media campaign. The new design draws consumer attention to the product’s ethically sourced organic cocoa beans. “Consumers say that if they are going to have a treat it should be something they really enjoy. Green and Black’s, the premium chocolate brand, has grown by 8.2% (Nielsen) over the past year, with the organic market also in growth,” reports Susan Nash, trade communications manager. The manufacturer’s Cadbury brand is also a must-stock in the hot chocolate category, with its Highlights brand answering the demand for lighter treats. Highlights has been updated this year with reformulation and a packaging refresh. Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats has brand recognition boosting sales of its hot chocolate products, which are available through Aimia Foods. “To maximise sales, retailers should stock and merchandise a range of products from the Galaxy and Maltesers range together to make the most of these fast-growing brands, attracting customers of all ages to the hot beverages aisle,” says Michelle Frost, general manager. “For most impact, consider stocking instant hot chocolate, low-calorie, pods, single-serve sticks and traditional ‘add milk’ drinking chocolate. “Pods continue to show growth ahead of the category. The continued innovation is not at the cost of other hot chocolate products, but is attracting new millennial CCM customers to the category,” Frost adds.

For further information: Aimia Foods (01942) 272900 Jacobs Douwe Egberts (0845) 271 1818 Mondelez International (01214) 582000 Nestlé UK 020-8686 3333 Tata Consumer Products 020-8338 4000 Taylors of Harrogate (01423) 814000 Typhoo Tea (0800) 633 5650




Demand for remedies to return As we head into the cold and flu season, it is likely that people will be out and about more to make up for a long winter of discontent last year. As such, wholesalers and their customers should be ready to meet demand for at-home remedies, such as lozenges.


espite the COVID-19 lockdowns leading to fewer incidents of cold and flu last winter, Fisherman’s Friend outperformed the medicated confectionery category as a whole. The brand experienced a 21.8% sales drop in the impulse and convenience channels but this compares favourably to a 45.9% decline in medicated confectionery across all retail outlets (Nielsen). “Whilst we are obviously not celebrating these figures, they do show how Fisherman’s Friend is a more resilient sales proposition than many other brands within medicated confectionery,” says Jon White, regional business manager for Fisherman’s Friend in the UK. “It suggests that for many shoppers, Fisherman’s Friend is a faithful friend beyond just relieving the symptoms of cold and flu during the key winter season. In fact, nearly one in four (23%) of those who have purchased Fisherman’s Friend chose our brand when not suffering from a cold, flu or even hayfever – cementing its position in many people’s pockets as their go-to mint for fresh breath (Censuswide). This is thanks to its super strong menthol, with each lozenge containing a third more than rival brands.” White adds: “Given its history on the high seas, it is also unsurprising that consumers also turn to our Fisherman’s Friend lozenges whilst enjoying outdoor activities. One in five (20%) purchasers of Fisherman’s Friend are regular walkers, hikers, runners or cyclists who are looking for a yearround proposition.” As life begins to return to ‘normal’ – and as incidents of cold and flu are likely to increase as a result – White expects to see a return towards more normal sales levels for medicated confectionery as a whole, and especially for brands that have a wider range of usage occasions. For the first time ever, Fisherman’s Friend is available in a limited number of 80p pricemarked packs of the best-selling SKU, Original Extra Strong, this winter season. In addition, the brand continues to be supported by the year-round ‘Whatever the Day Throws at You’ campaign. With the peak winter sales period approaching, the company is doing a big push on digital, social media and PR to keep the lozenges front of people’s minds. Fisherman’s Friend, which comes in a wide range of fruity and mint variants, is available through Ceuta Healthcare. 26

October 2021

Also offered by Ceuta is Jakemans, which increased its share in the impulse channel by 26% in the last 12 months (IRI). Ceuta attributes this success to the brand’s heritage as an allyear-round confectionery product and the continued support of the brand on TV and other media. Lockets is a brand that consumers depend on to help them get through the day, maintains Victoria Gell, fruity confections portfolio director at Mars Wrigley. “Lockets contains a soothing liquid centre and a clearing menthol flavour that helps consumers keep a clear head,” she says. The range comprises Honey & Lemon, Extra Strong and Cranberry & Blueberry variants. Mars Wrigley has a dedicated range of PoS to encourage impulse purchases. “Over-thecounter medicine is increasingly important to stock during the colder months as consumers are becoming more reliant on their local stores for their top-up-shop needs,” says Gell. Mondelez International is predicting a rise in demand for medicated confectionery this winter. “There has been much publicised about the expectation of a greater incidence of colds and flu this season, with many immune systems weakened due to staying at home and being less exposed to germs,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager. “Paired with the fact that there are no further lockdown restrictions planned, it is anticipated there will be increased demand for relief products throughout this winter season. Whether it be for menthol clearing or gentle soothing, shoppers will look for brands they know and trust – such as Halls – in store.” The best-sellers in the range are Halls Mentholyptus Extra Strong and Halls CCM Soothers Blackcurrant.

For further information: Ceuta Healthcare (0844) 243 6661 Mars Wrigley (01753) 550055 Mondelez International (01895) 615000

WHATEVER THE DAY THROWS AT YOU... FISHERMAN’S FRIEND lozenges contain super strong menthol, as much as a third more than rival brands Ten flavours to choose from, including seven Sugar-Free varieties Available in all good pharmacies and retailers across the UK




#WHATEVERTHEDAYTHROWSATYOU U.K Distributor – Ceuta Healthcare: 0844 243 6661


Small treats, big business Indulgence, treating and health are three key trends driving biscuit sales this Christmas – the biggest season for this £3 billion product category. Kevin Whitlock reports.


f the media and the pundits are to be believed, the UK is in for a difficult winter, with predictions of skyrocketing fuel prices, shortages in the shops, inflation and COVID resurgences. Against such a gloomy backdrop, it’s little wonder that as the nights draw in, many within the food and distributive trades are predicting that consumers will be turning to small, affordable everyday treats to cheer themselves up. One such treat could be the humble biscuit, a favourite small indulgence in these isles. One manufacturer, Burton’s Biscuit Co, is already out of the traps, reminding wholesalers about the importance of offering a biscuit range to enable retailers to appeal to a broad range of shoppers and shopper missions, from the cost-conscious to people looking for a treatier biscuit, or simply more portion control.

‘Shoppers are replacing bigger ticket treats with more affordable favourites, such as biscuits’ Jo Harwood, sales director, Burton’s “Shoppers are continuing to manage budgets carefully with more opportunities to snack, where they are replacing bigger ticket treats with more affordable favourites, such as biscuits,” comments Jo Harwood, sales director at Burton’s. “Wholesalers can also drive case sales by dual siting biscuits alongside complementary lines such as tea and coffee.” Harwood adds that Burton’s £24 million Jammie Dodgers brand – growing by 3.1% (Nielsen/Powerview) – is supporting the convenience channel with the relaunch of its PMP case in a new affordable case footprint: “We launched our compact case of 15 (89p x 140g), due to demand from convenience retailers for a smaller case. As part of the changes, retailers will also see a refreshed case design featuring pack and biscuit images to ensure that the brand is clearly visible to identify for ease of purchase.” And Kate Needham, Burton’s marketing director, points out: “Jammie Dodgers continue to be popular with shoppers, selling over 33.8 million packs last year. The new case size will reduce the recommended wholesale price to below 28

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£10 – ideal for those retailers who may wish to have less outlay per trip to the wholesaler while continuing to stock shopper favourites.” Another big player in the market is pladis, owner of McVitie’s. Among that brand’s activity this year has been an extension of the £10 million (Nielsen) McVitie’s V.I.Bs range with the launch of new flavour, Indulgent Chocolate Cherry. This joined Classic Caramel Bliss, Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut and Luscious Blood Orange. Emma Stowers, McVitie’s marketing director, says: “We’re encouraging shoppers to enjoy some much-needed me time with a cup of tea and a biscuit that’s a permissible indulgence. Our McVitie’s V.I.Bs are already encouraging ‘everyday treat’ shoppers nationwide to trade up [and] V.I.Bs over-index with under 45s compared with the everyday treats sub-sector as a whole (Kantar). “In part, this is because, when it comes to sweet baked goods, almost three-quarters (74%) of shoppers between the ages of 16-34 are looking for more flavour innovation (Mintel). This means we’re always assessing how we can help retailers boost biscuit sales through trend-led flavour variations of our bestselling biscuits.” Another pladis brand is Flipz. The company recently launched a £1 price-marked pack (PMP) format of the Peanut Butter variant just for the wholesale channel. Of course, the biggest sales season for biscuits is Christmas, and pladis has just unveiled its festive ranges. The McVitie’s 2021 Christmas selection comprises signature seasonal staples and innovations, which should allow retailers to tap into key seasonal consumer trends – such as indulgence, togetherness and gifting. “This year’s seasonal snacking sales will be bigger than ever, and are set to exceed last year’s £161 million incremental opportunity (Kantar),” says Jonathan Bull, marketing director – chocolate, cake, seasonal. “2020 gave us a Christmas like no other, as seasonal celebrations were dampened by the pandemic, with only limited opportunities to reunite with wider circles of friends and family. Because of this, we’re anticipating Christmas 2021 to be big, as consumers make up for the time missed due to last year’s restrictions.” Among the new lines is McVitie’s Mince Pie flavour Milk Chocolate Digestives (rsp £1.59); and Gingerbread

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[ BISCUITS ] flavour Milk Chocolate Digestives will be making a return for 2021. There’s a Jaffa Cakes Jaffa Hamper (rsp £4) combining bestselling Jaffa Cakes classics with seasonal family favourites. The Orange & Cranberry Jaffa Cake variant will also be returning, in a 125g pack. And the bestselling Jaffa Cakes Christmas Pole, which includes 40 Original Jaffa Cakes, is back, with the chance to win a trip to Lapland, along with hundreds of thousands of other prizes. Also making a return is the classic Family Circle assortment, available in a 310g box and a 620g box. A selection of milk, dark and white chocolate biscuits, McVitie’s Victoria assortment is another festive favourite, and for 2021 is available in boxes of 300g, 600g and 1.2kg. The more premium McVitie’s Moments Signature Chocolate Biscuit Selection also returns, offering 26 biscuits enrobed in McVitie’s milk, dark and white chocolate. Available in a 400g box (rsp £6), pladis hopes that Moments Signature will encourage consumers to trade-up this season. Finally, for Flipz, there’s a 150g, £1.50 sharing pack of Flipz Gingerbread (which includes an on-pack Sony Playstation 5 competition). Biscuits are of course an indulgence, and marketed as such, but as health concerns rise up the personal and legislative agenda, ‘better for you’ biscuits are becoming increasingly important in the sales mix. Surb Kaur, UK sales director for Gullón, the leading sugarfree biscuit brand, says: “The ingredients contained in many manufactured biscuit products can cause concern when it comes to health. Most people are aware that they should be reducing their intake of refined sugar but it is hard to keep track of just how much we are consuming. One easy way to do this is to buy products which deliver a sugar reduction built into them and make a virtue of this on the packaging. “A growing number of health-conscious consumers are looking for comfort snacks that deliver flavour without the unhealthy fats and sugar. We believe that this trend is here to stay, and that one of the lasting legacies of the pandemic will be the desire to look after our health.” She continues: “Our Zeroh! sugar-free biscuits cross the divide between indulgence and abstinence, presenting a really tasty sugar-free choice that is still a treat. They come in three varieties – traditional Digestive, Chocolate Digestive and Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are baked with no sugar, no palm oil and are low in salt. They are also vegetarian, high in fibre and are made with sunflower oil which contains high oleic fats. All of this makes for a healthier, more wholesome biscuit. “We challenge the idea that sugar-free means boring and have put a lot into making sure that our products taste just as good as fully loaded ones. Good texture and flavour is essential to creating a biscuit that people want to buy. We feel we have got it right with Zeroh! and our repeat sales bear this out.” 30

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Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Oreo, Ritz, belVita and Cadbury owner Mondelez International, concurs: “Healthier options remain important for consumers who are looking for healthier ingredients such as oats and other wholegrains – but won’t compromise on taste. “The healthier biscuits category represents 21% of the market (Nielsen). What’s more, consumers’ aspirations for healthier eating take prominence in the morning. As the only biscuit range with proven slow-release carbohydrates, belVita is well placed to help cash & carries take advantage of the continued long-term trend in sales of biscuits.”

‘While more health-conscious shoppers may be treating themselves less frequently, when they do look for a treat, they’re prepared to spend more on something that tastes great and they feel good about’ Susan Nash, Mondelez International’s trade communications manager Ritz, the UK’s No.2 savoury biscuit, growing at 19% (Nielsen), has also tapped into this interest in health as Ritz Original crackers now include 70% less saturated fat. Ritz Cheese crackers also include 50% less saturated fat. Nash continues: “While more health-conscious shoppers may be snacking, or treating themselves less frequently, when they do look for a treat, they’re prepared to spend more on something that tastes great and they feel good about. The special treat segment is in 1.6% growth (Nielsen), with retailers willing to trade up from commoditised offers to more premium and indulgent treats.” Cadbury Biscuits are the No.1 special treat brand, accounting for nearly half of this sub-category’s value. In fact, nearly £1 in every £2 spent on special treat biscuits is on Cadbury Biscuits (Nielsen). While Cadbury Fingers are the No.1 special treat in the range (Nielsen), innovations such as Cadbury Crunchy Melts have introduced new CCM consumers to the sub-segment.

For further information: Burton’s Biscuit Co (01727) 899700 Gullón (07960) 247962 Mondelez International (01214) 582000 pladis 020-8234 5000



WWW.BURTONSBISCUITS.COM *Sweet Biscuits: Combined Read: Nielsen Scantrack (14.08.2021) Total Coverage including Discounters and Kantar (08.08.2021) Total Value Channel. *Savoury Biscuits: Kantar (08.08.2021) Total Market


Sharing sweet profits Wholesalers and retailers can expect a promising increase in confectionery sales over the festive period as shoppers look to trade up and stock up. Siobhan Kielty reports.


ith Christmas fast approaching, it’s time for wholesalers and retailers to get serious about their ranging. Suppliers are anticipating that shoppers will be feeling celebratory after the underwhelming occasion that was Christmas 2020, while a new-found appreciation of nights in has led to a consistent sales boost in sharing confectionery. There is plenty of supplier development and investment in confectionery to keep the category buoyant, so wholesalers should ensure that they are up to date with NPD and promotional activity. Challenger brand Bebeto, from Kervan Gida UK, has seen a significant sales increase of 38% in the past year. Recent activity includes a 150g sharing bag range incorporating brand favourites, updated packaging designs to increase on-shelf standout and a six-figure investment in a nationwide marketing campaign which has featured Bebeto’s TV debut and increased brand awareness through social media.

‘When people spend long periods at home, buying confectionery brands for home consumption becomes a habit and a highlight’ Stuart Johnston, managing director, Kervan Gida UK “As a responsible manufacturer, Bebeto is committed to safeguarding consumers’ health. However, the brand also continues to champion ‘life is for enjoying the little things’ and providing moments of happiness for the whole family. This is especially important at times of stress like the pandemic,” explains Stuart Johnston, managing director. “In April we launched our new Gummies range, made with real fruit juice and no artificial colours. We took our bestselling shapes and flavours – Big Fizzy Mix, Strawberries, Fizzy Watermelons and Big Mix – and mixed, matched and


October 2021

repackaged them in a bigger 150g sharing bag format, in line with the strong growth in sharing bags seen during the pandemic.” The resulting Bebeto Gummies 150g range is vegan friendly, Vegetarian Society approved and Halal certified. Kervan Gida has noted a sharp growth in sharing packs and fun packs, which is continuing as people carry on enjoying nights in more regularly than was previously habitual. “When people spend long periods at home, as millions of us have been, buying confectionery brands for home consumption becomes a habit and a highlight. People get muchneeded enjoyment from their favourite products, so it becomes more of a regular planned purchase than an impulse buy,” says Johnston. “In the last year, the sales value of multipacks and sharing sweets grew by 3.9% (Nielsen). This is all the more reason to promote Bebeto sharing bags.” The autumn TV campaign, which ran last month, is part of a larger marketing campaign that includes out-of-home advertising, PR, social media marketing and consumer sampling. “We’re making a major marketing investment in our vision for the brand, which is to drive it into the worldwide sugar confectionery top five by 2023. This autumn’s TV debut is a central part of the plan,” states Johnston. Classic brand Werther’s Original, from Storck UK, has also branched out in the sharing category. The new Werther’s Original Golden Mix now contains Butter Candies, Chocolate Fudge, Creamy Filling, Creamy Toffees and Soft Caramel varieties in a striking, branded box. “As the No.1 traditional sugar brand in the UK (IRI), the widely loved classics will be instantly recognised,” says Andy Mutton, managing director. “The new impactful seasonal design is sure to catch the eye of retailers and shoppers alike, and is the perfect sharing box to enjoy of an evening or as a festive gift.”

Give everyone’s favourite this Christmas

ormat! f k c a P g n i r NEW Centrepiece Sha Twistwrap* : No. 1 s n o i t a r C b e e l boxed chocolates Malt esers Box: No. 2 brand in everyday *Source: Nielsen Scantrack 52w data to 16.01.21

© 2021 Mars or Affiliates.

[ CONFECTIONERY ] Seasonal brand favourite Toffifee is also feeling the benefits of more sharing opportunities, with the 100g and 400g boxes providing brand growth of 20% last Christmas (IRI). “The 400g pack is incremental to the 100g, with sales increasing in the final weeks leading up to Christmas,” points out Mutton. “This year, Toffifee 100g boxes will display a brand new festive design, making them sure to stand out on shelves indepot. Additionally, the brand is supported with a £1.9 million spend across TV and video on demand from September to November. Toffifee will certainly be at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, and thus the ideal seasonal product to stock.” Another Storck UK brand, Bendicks, has also seen activity prior to the seasonal sales period. Bendicks Mint Fondants responds to the dual trends of dark chocolate and mint flavouring, and joins the Bendicks mint line-up. All of the products in the range are vegan and kosher.

‘Having a mix of themed and nonthemed confectionery will ensure that retailers can continue selling any surplus stock once the Christmas period ends’ Mark Walker, sales director, Swizzels Another manufacturer looking ahead to and beyond seasonal sales is Swizzels. “When stocking Christmas confectionery, convenience retailers should consider how much seasonal stock they are taking. Having a mix of themed and non-themed confectionery will ensure that retailers can continue selling any surplus stock once the Christmas period ends,” advises Mark Walker, sales director. “An all-year-round product that is hugely popular each Christmas is Swizzels’ Sweet Shop favourites 750g tub, which provides great variety for family sharing. Retailers should ensure this product is regularly stocked in the months leading up to Christmas as well as Christmas week, to ensure they cater for shoppers making their initial sharing purchases as well as their repeat purchases during the festive season,” says Walker. The Sweet Shop Favourites range also comes in a 324g carton, which can be purchased as a refill for the tub as well as a standalone product. Swizzels has added to its seasonal offering with the new Ultimate Gift Set from the Drumstick brand. The 430g gift box contains 34

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Drumstick Chocolate, Drumstick Choos, a 180g bag of Drumstick Raspberry & Milk lollies, and a pair of limitededition Drumstick socks. “Christmas is one of the biggest calendar events for sugar confectionery and after a disappointing festive season in 2020, consumers will be hoping this year will return to the normal jovial family occasion it should be. Therefore, it’s important for convenience retailers to maximise the opportunity to entice shoppers and encourage sales by stocking a range of best-selling products from well-known brands,” Walker concludes. Perfetti Van Melle has launched a Loyalty Reward Scheme. The £2 million programme has been designed in collaboration with retailers in order to help them boost profits and reap rewards, including a £100,000 giveaway. Retailers are offered incentives to display PVM bestsellers on dedicated merchandising racks, earning points through a membership scheme. The member benefits include free stock, superior display solutions, category advice from PVM’s growing field sales force and a chance to win £1,000 in gift vouchers through a prize draw. “We create imaginative products and engaging brands,” says Nicola Hornsey, senior sales manager. “We’re bringing these products to life through stand-out display fixtures, which help to attract new customers to the category. We are excited to be working closely with retailers.” Retailers can gain extra points by stocking additional lines, featuring PoS signposting, and adding displays such as the Chupa Chups Wheel or the newly launched Mix of Minis range. “Our new Loyalty Reward Scheme is not just a great chance for retailers to win some fantastic prizes, it also gives them the opportunity to reinvigorate their confectionery offering, add real shopper favourites to their lines and boost their profits,” Hornsey adds. Cloetta UK is focusing on the single confectionery impulse category with the addition of new flavours to its Chewits brand. With the sugar confectionery market growing at 1.1% year on year, the brand launched more than 55 years ago is still the top-selling wrapped chew stick pack (IRI). Having concentrated last year on NPD in the bonbon and hanging bags segments of the sugar confectionery category, the supplier is returning to its heritage format for this latest development. Blue Raspberry Chewits and Cherry Chewits are available in 30g stick packs, while the ontrend Sour Lemon Xtreme Chewits and Sour Cherry Xtreme Chewits come in 34g stick packs.

[ CONFECTIONERY ] “As Chewits stick packs have been around for almost 60 years, we know it’s important to renew and refresh the range with new flavours to attract new interest,” says Sarah McDermott, senior brand manager. “We want to replicate the success we had from the launch of our new product formats last year by building on our heritage and driving growth of our classics. We hope to see these fabulous new flavours become firm favourites like Strawberry, Fruit Salad and Sour Apple.” The launch is being supported with a paid and organic social media campaign. Mars Wrigley UK is another supplier tapping into the sour trend, having launched Skittles Giants and Giants Crazy Sours. “This is just a couple of examples of how Mars Wrigley creates products for consumers who seek reassurance from their favourite brands and still look to confectionery to bring new products to market,” says Victorial Gell, fruity confections portfolio director. “For Mars Wrigley, the success of the overall confectionery category is driven by our dynamic innovation programme, which has been received positively by both new and existing shoppers, and our understanding of impulse shoppers. Where previously innovation focused on introducing new flavour varieties, Mars Wrigley is now differentiating flavour profiles, textures and formats to bring completely new taste sensations to market.”

‘Ensuring that core products are always available and merchandised effectively will boost sales, both planned and unplanned’ Victoria Gell, Mars Wrigley UK’s fruity confections portfolio director It is important for wholesalers to support their customers by alerting them to NPD and offering merchandising advice to boost sales. “Mars Wrigley has always considered visibility as key in impulsive categories, and with many other brands taking the same view, popular items continue to be located just below eye level, at ‘buy level’ and within arm’s reach of the till, so as to take advantage of incremental sales,” says Gell. “One fact remains true overall – whatever the occasion, traditional or emerging, ensuring that core products are always available and merchandised effectively will boost sales, both planned and unplanned.” The supplier is progressing its sustainability activity, this time removing the black PE liner from Maltesers boxes. This will eliminate the use of 82 tonnes of plastic per year. 36

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Adam Grant, general manager at Mars Wrigley, told Cash & Carry Management: “At Mars, we take our responsibility for sustainable packaging seriously, and our announcement that our iconic Maltesers box is now fully recyclable is another important step in our journey toward packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.” The introduction of the new Maltesers box follows the announcement of a trial with Tesco to pilot a new material made from cocoa bean shells for promotional displays. Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats is adding to its Snickers protein range, with the introduction of Snickers Hi Protein Crisp. The NPD follows on from the success of the Snickers Hi Protein White Chocolate bar, launched earlier in the year. “Snickers is our No.1 performing brand within our specialist sports range of products, and seeing how well the crisp products have performed elsewhere in the business, it made sense to make Snickers Hi Protein Crisp our next new product to expand Snickers’ protein bar portfolio,” explains Michelle Frost, general manager. “The popularity of the Snickers brand is stand-out in this category.” Ferrero also has new products on the shelf – in this case, a range of 90g Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Bars, available in milk, white and dark variants. In addition, the company has introduced a Kinder Bueno Advent Calendar to support retailers and help them to offer shoppers more choice for the popular festive tradition with a brand that has been loved for generations. “Kinder is a brand trusted year round by shoppers, which translates on-shelf at Christmas,” says Levi Boorer, customer development director. “Last year our Kinder stocking fillers – 110g Santa Hollow Figures, 75g Santa Surprise and 100g Kinder Egg – had a strong value sales of £2.7 million as shoppers celebrated the festive season by picking up a range of smaller treats than can either be great stocking fillers or simple self-treats.” Last year’s self-eat treat from Nestlé Confectionery is back this year, with new additions. The KitKat Santa returns in the 29g impulse bar, five-bar multipack and 55g bag of individuallywrapped mini Santas. A new KitKat Festive Friends bag contains 12 KitKat Santas and a mix of 10 other shapes, including a Christmas tree, elf, snowman, gingerbread man and reindeer, all individually-wrapped. Media support, which includes out-of-home advertising and social media, will ensure that KitKat Santa is once again at the front of shoppers’ minds during the 2021 festive season.




* Source: IRI Marketplace, Sugar Confectionery, fectionery, Total Market, Value Sales, Data from 8 Weeks to Halloween 2020

[ CONFECTIONERY ] The eyecatching 2kg Quality Street tin will also grab shoppers’ attention and add some Christmas sparkle to retailer displays. Twistwrap confectionery maintains its position as the biggest seasonal segment, with 60% of all households buying into it – demonstrating the crucial role it plays in the category and for consumers. Twistwrap pack formats increasing in popularity are tins, up by 28%, and pouches, up by 7% (IRI). The Quality Street Purple One and Strawberry Delight novelty gift boxes have been repackaged with a move that sees them in fully recyclable cartons. For those looking for something new to stock, Quality Street Intrigue sees Orange Truffles flavour available for Christmas. The launch is backed by a £2 million+ media and shopper spend targeting key gifting occasions across 2021, including Christmas. Mondelez International has promotional activity running through to November with its Match & Win on-pack promotion returning to its flagship brands. And the activity doesn’t stop there – Cadbury is also adding a new product to its portfolio. Cadbury Wispa Gold Hazelnut was launched last month as a single 48g bar, and its introduction to the shelves is supported by a consumer promotion that will reach consumers through Cadbury Twitter. “Wispa Gold has grown by 23.5% over the last year, highlighting just how popular this variant is with shoppers. What’s more, hazelnut is the second biggest flavour in chocolate and is growing at 12.8% (Nielsen), meaning this new bar is set to be a hit with confectionery consumers everywhere,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager. For the festive season, the company is offering limitededition Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Orange, which comes in winter-themed packaging for strong standout on-shelf. Mondelez is another manufacturer making a concerted effort to develop sustainable practices. Next year, it will roll out new packaging on more than 28 million sharing bars of

Merchandising advice to give to retailers a Half of convenience store retailers plan their seasonal confectionery offering one to two months in advance of Christmas. It’s therefore even more important that retailers ensure they are stocking a strong core range to appeal to shoppers throughout the autumnal and winter seasonal confectionery trading spikes.

a In uncertain times, shoppers tend to rely on the brands they know and love, which we expect to be the case again this year. At Christmas 2019 it was core lines and year-round products that led the performance, so wholesalers should encourage retailers to stock up on those lines. Core lines also have the benefit of retaining their relevance after the event has passed, so there is less wasted stock – which is particularly important this year, where shopper demand at Christmas is still difficult to predict.

a Branded point-of-sale units and displays will help to market products clearly. Putting products alongside complementary items – such as wine or gift cards – will help to ensure that shoppers don’t forget to add confectionery to their basket, and allow them to cover a full gifting solution in one trip.

Source: Ferrero

Cadbury Dairy Milk. The new packaging contains up to 30% recycled plastic and is part of the company’s commitment to reduce the use of virgin plastic material in its plastic packaging portfolio by 5% by 2025. Louise Stigant, UK managing director, says: “We are committed to reducing waste and closing the loop on packaging – keeping valuable materials within the economy and out of the environment. Our increased use of recycled plastic will drive demand for this material and reduce our need to produce new, virgin plastic.” Earlier this year Mondelez International joined forces with retailers and other FMCG leaders to finance and launch the Flexible Plastics Fund, which is designed to drive up UK recycling rates of flexible plastic through front-of-store collections initially, with the longer-term aim to include this CCM material within UK household collections.

For further information: Cloetta UK (02392) 630300 Ferrero 020-8869 4000 Kervan Gida UK (01243) 530550 Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats (01942) 408600 Mars Wrigley UK (01753) 550055 Mondelez International (01214) 582000 Nestlé Confectionery 020-8686 3333 Perfetti Van Melle (01753) 442100 Storck UK (01256) 340300 Swizzels (01663) 744144


October 2021


with fruit juice

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Kervan Gida UK Ltd Unit 2, Rutland Way, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7RT

T. 01243 530550



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