Bidvest rejects suitor and expands overseas Shoppers fear rise in cost of food says IGD P&H offers â€˜unbeatableâ€™ tobacco pricing
Exclusive: focus on wholesaler buying groups
*Source: ACNielsen, Pocket Confectionery, Total Coverage, tic tac brand, Value Sales, Sept-Dec 2009 vs Sept-Dec 2010. The tic tac brand grew by +27% in Grocery Mults (ACNielsen, Pocket Confectionery, Grocery Mults, tic tac brand, Value Sales, Sept-Dec 2009 vs Sept-Dec 2010) **Source: ACNielsen. Pocket Confectionery, Total Coverage, Value Sales, MAT to 11.06.2011 ***Source: ACNielsen, Single Countline Brands, Total Coverage, Value Sales, MAT to 11.06.2011
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contents Will this help you clean up? News has reached me that the Food Standards Agency is to play a major role in a scheme which awards points to food outlets for their standards of hygiene. Called ‘Scores on the Doors’, it covers a range of businesses, such as supermarkets, restaurants and pubs, and is said to have a beneficial effect on footfall (customer visits, not slipping over a rogue banana skin). At the moment, however, cash & carries are not included. And why would they want to be? Somehow I cannot imagine independent retailers and caterers torn between visiting their nearby Booker or Bestway branch because one has a score of 7/10 and the other 8/10. Registered customers are simply interested in what’s available and the prices on offer. They might cringe when they visit the conveniences in C&Cs to find that the lock on the door is faulty, the floors are wet and the toilet paper is the sort that tears too easily. But that wouldn’t stop them returning. And if the food in the cafeteria – should there be one – consists of bland cheese & tomato sandwiches and tea from a polystyrene cup, that too might niggle, but would not prevent a return visit. More sensible would be the idea of awarding points for car parking, ease of access through the entrance and around aisles, and the manoeuvrability and capacity of trolleys. And what about politeness of staff? Perhaps traders could be asked to fill in a brief questionnaire at each visit to assess the qualities, or otherwise, of C&C employees. Far better than ‘Scores on the Doors’!
MJ Baker is just one of the members of Fairway Foodservice...see p.42
4–8 Bidvest expands geographically ... Improved half-year results for Today’s Group ... IGD study looks at shoppers‘ expectations ... Scrimgeour joins JB Foods ... Glasgow operator in schools scheme ... Fruit & veg launch by Booker ... ‘Unbeatable’ tobacco prices from P&H ... Musgrave relaunches Limerick C&C ... Birchall Foodservice on second stage of expansion.
education & innovation
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Mervyn Gilbert editor
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Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 3
news IN BRIEF Commons date The FWD is holding a Parliamentary reception at the House of Commons on 25 October. Titled ‘Delivering for Communities’, it will be hosted by Dan Rogerson MP, chairman of the All Party Group for Wholesale in Parliament. The main speaker will be Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, who has responsibility for wholesale in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Fairway gain First Choice Wholesale, of Burton on Trent, has joined the Fairway Foodservice group. First Choice was originally a cash & carry operator, but diversified into delivered wholesale in 1988. By 2004, it was also operating 10 grocery stores, which were sold to the Midlands Co-op. Current turnover is £20m.
Sheffield post Chris Carter has become general manager of Parfetts’ Sheffield cash & carry, replacing Graham Jagger, who retired earlier this year. Carter played a major role in establishing the branch – the company’s sixth – after its opening in 2005, taking over as deputy general manager of the 75,000 sq ft depot from David Grimes in 2006.
Bidvest spreads the net Not only has Bidvest in Johannesburg rejected ‘unsolicited proposals’ for its foodservice business (including 3663 in the UK), but it has also announced plans to go ahead with acquisitions in this sector – in Egypt, the Baltic States and Chile. The announcement, by group chief executive Brian Joffé (pictured), came a month after details of the mystery bidder were first revealed. Afterwards, a Bidvest sub-committee was formed to consider the approach. But it came to the conclusion that it was in the group’s best interests to retain its global foodservice business, which also has interests in South Africa, Australasia, China, Hong Kong, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The decision by the wideranging group to not only rebuff the proposed suitor but also widen its food-
service interests comes with the news that Bidvest last year achieved lower annual profits for its foodservice division. In the period to the end of June, global foodservice turnover was up from R58.4bn (£5.07bn) to R59.6bn (£5.17bn), with the European business (including UAE and Saudi Arabia) accounting for R34.7bn (around £3bn) compared with R35.5bn (£3.1bn) in the previous 12 months. In terms of trading profit, however, foodservice slipped slightly from R2.05bn to
£2.03bn (£180m) while in Europe it dropped from R897.8m (£77.9m) to R842.5m (£73.1m). Commenting on the decision to retain its foodservice business, Joffé said: “We wish to build further value by pursuing organic growth and acquisition opportunities rather than realise significant cash. “The unsolicited proposals highlight the appeal of our foodservice assets and underscore the intrinsic value we believe has always been there. “The fact that the foodservice assets have not been disposed of does not diminish their value.” Referring to the ‘signing of memorandums of understanding’ to buy foodservice businesses in Egypt, the Baltic States and Chile, Joffé commented: “It is the first time the group has sought entry into the South American market.” Tel: Bidvest UK 020-7493 4733.
Today’s half-year improvement Today’s Group has managed to overcome the distraction of its likely split with sister concern Nisa by posting strong trading figures for the six months to June. Sales value rose by 5.5% in the first half and volume by 3.9%. Managing director Bill Laird announced that the grocery category made a comeback following an impressive performance in non-edibles. There was also growth among the group’s foodservice membership. “Given the current market
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
pressures across the foodservice sector, this is a very credible performance in a very challenging trading place,” said Laird. He added: “I predicted in February that 2011 could turn out to be the year that many thought we were going to get at the turn of 2010 – meaning an exceptionally tough trading environment – and that now seems to echo true. “That said, our members have traded well and I’m delighted to announce such positive trading figures.” Laird continued: “My
Laird: ‘Very credible figures’.
team and I are dedicated to supporting our members to grow their businesses, especially at this difficult time.” Tel: Today’s Group (01724) 282028.
‘You can’t beat us’ – P&H Palmer & Harvey is now offering ‘unbeatable tobacco pricing’ for its independent retail customers. The best outer price (band A) is available to those ordering more than 250 outers (around £2,500). Those ordering less than that will still benefit from the best outer price, but there will be an additional tariff, ranging from 20p per thousand cigarettes for orders of 175-249 outers (band B) to £1.20 for retailers ordering up to 49 outers (band G). Richard Hayhoe, marketing director, said: “This is the biggest shake-up of tobacco
direct to their store.” Tel: Palmer & Harvey (01273) 22210.
Pleasing for retailers.
pricing in P&H’s history. “Not only do these prices beat the competition, but retailers also save time and petrol as the delivery comes
Service centre DBC Foodservice has opened a new, centralised customer service centre. Based at the Rotherham depot, it will deal with independent customers and the majority of national accounts, including Revolution vodka bars, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and the Barracuda Group.
The Ministry of Defence contract will continue to be serviced from DBC’s Petersfield depot. Managing director Chris Horne said: “The centre enables us to provide an even more efficient service to all our customers.” Tel: DBC Foodservice (01707) 323421.
Two-stage extension Work is almost finished on a 10,000 sq ft extension at Birchall Foodservice’s Burnley site, providing extra bulk storage and a larger goods-in area. A second stage will result in an additional 2,500 sq ft of freezer capacity, enlarging total warehousing space to 32,000 sq ft. The wholesaler’s commercial director Justin Birchall said: “Sales of frozen products are up by 33% year on year, so we needed to
increase our storage capacity to support this, as well as accommodate our growing frozen product range. “The extensions were necessary to facilitate future growth. Turnover has increased by over 13% in the past 12 months and we are confident it will exceed £20m this year.“ Birchall Foodservice is a founder member of the Country Range Group. Tel: Birchall Foodservice (01282) 429446.
Foodservice wholesaler The Cambridge Food Co, of Papworth, near Cambridge, has improved efficiency since installing an Accord solution from Business Computer Projects. Managing director Mark Hulme said: “We have freed up human resources and have the tools to expand the business. “We can analyse product and customer categories more effectively and easily identify slippage and sales opportunities.” The wholesaler, founded 22 years ago, operates from a 6,000 sq ft depot and uses five vehicles to cover Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Turnover is approaching £5m. Tel: The Cambridge Food Co (01480) 831112. Tel: Business Computer Projects 0161-355 3000.
The Limerick branch of MarketPlace, the Irish cash & carry chain operated by Musgrave Group, has been relaunched after a 1m euro investment. The 60,000 sq ft outlet, the largest C&C in the southwest of Ireland, has expanded its product range, with particular emphasis on chilled and frozen food. Capacity of the chill/freeze section has been trebled to 8,000 sq ft. The building, occupied by Musgrave since 1973, now stocks 12,500 products, including 500 own-label lines, and the staff number has been increased to 43. Among those attending the official reopening were Noel Keeley, managing director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners, and MarketPlace director Michael Stafford. Tel: Musgrave Group (003531) 452 2100.
Free job ads Cash & Carry Management’s new website has gone live and can be found at www.cashandcarrymanagement.co.uk. In addition to a host of information about the publication and its team, the site contains a section where C&C/wholesalers can advertise staff vacancies free of charge. For further information contact Martin Lovell on (01342) 712100.
Cash & Carry Management
New chairman Martin Agnew, joint managing director of Henderson Group, has taken over as chairman of the SPAR Food Distributors board. He replaces Peter Blakemore, md of AF Blakemore & Son, who has occupied the position since 1991. James Hall & Co director Dominic Hall becomes chairman of the SPAR national guild. Tel: SPAR UK 020-426 3700.
• September 2011 • 5
Fast flowing water United Wholesale (Scotland) has launched a scheme to link schools with its DayToday convenience stores, with the assistance of Highland Spring. The Today’s Group Glasgow member is giving away over 100,000 vouchers to nearly 500 primary and secondary schools to collect free bottles of Highland Spring water from their local Day-Today store, of which there are 212 located across the central belt of Scotland. Almost 133,000 pupils across Scotland will benefit from the campaign. Asim Sarwar, UWS managing director, said: “We feel it is important for these stores to be an integral part of the community. This is a fantastic way for them to
Fruit & veg range
Over 200 stores are taking part in the scheme.
engage with their local communities and build ties with the schools, as well as promoting the health benefits of drinking water.” Group sales director of Highland Spring Simon Oldham added: “This is an exciting initiative from United Wholesale (Scotland). Water consumption levels in
Scotland are among the lowest in the developed world. We simply don’t drink enough water.” The scheme is being supported by a tv advertising drive running throughout September. Tel: UWS 0141-781 6600. Tel: Highland Spring (01764) 660500.
Booker has launched a range of 30 types of fruit and vegetables – all price-marked. The profit on return is a guaranteed minimum of 30%. The products, which come in small case sizes, include grapes, apples and oranges, onions, broccoli and carrots. Sales director retail Steve Fox said: “The quality of the produce – packs of which are shelf ready – is second to none. While fresh produce is a vital part of any convenience store, there are still retailers that are missing a fantastic opportunity to increase their sales.” Tel: Booker Group (01933) 371000.
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• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
More will shop around Nine out of 10 shoppers expect food prices to be more expensive over the next year, according to the latest research from IGD’s Shopper Track. To counter this, 29% intend to use more discount grocery stores over this period and 16% will do more of their shopping at frozen food specialists. Older shoppers, says the report, have a greater expectation than younger ones that food inflation will go up – 96% of those more than 55 years of age against 78% of 18 to 34 year-olds. Shoppers with secondary school children are more likely to increase their use of grocery discounters.
Attractive offers could pay off.
Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: “The vast majority of shoppers believe that food inflation is set to increase over the next 12 months. “They are not taking it lying down; instead, they are prepared to sacrifice some of their time by shopping around at different retail formats – from discounters to frozen food stores – to get
the best deals. “Although shoppers are looking for value, they are still interested in maintaining their values and are prepared to pay for this,” she added. “Nearly half say supporting local or British products is important to them when choosing what groceries to buy. But shoppers in some parts of Britain are more focused on price; those in Scotland are the most likely of any region to focus on saving money in the year ahead.” In spite of the importance of economising, eight out of 10 of those questioned said that they pay extra for premium quality ‘every now and then’. Tel: IGD (01923) 857141.
Scrimgeour joins JB Grant Scrimgeour (pictured), former wholesale director, cash & carry and delivered foodservice at Dundee-based CJ Lang & Son, where he worked for 27 years, has joined JB Foods, of Loanhead, Midlothian, as depot general manager. JB Foods claims to be Scotland’s leading independent catering wholesaler, delivering frozen and chilled food, grocery products and non-foods. It has a turnover of £15m and is a member of Nisa-Today’s, Caterforce and Ice Cream World. Tel: JB Foods 0131-440 7550.
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Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 7
Surrey council deal 3663 has won a three-year food and drink contract with Surrey County Council, worth up to £4.5m a year. There is an option to extend for a further year. The business was previously handled by Brakes. The wholesaler was given the assignment following a two-stage tender process through buying company Pelican. A council spokesman said: “This will provide us with significant savings.” 3663 is supplying ambient products, long-life chilled food, fresh meat, fruit and
vegetables to the education sector (nearly 400 schools), social care and civic divisions of the council, including the main offices at Kingston upon Thames. Gwaine Cook, 3663’s business development controller, said: “We currently work with a number of local authorities, so our experience stood us in good stead throughout the tender process. “This win could not have been achieved without the knowledge of our dedicated education team.” Tel: 3663 (0370) 3663 000.
C&C/wholesale role In a bid to stimulate Walkers’ sales through the cash & carry/wholesale channel, PepsiCo has named Kieran South wholesale customer management director, UK & Ireland. He is in charge of 23 reps. South has been with the company for 10 years and
has held such roles as grocery sales controller, Ireland, head of Walkers’ Sainsbury account, and manager of the Tropicana and Quaker business with Tesco. Impulse sales director at PepsiCo is Jon Kyle. Tel: PepsiCo (0118) 930 6666.
Brakes subsidiary M&J Seafood, which supports the use of under-utilised species of fish in the foodservice sector, has increased sales of gurnard considerably following transmission of television series, Hugh’s Fish Fight. The company’s director of fish & seafood Mike
Berthet said: “Our sales of this alternative fish have risen by 62% year on year. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s tv campaign has encouraged consumers to go into restaurants and try different species.” Tel: M&J Seafood (01296) 610600.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
The county council office at Kingston upon Thames – one of the drop-off points.
‘High’ for Hi-Line A trade day at the newlyopened 14,000 sq ft Croydon branch of Hi-Line Cash & Carry – a Landmark Wholesale member – generated sales six times greater than the daily average. Owner Sharmmila Jeganmogan said: “This, our first trade day, was chosen as it was my birthday. We ran out of trolleys and had to arrange a token system for their use! “The car park was full to overflowing and there was a traffic jam outside our estate. “Every customer received a free case of LSV energy drink, Lifestyle American cola, clingfilm and kitchen foil.” Jeganmogan expressed her gratitude for the support of Landmark Wholesale, AG Barr, Pernod Ricard, Gerber, Cott Beverages, Kato Enterprises, Boost Drinks and Kimberly-Clark. Hi-Line also has a 7,000 sq ft site in Deptford, southeast London. Tel: Hi-Line Cash & Carry 020-8694 9140.
A-list at IGD event The Institute of Grocery Distribution’s grocery & foodservice wholesaling conference, which takes place later this month, features a list of distinguished speakers. The event, being held at the Cavendish Conference Centre in central London on 29 September, will be opened by the IGD’s UK research manager, Gavin Rothwell. The morning session will include papers presented by Guy Farrant, Booker managing director, cash & carry, speaking on ‘Defining the new agenda sector’; Stefan Barden, UK chief executive of Brakes (‘UK foodservice: current trends, future directions’); Tom Fender, sales & marketing director, him! (‘Targeting foodservice customers through the wholesale channel’); and Martin Williams, md, Landmark Wholesale (‘Building the benefits of critical mass in foodservice’). Other speakers include Bill Laird, md, Today’s Group (‘Driving group opportunities and national reach’); James Walton, IGD chief economist (‘Market trends and market futures’); Andrew Stedman, sales director, Creed Foodservice (‘Bringing national capability to local focus’); and Paul Hagon, group strategy & development director, Palmer & Harvey (‘Adding value in the wholesale channel’). Many of the leading fmcg suppliers will be represented at the conference. Tel: IGD (01923) 857141.
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Retail arm for wholesaler Ethnic foods C&C/wholesaler New Delhi Cash & Carry has opened a retail store in Liverpool after securing funding from NatWest. L7 Village Market has begun trading on the 10,000 sq ft former Aldi site on Prescot Road in Fairfield. Director Kemal Aslan, told Cash & Carry Management that Liverpool-based NDCC has been supplying ethnic food to Merseyside caterers and retailers since 1967. “This year we are aiming for a turnover of around £14m from the C&C/wholesale business. “We have a 21,000 sq ft site for the C&C side and another a few miles away for delivered trade (26,000 sq ft). Delivered is the greater part of our business.
Kemal Aslan outside New Delhi Cash & Carry’s retail store.
“We make around 400 deliveries a week using 10 vehicles. Most of these are in the Merseyside area, but we have also been extending towards the Lake District.” Although NDCC has traditionally specialised in South Asian foodstuffs, the new supermarket is stocking a broader range of produce,
including Chinese, Thai, Greek and Eastern European food. The company moved out of retailing in 1998 to focus on C&C/wholesaling to the catering industry. It now feels the time is right to start again. Tel: New Delhi Cash & Carry 0151-220 8281.
Keeping gas workers satisfied Landmark Wholesale member JW Gray & Co has been awarded a four-year contract to supply goods to the Laggan-Tormore facility about 85 miles north-west of the Shetland Islands. It can accommodate up to 900 gas and oil construction workers at Sella Ness. The Laggan-Tormore project involves the construction of an offshore gas terminal
as well as sub-sea facilities and pipelines to support the extraction of gas and associated materials. Iain Johnston, director of the wholesaler, with depots in Lerwick and Kirkwall, said: “I am absolutely delighted that after months of hard work and negotiation, Compass Catering has awarded us this contract. “I have tried to include
Johnston: ‘Absolutely delighted’.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
local infrastructure and product into the project and I am pleased that local dairy produce will be incorporated into the supply chain and that Shetland Transport will be used to ship goods. “Credit must go to our staff, who have shown great willingness to help with this important contract.” JW Gray & Co managing director George Hepburn commented: “We have shown yet again that we can compete with our mainland competition and retain vital income and jobs in Shetland.” The company, which also has a bonded warehouse, supplies the licensed, retail, foodservice and catering trades with fresh, chilled, frozen, canned and dry food. Tel: JW Gray & Co (01595) 693749.
Care homes contract 3663 has won a two-year food and drink contract with retirement community group Sunrise Senior Living. The deal is valued at more than £2m a year. After supplying Sunrise Care Homes with wines & spirits across the 27 sites nationwide through ViVAS, the foodservice specialist’s joint venture with wine company Bibendum, 3663 has
One of the 27 care homes.
now been asked to deliver grocery, frozen and chilled products through buying company Pelican. Taz Hussain, 3663’s national account manager, said: “We’re delighted that Sunrise Senior Living decided we should supply all their food and drink needs. This is a great account win.” Tel: 3663 (0370) 3663 000.
Budget range SPAR has launched an ownlabel economy range in the UK, following its success in seven European countries. S Budget comprises 33 ‘everyday essentials’ in fresh, grocery and household, including baked beans, Cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, energy drinks, lemonade and juice, bleach, kitchen towels and washingup liquid. The range, available through group wholesalers, will be regularly monitored. Tel: SPAR UK 020-8426 3700.
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innovation & education
A real on-the-go alternative In a new series of articles, we focus on new products that are carving out a niche in the market. The recently launched The Little Red Box of Cheese from the Westbury Cheese Company, part of ULN (UK) Ltd, opens up a new sector in both the cheese category and the lunchtime category – adult cheese snacking – which in turn offers potential for the wholesale channel. Winner of the 2011 Nantwich International Cheese Awards Trophy for New Retail Innovation, The Little Red Box of Cheese is described as an adult real cheese snacking solution with everything needed for the perfect on-the-go lunch. Included are three portions of different cheeses, eight oatcakes, caramelised onion chutney, a knife, an antibacterial wipe and a fold-out plate. The rsp is £3.29 and there are four packs to a shelf-ready outer. Shelf life is a maximum of 24 days. The 150-strong judging panel at the Nantwich event selected The Little Red Box of Cheese as winner of the New Retail Innovation award thanks to the genuine innovations that the product delivers: the unique 43g Farmhouse Cheddar portion – it is not usually possible to produce small portion sizes of such mature Cheddar due to its open texture which makes it more crumbly than mild Cheddar integration of easy opening tear strips on the similarly small 50g portions of soft cheese the exclusive ‘snap and squeeze’ sachet offering easy, no-mess dispensing of the caramelised onion chutney the inclusion of the antibacterial handwipe and knife the fold-out plate with low density polyethylene (LDPE) surface for food safety the distinctive, eye-catching box which is comparable to cosmetics and confectionery packaging rather than traditional cheese packaging. The concept has been planned over a number of years and significant weight of positive research points to its future success. Mark Joules, product development manager at ULN
• • • • • •
Winner of Best New Retail Innovation.
(UK) Ltd, commented: “We wanted to develop a product which offers a true alternative to the existing on-the-go lunch solutions. We conducted extensive consumer research which highlighted that shoppers were looking for a convenient, meat-free, all-in-one solution which would give them additional choice to the sandwich, wrap, soup or sushi which have become the lunchtime staples.” In product trials (LVQ Research 2010), 90% said that The Little Red Box of Cheese “sounds like a great idea for lunch” and 79% rated it “excellent” or “very good”. More than half of those who work buy their lunch local to their workplace rather than bringing it from home, indicating that there is a significant potential audience. Snacks purchased out of home are most likely to be consumed at work. There is, however, a growing trend of snacking at home, with 177m more occasions since the beginning of 2002 (In Home Snacking Consumption, 12 m/e Feb 2010). This growth is coming from easy-to-prepare snacks in the evenings – 70% of snacking at home occurs after 7pm.
Siting is key to growth
A recommended planogram for cash & carries.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Wholesalers have a vital role to play in educating retailers about merchandising the product to maximise sales. To fully realise the potential revealed by the research, retailers should site The Little Red Box of Cheese so as to optimise both planned and impulse purchases. They should merchandise the product with other lunchtime options in the chiller – sandwiches, sushi, salads etc – to capitalise on those looking for an alternative to the office lunch, but also site it with other cheese products, thereby offering an adult snack solution for mums when purchasing snack products for their children. Tel: ULN (UK) Ltd (01373) 866150.
Catering for seasonal demand Leading foodservice operators gear up for autumn, winter and Christmas. With just three months to go until the Christmas onslaught (hopefully!), the leading foodservice operators have put all their cards – and dishes – on the table, not just for the main season of the year, but also for the autumn/winter period. According to Brakes’ head of food marketing Sally Sturley, there has been more emphasis this year on British sourced produce and sustainable fish and Derek Lockett, of Brakes’ subsidiary M&J Seafood, shows how to seafood. prepare a smoked salmon starter. “Consumers have been putting more pressure on restaurants, pubs and caterers to be more aware of the Mushrooms, White Bean Tapas with Manchego, Aviko Potato provenance and traceability of their produce. Our Quiche (with egg and onion), Coquille St Jacques (scallops autumn/winter and Christmas range has been developed with mashed potato and gruyere cheese), and Chicken Livers with this in mind. & Bacon Lardons in a Balsamic Dressing. “Every year we produce a selection which is designed Mains: Paupiettes of Yellowfin Sole with a Smoked and developed by our dedicated in-house team of chefs. Salmon Mousse and White Wine Sauce, Game Casserole “We carefully look at trends for the year and products in (with venison, pheasant, bacon and vegetables) and season, then we develop ingredient combinations until we Caramelised Onion & Camembert Cheese Soufflé Tarts. create the perfect finished dishes.” Desserts: Olde English Fruit Puddings (with sultanas, New starters include: Mushroom & Stilton Topper, Hot cherries, apples and currants), Sherry Trifle and Elizabethan Mustard Rarebit Topper (with mature Cheddar and red Tart (sweet pastry with mincemeat and apples). Leicester), Meatballs in Spanish Style Sauce, Garlic Brakes has the advantage of including meat, fish and fruit & veg specialists within the group – Prime Meats, M&J Seafood and Pauleys – so availability is less uncertain than if it were using an outside supplier. Sturley says: “Christmas is not just about turkey. With M&J Seafood we have the UK’s leading provider of MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) fish. “Customers often expect to see classic fish and seafood options at this time of year, eg salmon, prawns or scallops as starter options and salmon and sea bass as popular mains.” Sturley also points to the fact that Pauleys has introduced QR (Quick Response) codes for its strawberries. “When scanned with a smartphone it links the caller Caramelised Onion & Camembert Cheese Soufflé Tarts. with the grower’s page on the
Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 13
foodservice website with details on provenance. She suggests caterers should add a ‘European twist’ to their Christmas dinners by offering such vegetable dishes as Roasted Swede with Parmesan & Rosemary, Almond & Parsnip Croquettes and Baked Stuffed Leeks, while if game is an option she points out that Prime Meats’ produce is sourced from a Shropshire-Wales border supplier with game bred on National Trust land. And referring to table decorations Sturley says: “This year has seen Christmas colour trends return to traditional red, green and gold. Duni, Brakes’ preferred supplier of tableware, recommends using napkins and crackers in colour tones of red and green.”
‘Deliciously different’ Having conducted extensive research and listened to customers’ needs, 3663 is introducing a wide choice of traditional Christmas products, but with ‘deliciously different’ twists. “Consumers are looking towards ‘comfort’ dining, with many retro lines increasingly popular as people embrace food and drink that stirs up a sense of nostalgia,” says marketing manager Angela May. “They look to the familiar, but they also want a slightly different slant to keep things interesting.”
There are 700 products in the Christmas range, with more than 70 newcomers, including meat dishes, vegetarian options and desserts. The own-brand selection includes a variety of menu options, such as Chicken Stuffed with Roquefort Cheese & Fig and Chocolate Caramel Salted Torte. May comments: “First impressions are so important in creating the right festive atmosphere, so we have added even more luxury crackers and matching tableware. There is also value tableware and crackers – something for every budget.” In a Christmas ‘first’, 3663 is offering an eco-friendly Christmas cracker, made from 70% recycled material. Additionally, the Giffords Fine Foods range, exclusive to the foodservice specialist, includes premium flavoured oils and exotic relishes. ViVAS, the company’s wine arm, is also adding to the Christmas fare. Says May: “Clients are not only looking for fantastic pricing, products and service, but that extra sparkle separating their offer from the rest. This could be as simple as adding a glass of bubbly or Prosecco at the start of a meal and a dessert wine at the end.” Last year’s promotions generated more than £2m worth of savings to customers, and this year 3663 claims it is providing even better value. Exclusive promotions are focusing around the most popular menu choices, the deals including giving away free stuffing or pigs in blankets with every two easy-carve turkeys, and two free cherry cheesecakes with every blackcurrant cheesecake. There are also attractive packages on soups, tableware and wine. Every deal presents the opportunity to earn Safari points in 3663’s loyalty programme. Points can be redeemed against a choice of items, such as high street vouchers, iPods and DVDs. “As a great reward for their loyalty, last year our customers earned nearly 75 million Safari points over the festive period,” says May. She adds: “Unquestionably, it’s a challenging market out there and our customers’ margins are constantly being squeezed. However, our detailed research will ensure we deliver everything they want for Christmas.”
Something for all
Some of what’s on offer from 3663.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
“We aim to offer a comprehensive range designed to help caterers maximise profits as well as footfall during the festive season,” says a spokesperson for DBC Foodservice. She adds that the selection has been created to suit all tastes, budgets and party sizes. The wholesaler’s finger foods include mixed platters such as Indian Snack Selection (20 x 30g onion bhajis, 20 x 30g spinach pakoras, 20 x 30g vegetable samosas and 20 x 25g pakora sauces); and meat & poultry finger foods like Mini Lamb Samosas (50 x 15g pieces) and Mini Naan with Chicken Tikka (45 x 20g).
foodservice There is also a wide range of fish & seafood, vegetarian and pastry finger foods, including Cocktail Duck Rolls, made from hand-shredded duck breast and thigh meat with hoi sin sauce and spring onion in a traditional spring roll pastry (25 x 35g pieces). Says the DBC spokesperson: “We also have a Fork Food Buffet which includes Salmon & Asparagus Quiche (6 x 10in case size), Red Tractor Chicken Supreme (10 x 170-200g) and Sliced Honey Roast Ham (6 x 500g). “Among our main course meat options are Roast Premium Turkey Crown (1 x 4.5kg), Fresh Grade A Stag Turkey (2 x 11-12kg) and Turkey Butterflies (2 x 4.5kg). The options also include Fresh Breckland Duckling (6 x 2.2-2.6kg), Norfolk Geese (1 x 5-6kg) and Half a Festive Ham (1 x 3kg).” Caterers buying their fish and seafood from DBC have a wide choice, including Whole Shell Mussels (5 x 1kg) and Salmon Fillets (10 x 170-200g fillets), while among the traditional Christmas accompaniments are Yorkshire Puddings (60 x 3in or 4in), Whole Chestnuts (12 x 200g) and Honey Glazed Parsnips (8 x 1.36kg). These are some of the desserts: Matthew Walker Mini Christmas Puddings (36 x 100g); Mini Mince Pies (1 x 72); and such cakes and cheesecakes as the new After Dinner Mint Wafer Cheesecake, White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake and Cranberry/Raspberry Ruffled Chocolate Gateau (12 individual portions). Among the flavours for ‘indulgent’ ice creams are strawberry, vanilla and chocolate (all in five-litre tubs), as well as
cappuccino and walnut & maple (both in 2 x 2.4-litre tubs). Speciality cheeses include Mull o’ Kintyre Scots Cheddar (1 x 520g), made with pasteurised cows’ milk, matured for over nine months and then coated in black wax; Stilton Wedge Cropwell Bishop (500g), a traditional English blueveined cheese made with local pasteurised cows’ milk at the creamery in Cropwell Bishop, Notts; Wensleydale & Cranberry (2 x 1.2kg); and Oxford Isis Honey Mead Cheese (225g).
DBC’s After Dinner Mint Wafer Cheesecake.
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Cash & Carry Management
BY B YU UPP TO
• September 2011 • 15
Top 25 Suppliers
TOP 25 SUPPLIERS Position
Tate & Lyle
Britvic Soft Drinks
Procter & Gamble
Johnson & Johnson
Score (max. 30)
SCORING The scores are adjusted to take into account the fact that not all wholesalers deal with all suppliers. For example, if 100 wholesalers vote, but only 95 deal with a certain supplier, that supplier’s total is divided by 95.
by up to
Increase your sales
Get the KEY sugars seen
Increase your shopper spend
*Recommended best seller lines ranked by sales value
sugar shoppers are
50% more likely to buy an item they didn’t plan to*
Sugar shoppers spend £3 more per basket **
www.tasteandsmile.com www.facebook.com/welovebaking Sources: *Him! CTP 2010 ** Sugar shoppers spend £3 more per basket than the average convenience shopper and also visit more frequently
TOP 25 SUPPLIERS Please post (no stamp required) to: Winlove Publications Ltd FREEPOST NAT 15060 PO Box 366 East Grinstead RH19 4BR
Now in their eighth year, Cash & Carry Management’s AWARDS recognise and reward the efforts of the best suppliers to the trade and are entirely judged by C&Cs/delivered wholesalers.
Top 25 Suppliers August performance
(max. 30 points)
Aimia Foods Britvic Soft Drinks Cadbury Carlsberg
Coca-Cola Enterprises Danone
The top 25 suppliers in England, Wales and Ireland, as voted by readers of Cash & Carry Management, are listed opposite. Each month for the next three months, readers are invited to award each supplier points based on the previous month’s performance. Please consider the following when assessing your top 25 suppliers:
• • •
Operations: deliveries, depot contact, admin support, complaint handling Support: marketing and promotional activity, advice on merchandising and ranging, customer development Wholesale focus: competitive pricing, right products, appropriate packaging, understanding of wholesale marketplace
GlaxoSmithKline Heinz Imperial Tobacco Johnson & Johnson JTI Kellogg’s Kerry Foods Mars Molson Coors Nestlé
PepsiCo Premier Foods
IF YOU DO NOT DEAL WITH A SUPPLIER, PLEASE ENTER N/A
Procter & Gamble Red Bull Robinson Young Tata
Company....................................................... Address ......................................................... .....................................................................
Tate & Lyle Unilever United Biscuits
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: 1. Do your sales increase with major events, eg. football championships, royal wedding?.................................................................................... 2. Do promotions from suppliers tend to lead to short-term gain or long-term category growth? .......................................................................... 3. Which supplier is best at gearing promotions to achieving long-term category growth?.................................................................................... 4. Are you diversifying into any other areas of business? If so, which?................................................................................................................. 5. Which product categories are suffering at the moment and why? ....................................................................................................................
EXCLUSIVE LUNCH 2 December 2011 Dorney Lake, Windsor Rowing venue for 2012 Olympics
Pre-lunch drinks reception in the Lake View Room Business session: ‘MAXIMISING THE 2012 OLYMPIC OPPORTUNITY’ Speakers include: • Darren Tse, London Organising Committee, 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) • Terry Hunter, head rowing coach and father of world rowing champion Mark Hunter MBE Cash & Carry Management AWARDS winners and research findings Lunch in the Lake View Room
Pictured at Dorney Lake: head rowing coach Terry Hunter (centre) with Mark Hunter (right) and Zac Purchase, who together won the men’s lightweight double sculls in the 2008 Olympics.
To book your place, phone 01342 712100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Outplacement support Human resources expert Cate Ritchie (below) emphasises the benefits of assisting departing staff. 73% of employees reported that no support from employers was provided when being made redundant. Historically targeted at the more senior managers or directors as part of a redundancy or severance package, the provision of outplacement support to redundant staff should be recognised by more organisations as having a widespread positive effect across many aspects of their business:
departing individuals through outplacement support helps to turn each person’s redundancy into less of a negative situation and into one of new opportunities and positive change for the future. The employer’s reputation is left intact and the image of a company that invests in its staff is maintained.
• Providing outplacement support to departing employees Outplacement support is a service provided to individuals faced with a change in their working environment (usually redundancy) which helps to support them in their search for alternative jobs or to improve their marketability by improving the look of their CV or assisting with interview skills training. The 121 HR Solutions outplacement support service provides individuals with access to resources and expertise to make the right next move, to be a highly effective candidate and to have a competitive edge in the job market. A recent survey by Hays, the leading recruitment consultancy, which questioned almost 300 HR professionals and line managers and over 750 employees across the public, private and voluntary sectors, found that 47% of employers believe it should be compulsory for organisations to provide career transition services to staff being made redundant. It also showed that despite signs of recovery, organisations are still experiencing change, with 41% of private sector employees and 50% of public sector employees expecting further redundancies in the next 12 months. 80% of staff who have been made redundant and who took part in the survey say they used support when it was offered by their employer. The major advantage to employers who offer outplacement support is that it helps employees regain their confidence and find a new job which is more likely to result in feelings of goodwill towards their previous employer. The survey showed that, aside from the financial repercussions of redundancy, employees who had not received outplacement support identified the feeling of failure (39%) as the biggest impact. For those who had received outplacement support from their employer, the biggest negative factor was loss of structure to the day (just 28%). Despite the clear benefits of career transition support,
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
demonstrates to those who are retained that the organisation does care about employee welfare. It improves existing staff morale in times of change and helps to ensure that the remaining employees feel they are working for an ethical company that cares for those individuals it has been forced to make redundant.
• Supporting departing staff through outplacement ensures
that the process of managing the changes and restructuring within the company can be focused on relieving undue pressure in often difficult times, shortening the transition period and stabilising any existing workforce uncertainty and concern.
• Statistics show that departing staff are less likely to seek
legal redress through an employment tribunal against their employer when provided with outplacement support as part of their redundancy or severance package, and are left feeling that their time spent at the company has been valued and recognised. 121 has recently provided a comprehensive outplacement support programme to an organisation whose employees were provided with an opportunity to seek voluntary redundancy as a means of avoiding compulsory redundancy. The support offered by 121 was tailored to the needs of the individuals, who were allocated a number of ‘credits’ to use in exchange for a range of services such as: An hour with a personal mentor Group-based workshops focusing on job seeking skills Personal summary and CV development and preparation Psychometric evaluation and feedback Support to prepare for and to undertake a ’mock’ competency-based interview.
• • • • •
If you would like to learn more about how the 121 outplacement service can help your business, of if you wish to talk to Cate about another HR issue, contact her at email@example.com or telephone (0792) 121 3890.
Best Cash & Carry Depot
Achievers Awards Dinner
Corporate Responsibility Award
Thursday 9 February 2012 Best Licensed Wholesaler – Off-Trade
Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh
Now in its 10th year, Scottish Wholesale Achievers, operated by the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) in partnership with Cash & Carry Management
Best Retailer Development Programme
incorporating Delivered Wholesaler, continues to raise standards and reward outstanding performance across the trade in Scotland. This unique scheme will culminate in a prestigious awards dinner, to be held on Thursday 9 February 2012 at the Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh. Dress is
Best Retail Wholesaler – Delivered
black tie. To secure your table, complete the form below and return to Kate Salmon, SWA executive director. Please note that this event always sells out within a few weeks of tickets going on sale.
Best Licensed Wholesaler – On-Trade
BOOKING FORM Table of 10 including champagne reception and four-course dinner with wine – £2,250 plus £450.00 (VAT)
Best Foodservice Wholesaler – Delivered
Single ticket – £250 plus £50.00 (VAT) NAME OF COMPANY.................................................................................................. ADDRESS....................................................................................................................
Best Marketing Initiative
..................................................................................................................................... PERSON DEALING WITH BOOKING........................................................................... TEL NO..................................................... EMAIL........................................................
Employee of the Year
Number of tables
Cost at £2,700.00 per table of 10
Number of single tickets
Cost at £300.00 per single ticket
Total cost including VAT @ 20%
Champion of Champions To book accommodation at the special SWA rate, contact Yvonne Cashin at YCashin Events. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplier Sales Executive of the Year
Send form with remittance to Kate Salmon, Executive Director, Scottish Wholesale Association, 30 McDonald Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4NH. For office use only SWA invoice number......................................VAT registration number: 269 2437 33 Tax point – date of receipt of remittance...................................................................
Achievers Best Service shortlist Wholesalers in Scotland are asked to score each supplier based on its performance in August. AUGUST PERFORMANCE
Deliveries including Admin Support (max. 15 points) write N/A if not direct
Supplier Contact (max. 15 points)
Packaging (max. 5 points)
Scottish Focus (max. 5 points)
AB InBev AG Barr Bacardi Brown-Forman Britvic Soft Drinks C&C Group
Carlsberg Coca-Cola Enterprises Diageo GlaxoSmithKline Heineken
Heinz Highland Spring Imperial Tobacco JTI (Gallaher) Kellogg’s Kraft Foods
Mars Maxxium Molson Coors Nestlé 1st Choice
Red Bull SHS Tata
Unilever Unilever Foodsolutions United Biscuits Whyte & Mackay
Company.................................................. Contact name.................................................. Fax to (01334) 479695
Judging criteria Cash & carries and delivered wholesalers in Scotland awarding points to the top 30 suppliers (see p.22) are asked to use the detailed criteria below over the four-month judging period. Those wholesalers receiving deliveries from a central depot should not give points for deliveries (including admin support). The scores will then be adjusted pro rata. All suppliers in the top 30 will be sent their results and encouraged to act on the findings to enhance their service.
Points to be awarded for: DELIVERIES (INCLUDING ADMIN SUPPORT)
For each supplier, if you receive deliveries from your own company’s central warehouse, write N/A
maximum 15 points Attitude and helpfulness of driver Standard of delivery Order versus delivered quantities Accuracy of paperwork Timescale of deliveries Accuracy of invoices Accuracy of administration Helpfulness of staff
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
maximum 15 points Frequency of contact Written/oral communications Professionalism and interpersonal skills Query handling and problem resolution
6 3 3 3
maximum 5 points User friendliness Pack size Durability Presentation in depot Up-to-date design
1 1 1 1 1
maximum 5 points Category/market information Promotional support and effectiveness Dedicated Scottish sales team/ business development Right products Competitive pricing structure
1 1 1 1 1
Any queries, please contact Kirsti Sharratt on (01334) 479695
Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 23
products & promotions Fewer calories
Dual X Factor FERRERO – Following the success of tic tac’s The X Factor on-pack promotion last year, which resulted in a 14% sales increase, the confectionery producer has extended the tv partnership to include Kinder Bueno. Each brand will feature an on-pack offer, giving consumers the chance to win tickets to the live shows each week throughout the series, as well as tickets to The X Factor Live Tour 2012. UK sales director Jason Sutherland said: “The X Factor was a great partner for tic tac last year. The brand also became the No.1 value contributor in pocket confectionery, growing by £4m million value sales.” The on-pack promotion runs across Kinder Bueno and Kinder Bueno White, singles and four packs, and all four tic tac flavours – Freshmint, Lime & Orange, Spearmint and Cherry Passion, in 18g single packs and ‘The 100’ packs (49g). All data AC Nielsen.
Tel: Ferrero UK (01923) 690300.
Incredible! DAIRY CREST – A ‘superior tasting’ flavoured 500ml milk range has been launched under the FRijj The Incredible brand. It comes in three flavours, each pack featuring a quirky character. The styles (rsp £1.49) are: Honeycomb Choc Swirl, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Raspberry Jam Doughnut. The introduction is being supported by a £1m marketing campaign, including bus stop ads. Tel: Dairy Crest (0845) 606 3606.
ACCOLADE WINES – Stowells Light is a new low alcohol (5.5% abv) wine. A 125ml glass contains one unit of alcohol and 56 calories – 30% fewer than a standard glass of wine. Director of innovation Stephen Loftus said: “Stowells, with a 130-year history as a wine merchant, has a great tradition of innovation, so we are convinced it is a great fit for the light concept. “Stowells Light has the potential to help expand the low alcohol wine category from 1% of total UK wine sales to 10% within five years.” The rsp is £5.49. Tel: Accolade Wines (01483) 690000.
Spiced rum BACARDI BROWN-FORMAN BRANDS – Newly launched Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum is being supported by a £3m campaign, covering press, digital and outdoor advertising and national sampling. The rsp is £22.99 for the one-litre size and £17.39 for 70cl. Marketing director Liam Newton said the spiced rum category, currently worth just over £37m in the off-trade, has the potential to reach £150 million through this channel in the next five years. In the ontrade it is valued at just under £100m and is growing at around 19% a year. The new drink, with a 35% abv and formulated after three years’ research among 3,000 bartenders and customers, is being aimed mainly at males aged between 18 and 34. It is already well established in the US. Off-trade
Tel: Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (01962) 762200.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Two variants DIAGEO GB – New variants have been introduced for two of the company’s major brands. Smirnoff vodka now has a vanilla style, joining the existing lime, green apple and blueberry flavours. Smirnoff Vanilla comes in a 70cl size, with an rsp of £14.79. White spirits director Chris Lock said the vanilla style – already available in the US – would, along with the other flavours and Smirnoff Red, be supported by an investment of £17m over the next 12 months, of which £7.5m would be over the Christmas period. “Although we have more than 20 flavours in the US, we reckon that four or five will be the ultimate here,” Lock added. Baileys has also introduced Biscotti (Italian for biscuits) as an addition to a range which already includes three styles: With a Hint of Mint Chocolate, Coffee and Hazelnut. The new drink comes in three sizes: one-litre (rsp £20.86), 70cl (£14.95) and 35cl (£7.49). A £1.6m campaign (tv and online) starts shortly and continues until the end of November. Some 300,000 5cl samples are being given away. The company has also increased the number of price-marked packs being made available. Last year it was four; now it is 16, including the existing Smirnoff Red (£12.99 for the 70cl size and £9.99 for 50cl) as well as Captain Morgan’s Spiced (70cl at £14.49), Gordon’s & Schweppes Tonic and Pimm’s & Lemonade (both 250ml, £1.79) and Smirnoff Ice 275ml (£1.29). Tel: Diageo GB 020-8978 6000.
Success with IT Page 2 Make ordering faster, easier and more convenient for your customers
Page 3 Radio Frequency (RF) scanners detect incorrect deliveries and notify your system
Page 4 Sanderson customers sweep the board at Today’s Group Awards
CASH & CARRY AND WHOLESALE NEWS Issue 9
More customers benefit from Sanderson wholesale solutions! With over 20 years’ experience, Sanderson, the publicly owned UK provider of software solutions to the delivered wholesale and cash & carry industries, continues to deliver its wholesale solution to companies looking to maximise the benefits from their IT systems and strengthen their operations for the future.
company’s operations and support its business expansion. Swords is a modular system, so the company can extend functionality as the business requires.
Northern Ireland’s leading convenience foods wholesaler O’Reillys has selected multiple wholesale solutions including The Swords software, from Voice Order Picking. Voice Sanderson, integrates all areas of technology uses speech the supply chain, balancing the recognition to allow staff to One system to reduce your costs and maximise profits demands of sales, purchasing, communicate with warehouse stock and cash flow. The solution management systems using a Nisa-Today’s, Sugro, Horeca, and manages all processes, from wireless headset and microphone. Country Range. telesales, web trading and warehouse The solution boosts speed, accuracy management through to accounting. and warehouse productivity by Increasing numbers of wholesalers Easy to use business intelligence reducing the number of errors are choosing Swords to increase facilities provide essential compared to a traditional paperoperational efficiencies within their management information to support based order picking method. warehouses, launch new businesses business decisions, improve and support business expansions. Also located in Northern Ireland, efficiencies, reduce costs and foodservice wholesaler Bap Express enhance customer service levels. Food wholesaler Turner-Price has has chosen the Swords solution to added multi-company software and Swords is backed by a dedicated and support company growth and the web trading system to its existing experienced team, working to increase warehouse efficiency with RF Swords solution. The web trading continually develop the software to Scanners. With Swords Radio system increases sales as it allows meet the changing needs of the Frequency (RF) Solution you can orders to be placed 24 hours a day. wholesale market. quickly check order accuracy at goods-in and immediately identify Preston Beer has chosen the Swords Sanderson has installed systems in new products, avoiding problems at wholesale solution to strengthen the the major buying groups such as check-out.
Success with IT
Sanderson drives new generation growth at Awan Marketing Established in Birmingham in the 1970s, Awan Marketing supplies local retailers with a wide range of household goods and garden equipment. Today the company stocks more than 15,000 items and serves a customer base of over 7,000 throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia. Recently, Awan Marketing experienced further growth and needed a system to manage both its cash & carry and delivered wholesale businesses. The company chose Swords to integrate all areas of its operations, to support the company’s expansion and improve the overall efficiency of its business. The Swords system manages the demands of purchasing, pricing, stock and warehouse management, key operational areas for Awan Marketing. The Swords system benefits Awan Marketing by replacing time-
Sanderson is the preferred supplier to the Nisa-Today’s Group and this was another contributing factor in choosing the Swords solution.
consuming manual processes with an automated, company-wide system, enabling the company to deliver a high quality service to its valuable customers. Stock management is significantly improved as the company has instant access to realtime stock information – increasing stock control and avoiding under and over-stocking situations with informed buying decisions.
Nasir Awan, Managing Director of Awan Marketing, comments: “The Sanderson solution was the natural choice for our company to support our sales growth and expansion. It integrates our new warehouse operations with the rest of the business, significantly improving stock visibility and providing essential business information. This is an invaluable benefit to all our employees and strengthens our decision making process.”
Telesales also benefit from complete visibility of stock levels and product information, enhancing customer service with alternative products for out-of-stock items and notifying customers of relevant product promotions.
About Awan Marketing plc Awan Marketing was established in 1976 as a small retail business in Birmingham. Awan has grown to become a key distributor for top brand electrical names and also stocks toiletries and fancy goods.
Increase sales by up to £100k!* Would you like to make ordering faster, easier and more convenient for your customers? The key fob scanner and web ordering system:
• Improves customer
can place orders 24 hours a day
communications and helps your delivery scheduling – customers can instantly view promotions and choice of delivery dates
• Increases your sales – customers Scans barcodes of products customers need to re-order and uploads directly to your web ordering system – it’s quick and simple!
Allows your customers to place orders directly with you, whilst at their premises
Is small and lightweight enough to fit in your pocket – customers can use this scanner at home or in the store. and most importantly, INCREASES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION by making ordering quicker and easier for your customers!
“The key fob scanning and web ordering system provides us with a 24 hour ordering facility. Our customers scan the items they need to order at their premises and then upload the data file to our web ordering system. Whilst they are logged in, customers can view available delivery dates and tailored promotions. This system has significantly improved communication with our customers and helps with the scheduling of orders to delivery dates. The biggest benefit is increased sales – we are currently averaging £100k of web sales per week.” Fehad Shehzad, IT Director, J.W. Filshill Ltd * Actual sales increase for a Sanderson customer who has implemented the key fob scanner and web ordering system over a 16-week period.
Success with IT
GOLD STAR for Sanderson Based in Harrow, Middlesex, the delivered wholesaler Gold Star Cash & Carry Ltd has launched its new business with Sanderson and the Swords wholesale solution. The company supplies a wide range of items including grocery, confectionery, pet foods, as well as speciality food items at its newly refurbished depot. The company needed a single IT system to integrate its cash & carry and delivered wholesale operations. The food and drink supplier chose Swords to manage all areas of its new business. It was confident in its choice as Gold Star Managing Director Vijay Thanwani has seen first-hand the benefits of the Swords system in a previous business, Natco Cash & Carry. Mr Thanwani knew from experience that Swords integrates and manages both delivered wholesale and cash & carry operations.
Sanderson is the preferred supplier to the Nisa-Today’s Group, of which Gold Star is now a member, so it will also benefit from group buying power and improved industry links. In addition to the Swords system, Gold Star is implementing the Swords Radio Frequency solution using hand held scanners to further maximise warehouse efficiencies. This application facilitates more efficient order picking, shelf edge label checking, stock taking and eliminates manual errors. Swords Radio Frequency instantly matches goods-in deliveries against purchase orders with 100% accuracy, highlighting shortfalls and protecting cash flow by reducing costly errors. Telesales staff quickly access realtime stock levels, providing customers with accurate order information – enhancing the quality of customer service.
Vijay Thanwani, Managing Director of Gold Star, comments: “Having worked with the Sanderson system in a previous wholesale company, Natco Cash & Carry, I knew Swords would be crucial for my first start-up business. I am really pleased to have launched my new company with a specifically designed wholesale system that covers all operations. The Sanderson team have been very helpful and supportive throughout the implementation.” About Gold Star Cash & Carry Ltd Family business Gold Star Cash & Carry Ltd stocks a full range of leading products from world foods to alcohol and has recently joined the Nisa-Today’s Group of which Sanderson is the ‘Preferred System Supplier’ to its wholesale members.
Eliminate costly mistakes at goods-in using Swords Radio Frequency solutions With Swords you can greatly improve your warehouse productivity and increase picking accuracy with Swords Radio Frequency (RF) Solutions. Using the application’s hand held scanners, you can record stock at goods-in with 100% accuracy by matching deliveries against purchase orders, minimising disruption and lost sales, and maximising customer satisfaction with up-to-date stock information.
Ensure 100% stock accuracy from the moment stock arrives: Accurate stock levels help telesales increase sales and customer satisfaction.
With Swords Radio Frequency (RF) Solutions you can:
Manage all deliveries with 100% accuracy: You can match a single purchase order to multiple Goods Received Notes (GRN), or match multiple orders to a single GRN with Swords RF. For larger deliveries, multiple operators can work together and scan the same order to ensure maximum efficiency.
Immediately check goods received are accurate: Stops suppliers’ errors costing you money in time and lost sales. Identify new barcodes or pack variances: Eliminates unidentified barcodes and errors at check-out.
Instantly match deliveries against purchase orders: Swords RF allows you to instantly scan and match deliveries against purchase orders at goods-in.
Automatically identify incorrect products or quantities: As soon as your delivery is scanned, Swords automatically prints a variance report showing any ‘overorders’ or ‘under-orders’ and different or incorrect products. Swords RF can also be used for: Order Picking Queue Buster (instant checkout) Stock Taking Shelf Edge Label Checking.
• • • •
“Swords RF at goods-in is integral to our stock management system – we check deliveries faster and far more efficiently and have fewer problems matching to supplier invoices. It offers excellent stock and date control, helping the replenishment staff to use the right stock, and in turn reduces order-picking errors.” Andrew Allison, IT Executive, J.W. Filshill Ltd
Success with IT
Savage & Whitten boosts productivity with Voice Order Picking Savage & Whitten has been working with Sanderson for over 10 years following its implementation of Swords to manage its business. As part of its expansion plans, the company recently opened its new 40,000 sq ft warehouse and decided to optimise its warehouse operations and delivery scheduling with the latest Voice Order Picking solution from Sanderson. Voice Order Picking allows warehouse operators to pick orders more efficiently and with fewer picking errors than a traditional paper-based system. The software involves the use of a small wearable computer with a headset and microphone that verbally instructs order pickers on what and where to pick orders in the warehouse. Pickers then communicate back to the warehouse management
system via their microphones. Integrated with Swords, Voice Order Picking leaves both hands available to pick the order and pickers have no requirement to return to the assignment desk, resulting in a faster picking time. This is particularly useful for Savage & Whitten in achieving 100% accuracy and on-time delivery of orders. Mark Windebank, Managing Director of Savage & Whitten, comments: “We are happy that we continue to work with Sanderson to provide solutions to support our business
growth. The Voice Order Picking technology saves valuable working time for staff and increases overall warehouse productivity. We have now integrated all areas of our supply chain and have real-time visibility of stock. Our customer service will be improved by more accurately picked orders and a faster service.” About Savage & Whitten Wholesale Ltd As a member of the Nisa-Today’s Group, Savage & Whitten Wholesale offers the value and range of a national distributor, whilst delivering a specialised service to local customers.
Sanderson customers win 7 awards! For another successive year, Sanderson customers won an outstanding SEVEN awards for business excellence at this year’s Today's Group Awards Dinner. The Awards acknowledge the contribution and overall performance of the Today’s Group wholesale members. Sanderson customers were triumphant in a range of awards which recognise their hard work.
Publishing Director: Martin Lovell Published by Winlove Publications Ltd on behalf of: Sanderson Sanderson House, Manor Road, Coventry, CV1 2GF Tel: 024 7655 5466 Fax: 024 7625 6705 Email: email@example.com www.sanderson.com/swords
Mark Windebank (centre) from Savage & Whitten, accepting one of the seven awards won by Sanderson customers
In the Foodservice Wholesaler of the Year category, M.J. Baker received second place and First Choice Cash & Carry was awarded third place. The Member Marketing Initiative of the Year awards went to J.W. Filshill in second place, with Dee Bee winning third place. In the Rising Star of 2010/2011 category, Turner & Wrights was acknowledged with second place. The Retailer Development of the Year went deservedly to Savage & Whitten, with Thames Cash & Carry picking up third place.
The award-winning Sanderson customers use the Swords IT solution to manage their business operations. Swords is a modular system so customers can extend functionality as their business requires. Additional modules include Mobile Reps Sales, Radio Frequency and Voice Picking. The award winning J.W. Filshill and Savage & Whitten have added the Voice Picking module to their systems. Mark Windebank, Managing Director of Savage & Whitten, confirms how the Sanderson system is a crucial component of its business: “We pride ourselves on providing the best service to our customers and the Swords wholesale solution helps us to deliver this.” Additionally, Sanderson would like to congratulate J.W. Filshill for recently adding the coveted Scottish Wholesale Achievers Champion of Champions award to its already impressive collection of top industry accolades.
products & promotions No small fry!
Summer counts JTI – Research commissioned by the tobacco supplier, whose cigar brands include Hamlet, Calisto and King Six, shows that UK retailers do not recognise the importance of summer sales for cigars – a category worth £297m a year (Nielsen Market Track 2010). While 48% of retailers surveyed claimed to experience a seasonal sales increase in cigars, just 5% cited summer as a key period, against 88% for Christmas. However, in recent years, a third of all cigar sales have come in the summer months (internal estimate). JTI also found that half of those questioned gave 30-50 as the typical age range of cigar customers. London, with 67%, and Scotland, 75%, have an even higher ratio in this age range. Tel: JTI (0800) 163503.
Golf sponsorship HIGHLAND SPRING – The bottled water brand has bolstered its golfing connections by securing sponsorship deals with IMG Golf and the Scottish Golf Union. The SGU link sees the supplier becoming the official sponsor of the Junior Masters, Scotland’s biggest national handicap event for boys and girls aged under 16, and a supporting partner of clubgolf, the national junior golf programme. The Highland Spring Junior Masters Grand Final takes place at Gleneagles on 9 October. In the IMG deal, Highland Spring will support three of the biggest golf tournaments in the UK in a multi-year deal: the Ricoh Women’s British Open, the Johnnie Walker Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Tel: Highland Spring (01764) 660500.
EASY BAGS – The company, which is marking its 10th year since the invention of Potliners, a ‘revolutionary’ grease resistant product for fish & chip shop owners, wants to establish itself in the C&C and foodservice sectors. So far it has had limited success in cash & carry with Booker and Makro. The heat-resistant plastic bag lines bains marie and can withstand heat for up to 24 hours. Initially designed to be a time saver, Potliners can also be used to keep food moist for longer periods. Easy Bags currently supplies the product through specialist wholesalers across the UK and Europe. They are also being used in Singapore. Potliners are available in 12 sizes for use with soup kettles, kebab trays and all types of bains marie. Chris Withey, Easy Bags sales & They are marketing manager. available to cash & carries and delivered wholesalers in 5 x 100 packs. Tel: Easy Bags (01623) 423423.
Back in business FOSTERS DISTRIBUTORS – Jim and Andrew Armstrong, who last year sold Zig-Zag (GB) to Republic Technologies, are back in the rolling papers business. Their new company, Fosters Distributors, markets and distributes Fosters smoking tobacco, Rasta handrolling tobacco and the newly-launched Karma rolling paper and filters brand. Karma initially comes in five variants, three of which have a multipack option. Andrew Armstrong said: “Retailers and wholesalers stocking Karma will benefit from the highest margins available.” Tel: Fosters Distributors 0161-246 6066.
More countlines MARS – Following the launch of Galaxy Orange & Shortcake earlier this year in the More to Share range, the company has introduced a 45g single bar format. It has also begun a national roll-out for the 120g pack. Orange & Shortcake is claimed to have gained a place in the Top 20 large block table in its first 12 weeks (Mintel). It is being supported by press and tv advertising and sampling. Another development is the launch of Galaxy Little Bit More in a 75g size. It comes in Caramel, Cookie Crumble and Smooth Milk variants. Tel: Mars Chocolate UK (01844) 262517.
PET extension RED BULL – The 300ml PET bottle rollout has been extended to the cash & carry/wholesale channel. The format is being supported by a heavyweight outdoor media campaign during September. Data shows that 17 of the top 25 soft drinks are sold in a plastic bottle. And in the current profile of the sports & energy category, bottles contribute to 57% of the value and cans 43%. However, in functional energy, bottles only make up 9%. The Red Bull 330ml PET bottle has already been launched in the takehome channel. It has generated more than £1.8 million sales in just three months. All data AC Nielsen.
Tel: Red Bull (01344) 418396.
Familiar sight on the Grand Prix circuit.
Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 29
‘Best-in-class performance’ Sugro UK is a relatively modern name for a group whose formation has links with companies established between 60 and 80 years ago. Around that time, three confectionery firms were doing business: WCL (Wholesale Confectioners Ltd), Allied Confectionery Co and British Confectioners. Many years later (1984) the trio were to found NWCL (National Wholesale Confectioners Ltd) and several years after that, the Sugro title was introduced. A number of chief executives/managing directors have been in charge of the group over that period, but it is Philip Jenkins who has held the reins as md since 1999. Jenkins joined the Nantwich-based organisation after a career with some of the leading players in retail and wholesale. Starting out in the export department of Corgi Toys, he moved to the Co-op Distribution in 1980 and held various roles in distribution logistics until he joined Nisa-Today’s in 1988. He stayed with that group – latterly as wholesale trading director – until being appointed as distribution development director by SPAR-Landmark. Since ‘signing’ for what was then called NWCL (Sugro UK) as md, the group has developed significantly, including the establishment of a contracts division, a symbol group embracing 1,500 shops, online ordering and an enhanced rebate structure. Jenkins, who was given a seat on the FWD council in 2004, puts further light on the group’s history. “Each of the wholesalers that merged to form NWCL primarily featured cigarettes & tobacco and confectionery. A few also manufactured boiled sweets. Between them, they had the vision to develop scale for negotiations and to improve the opportunities for national promotional structures. “Over the 27 years since the formation of NWCL, there has been a considerable amount of natural wastage within the membership. However, the turnover has been retained because, being delivered wholesale, the customer lists from closing members have been maintained. “Sugro wholesalers who have remained in the group have done so, we believe, because they are driven by the
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
‘The amount of commercial assistance we are able to provide on a regular basis is well above the levels of other buying groups’ Philip Jenkins, managing director of Sugro commercial proposition that we represent in the wholesale business. It is the diversity of Sugro that counts – not just in the simplicity of terms, but also in the business model that is provided for member wholesalers. This is what brings value and loyalty among all parties.” At the head office, Jenkins’ team of 22 includes Mike Sonia (head of buying), Ian Irvine and David Milligan (product controllers) and Lesley Clarke (financial controller and company secretary). Of the group’s top 10 wholesalers, seven have been members of Sugro since its commencement in 1984. Three of the others have joined since 2000. Reflecting on the membership structure, Jenkins says: “All buying groups will have examples of natural wastage. We have never had significant departures. Our members recognise the value that Sugro provides for their business and, as a consequence, have remained with us. “Unfortunately, there have been two high-profile closures – Abbotts Wholesale and Cunninghams of Scotland – which were financial casualties. Every group will have experienced that sort of thing over the years.” Other than that, stability within the membership has led to progressively increased group turnover, which currently stands at £675m. Several members have been expanding their business, including TB Patel, which last year moved to a 17,000 sq ft depot in Wortley, Leeds, while a recent signing is that of SOS (Special Offer Supplies), of Derby. Over the past four years, a number of convenience
Sugro UK operates an extensive delivered wholesale logistical supply network and has an excellent reputation for superb service, reliability and availability. We also provide a comprehensive product range which has been recognised by Independent Retailers and backed by promotions that they want. As a group, Sugro purchases a substantial level of stock on a regular basis which allows us then to provide the Independent Retailer with the best in impulse deals.
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buying groups development programmes have been introduced, with 30% of members now operating a convenience package for independent retailers. As well as the Sweetbreak retail chain, which embraces more than 1,300 retailers, Sugro offers the Sugro Convenience and Nearby fascias. Jenkins adds: “Now, with our association with the Today’s Group, this has further strengthened this area of development for our group. I am confident its significance will continue to grow.” Another initiative from Sugro this year is the eclubdeals.org website through which members have access to three-weekly promotional deals. Also recently launched is the Quidzin promotional deal for inexpensive branded products. Keeping in touch with members is paramount. This includes spring and autumn meetings, an annual general meeting, and spring and autumn trade shows. At the last annual conference, which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester, over 200 members and suppliers were represented. Says Jenkins: “Sugro’s main commodities remain cigarettes & tobacco, soft drinks and confectionery. While we are particularly proud of our wholesale members and the levels of implementation and participation within our MoneyMaker promotions and our retail club, we are also very proud of the degree of communication that exists between our members and central office. “I must also mention the amount of commercial assistance that we are able to provide on a regular basis – well above the levels of other buying groups. “It is very important that we recognise that you should never have to sell an initiative to a wholesaler if it is the right commercial, profitable, thing to do. So we work very hard to apply commercial techniques in our strategic development and negotiations. “By following such an effective business formula, the
level of implementation and compliance will always be high and Sugro will continue to perform ‘best in class’ in the industry.”
Sub group for smaller operators Early this year, Sugro formed a sub group called Acorn. It is targeted at non-Sugro members who are too small to join other concerns and whose impulse turnover is between £2m and £3m. There is a flat fee of £2,900 per year. Jenkins said: “There are many wholesalers in the development stage of their business who require the strength and support of a buying and marketing group. “They need it to ensure full participation in the best available promotional structures. We felt there was an opportunity to introduce a strategic initiative that provides 100% of all overrider earnings paid out to its members and one membership fee, with no additional costs or hidden deductions, allowing them to compete head to head in what is a competitive marketplace. In addition, there is payment of all monies for their businesses every two weeks, because cash is important these days.” Acorn also includes a central distribution service. Jenkins commented: “We have had considerable interest from many wholesale businesses to join Acorn, appreciating the value that this represents. These applications are being processed; we have completed applications from five wholesalers but this is now progressing at quite a pace.”
LEADING MEMBER SHOWS STRONG GROWTH One of the leading members of Sugro is Manchester-based Rayburn Trading, whose turnover last year was £77m – up from £66m the previous year. It joined Sugro in January 2010. The company is run by the Goldman family, with Michael Goldman as managing director, son Russell Goldman as buying director and Russell’s brother Howard as export director. Rayburn (also a member of Today’s Group) specialises in health & beauty and household lines, although it has recently begun to expand into confectionery and soft drinks. The company operates from two depots – the main one of 90,000 sq ft, from which 13 company-owned vehicles operate, and a smaller, storage site in Bury.
Goldman brothers: buying director Russell (right) and export director Howard.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
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Providing a valuable link Since its formation, Confex has been constantly broadening the way it operates – notably by diversifying from a purely confectionery group to one that has involvement in alcohol, tobacco, grocery and, more recently, foodservice. Nicky White, who has been managing director for 15 years, is the daughter of Julien Loffet, who was instrumental in the group’s founding in 1972. “In those days, my father owned and managed Standard Confectionery in Birmingham, which had a staff of more than 100. “Having identified the need for a collaborative approach to wholesaling, he went into partnership with Birmingham wholesaler Sidney Lumley to establish Confex, one of the first buying groups in “In general terms, we communicate the UK,” says White. regularly with members in ways which “Their aim was to expand the initial suit them. This can include fax, elecgroup membership and develop busitronic mailing, SMS (short message ness between wholesalers and suppliers service) and our website which is being across all categories so that independconstantly updated to include more ent wholesalers could gain the maximember services. mum advantage from being members.” “In addition, trading managers visit Although Lumley retired in 1996, members regularly, and our staff are leading to his daughter becoming manalways available to answer queries.” aging director, he still works for Confex Confex also stages an annual trade in an advisory capacity. show. This year’s, at Stratford upon The group currently has a memberAvon, attracted 500 members and supship of 306 – far greater than the 120 pliers. Next year the event will be held who were affiliated towards the end of on 26 April at South Cerney, Glos. the 1980s. More than 30 who were asso“This is the best opportunity for our ciated with the group back then are still members to keep in contact with us and members. our suppliers,” says White, who adds Turnover has also grown markedly – that regional meetings are also being from £750m in 2006 to £1.65bn last year. introduced. Says White: “Our first central office The group’s three major product catwas in Wolverhampton. We moved to egories are: 1. CTN, 2. alcohol/tobacco, Chipping Norton, Oxon, in 1999, but in and 3. grocery/foodservice. Among the Nicky White, managing the next few months we will transfer to leading suppliers are: Walkers, Cadbury, director of Confex new purpose-built headquarters eight Coca-Cola Enterprises, JTI/Gallaher, miles away at Moreton in Marsh, Glos.” Heineken and Premier Foods. She heads a team of 15 at Chipping Norton, including Commenting on supplier relationships, White says: “We James Loffet, logistics director, central distribution; Barry continue to trade strongly with CCE and, since 2007, we have Parish, business development director; David Lunt, senior doubled our trade with them. We have also achieved a 300% business development manager; Chris Wootton and Tom increase in business with Heineken over the same period.” Gittins, business development managers; and Gilly Hunt, Central distribution, which was introduced five years ago, marketing manager. “enables members who cannot meet prohibitive minimum Reflecting on the move into foodservice, White says: orders to continue trading directly with suppliers. “Since focusing on the development of this sector, more “It also allows them to venture into new categories with trading agreements have been made with new suppliers. As small trial orders on mixed pallets, thereby expanding their a result, turnover in this segment has doubled and 50 new business opportunities.” members have joined. White adds: The plans are to expand central distribution “Our foodservice own-label is Simply, under which we as well as continue to develop the grocery/foodservice secoffer burgers, chips, ice cream, sausages, bacon and cheese. tor in both chilled and ambient. “We have become a truly diverse trading group, with 193 “We are always looking to offer members the best and supplier trading agreements across a broad product base. most up-to-date tools to increase their trade and present
‘We have become a truly diverse trading group, with 193 supplier trading agreements across a broad product base’
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Confex, the UKâ€™s most diverse independent wholesale trading group Competitive pricing Preferential trading terms Wide range of product categories Developed promotional programme Tailored trading opportunities Flexible order/delivery facility through Central Distribution Merchandising and display opportunities
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Confex as a valuable link in the route-to-market sector. “To that end, we are developing a targeted digital platform and are supporting an e-marketing program linked to our website. This year we launched our online promotional brochure, e-supersaver, which allows members to customise their own products sales literature.” Conferences and events are playing a greater part in Confex’s strategy. In 2009 and 2010 it was represented at the Convenience Retail Show and, later this year, Tom Gittins will be speaking at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ Catersummit.
Making connections White concludes: “By attending the Convenience Retail Show, we can represent our wholesale members in the retail arena and can make connections for retailers looking for wholesalers in their region. “It is always beneficial to look at new developments in the retail trade and, as a result, we have approached new suppliers who offer products that supplement our portfolio.”
Affiliating with Landmark A major development for Country Range Group takes place at the beginning of next year, when the Burnley-based amalgam joins Landmark Wholesale. CRG managing director Colin Birchall, who is also head of one of the group’s leading members, Birchall Foodservice, says it will be the first time CRG has been associated as an entity with another group. However, he comments: “All our wholesalers have, individually, been members of NisaToday’s for many years.” The major reason for the link with Landmark is that the group offers CRG strength in licensed goods and impulse – potential growth areas for CRG. Frozen foods is another category that can grow with the aid of Landmark. Referring to the way Colin Birchall, md CRG operates, Birchall says: “It is important to fully understand our purpose. We are not merely a buying group; we work as a selling group supporting members and
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
caterers in expanding their businesses. “We work on behalf of 14 independent wholesale food suppliers who operate out of more than 20 depots throughout the UK and Channel Islands.” CRG was established in 1997 and Birchall has been managing director since it was founded. While he has always been reluctant to disclose group turnover, it is understood to be around £230 million.
Commenting on his dual responsibilities as head of the group and of his own business, which operates from a head office in Burnley and other sites at Llandudno, Sheffield and Newton Aycliffe, he says: “This gives me a unique view of how decisions made by the group can impact on the individual member. Empathy towards how to achieve our goals at depot level is extremely important. “Our philosophy as a group perhaps differs from the
buying groups typical view of success. We place all our development emphasis on our members. Our aim is not to increase membership as a means of growth but to encourage and provide initiatives that allow our 14 members to develop. The main focus is to enable all CRG members to compete in foodservice and become a major force.” Birchall continues: “Here at CRG I work alongside key people on the senior management team, including Liz Henney, operations and financial controller; Coral Rose, group marketing and projects manager; Troy McKee, foodservice trading controller; and Martin Ward, purchasing manager. “Our primary task is the care and development of the Country Range brand, along with our branded product portfolio. This is of vital importance to all members. Our branded and own-brand sales have shown growth in every quarter over a five-year period and our strategic planning indicates continued growth.” Over the past 18 months, despite the economic situation, the group has increased its telesales capacity, field sales representatives, number of vehicles used for distribution and own-brand and branded stock ranges. “These investments further strengthen our commitment to offer an unrivalled service, which is driving growth,” Birchall claims. “Our major developments include an own-brand frozen foods range, Stir it up magazine and operational procurement, which are all now well established. “Our latest initiative, launched this summer, is K2N bespoke nutritional software for caterers. The group’s route
Stir it up magazine is now well established.
to market plans, which include liaison and support for member field sales and telesales, will be further developed. Details will be presented to CRG member shareholding companies at the AGM in Edinburgh in December.”
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Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 37
Extensive development Today’s Group is currently in the process of announcing its split from the Nisa retail combine, with which it has been associated since 1987. It is also likely to be moving to a new central office – away from the present base in Scunthorpe. Managing director of the C&C/wholesale group is Bill Laird, who joined the business two years ago. Since then, he has led the organisation through a period of extensive development, including the revitalisation of the group’s brand, symbol group and retail club offering, plus the relaunch of its ‘sector-leading’ retail category advice initiative, Plan for Profit. During this time there has been continuous sales and member growth, coupled with an increase in long-term partnerships with suppliers. Foodservice is also an area of major focus. Laird has spent his entire career within the grocery and non-food trade. Prior to joining Today’s, he ran his own management consultancy, and before that he worked at Mid-Counties Cooperative, latterly as chief operating officer. Today’s Group was formed in 1987 by Dudley Ramsden and Peter Garvin when the former Target Food Group joined National Independent Wholesalers Today’s md Bill Laird Association (NIWA), a division of Nisa that had been established a couple of years earlier. The wholesale division of Nisa was renamed Today’s. Some wholesalers had already joined Nisa (originally Northern Independent Supermarkets Association and later National Independent Supermarkets Association) just before 1980 or in the ‘80s, including existing members like First Choice (1979), Giro Foods (1985), AG Peters (1985), Round Emporium (1986), WG Chaffin (1986) and Wm Morton (1986). Ramsden and Garvin saw the opportunity to double the buying power of Nisa by creating Nisa-Today’s, resulting in direct buying power of more than £10bn. Geoff Thompson – chairman of Target at the time – helped broker the deal. Today’s Group was launched in London, with Rodney Hunt becoming group trading director. By the early ‘90s, membership was in excess of 300, the larger ones being part of the Today’s Supergroup. TSG members traded nationally under the Today’s brand with supporting brochures, pointof-sale material and depot branding. In 1994, TDC (Today’s Distribution Company) was formed with the sole aim of driving down cost prices, and John Baines joined Today’s Group to lead these negotiations. Some 8,500 lines came under central price control. Many of the early members’ businesses were either sold
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Today’s is likely to move from its existing Scunthorpe hq.
or integrated into other businesses such as M6, Roy Hall, Trademarket, Mojo and other names which have long since disappeared. The Today’s Group now has 225 wholesale members operating 250 depots. The largest is Dhamecha Foods, which has six cash & carries and is on the lookout for more. There are 238 Today’s symbol and Day-Today’s stores and 1,300 stores linked with the retail club. Fascias include Today’s Local, Today’s Extra, Today’s Express and Today’s Local Drinks. Over the past year, the group has recruited 11 new members including Belfast wine, spirit & beer wholesaler Botl, Harrow-based Gold Star Cash & Carry, and south London wholesaler Elbrook Cash & Carry. Group turnover is more than £5bn, while trading figures for the six months to June show a sales value increase of 5.5% and 3.9% in volume terms. For the past three years, there has been double-digit member sales growth. As well as Laird, leading executives of Today’s Group are John Baines, trading director; Raj Krishan, retail development director; and Tracy Richardson, senior trading controller. The Nisa-Today’s head office has a staff of more than 280, of whom 26 are primarily dedicated to running Today’s. However, a number work on both sides of the business. The top three product categories within the group membership are cigarettes, beers, wines & spirits, and impulse. Own-labels include Nisa and the Heritage brand, introduced in 1997 and now embracing more than 600 lines. In the licensed category – shared with retail – is the Cellars International label. There are also 140 Kitchen King lines for the foodservice and catering membership. Recent developments include the revamp of foodservice with new style promotions and brochures. A foodservice ‘village’ is a focal point at the group’s annual national exhibition at Stoneleigh. Another successful initiative is ‘spot buying’, particularly of non-foods, where negotiated bulk volumes are traded with suppliers to members. These have included volume deals and end-of-line clearances. Dave Warren, non-foods trading controller, has developed this activity, using the combined volumes of some of the larger non-food specialists in the group, such as Rayburn Trading, MST and Regal Wholesale. Today’s Group liaises with members through weekly bulletins and daily e-mails. This year’s annual conference was held in Vienna, while next year’s event in the Bahamas will celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary.
ugh. But Market conditions are still to argest l fo r m e mbers of the UK’s ooking buying group things are l ’ll get g o o d . J o i n t h e m a n d yo u es and fantastic wholesale pric e our u r t invaluable support. It’s
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Moving with the times Sterling Supergroup is approaching its 50th birthday, although when it was formed – back in 1966 with five Midlands-based members – it was known as Independent Cash & Carry Group and soon after under the abbreviated ICCG. The founder, Nick Luton, is still going strong at the age of 75, living in Exeter. When he retired, it was his long-established associate Anne Tomlinson who took over the reins, and when she herself decided to adopt a more restful lifestyle in Scotland five years ago, it was Vanessa Cooper who stepped in to take control. The group, which is itself a member of Landmark Wholesale, has changed course over the years, not just in location (originally in London, then Chelmsford and, for the past 18 years another Essex town, Maldon), but in the way it operates. In the dim and distant past, its membership comprised just cash & carry operators. But over the years, more delivered wholesalers have joined, along with those specialising in foodservice. Ten years ago, the group embraced 48 operating Stirling CEO Vanessa Cooper companies with combined turnover of around £480m. Today, the numbers are not much different – 50 members and joint sales of £450m. Like all buying and marketing groups, some operators have been with Sterling (and ICCG) for many years, some have moved to other groups and some simply decided to call it a day. “The membership consists of family-owned wholesale companies located throughout the UK, supplying over 40,000 retail and catering outlets,” says Cooper. “By offering excellent prices and promotions, our members help their customers to remain profitable in an increasingly competitive market place. “Many C&C/wholesalers also carry a range of catering products. A delivered service is also available from some of the C&C members.” Referring to the delivered side of the Sterling membership, Cooper says: “They supply the catering, licensed and impulse trade and pride themselves on exceptional service, keen pricing, product and customer knowledge and flexibility. Most of them have sales representation and telesales operators. “Some of our members export ambient, chilled and frozen products to all corners of the world.”
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Castell Howell has been a Sterling member since 1997.
Cooper’s staff includes financial controller and company secretary Sue Garnham and Sterling Caterers Essentials co-ordinator Kirsty Abrams. The in-house catering range of around 70 products is expected to generate turnover of more than £20m this year. The top three product categories for the group are: frozen vegetables (including chips), cheese & butter and canned fish (mainly tuna). While Sterling Supergroup’s membership includes several which have been loyal for many years (notably Crown Crest, which has been an affiliate since the group was founded, Wm McLure, since 1991, and Castle Howell Foods, since 1997), a recent disappointment was the defection to Landmark of CPT, because it wanted to focus more on wines & spirits. “It was an amicable parting of the ways,” says Cooper.
Strength in buying team The group has a buying team comprising representatives of the leading 10 foodservice members; it meets monthly. There are also quarterly catering get-togethers to which all members are invited. The highlight of the year is the annual conference, which is held in September, and there is also a spring exhibition. Reflecting on the major change which has taken place over the past three years, Cooper says: ”It was in 2008 that the board decided to rebrand Sterling and seriously investigate the various options for supplying own-label products. “The buying team was set up for this purpose, as well as providing a forum for other ideas to be discussed. The Sterling Caterers Essentials range was launched soon after this. We started with a few core lines and, since then, we have gone from strength to strength.” On a final note, Cooper says: “We are always looking for ways to better serve our members. There are, of course, frustrating times when things don’t go quite as planned. But I have a good team behind me and we have always been able to work through any problems. A sense of humour and a swear box are essential in the office! “We have a good rapport with our own-label suppliers and with major branded foodservice producers.”
‘Leading the market’ Landmark Wholesale (formerly known as Landmark Cash & Carry Group) can trace its roots back 39 years when it was based in the genteel setting of Tunbridge Wells, Kent. It was later twinned with SPAR at Harrow, Middlesex, when the symbol group was operating a C&C amalgam of its own – Consort (previously known as Value Centre). Originally, there were six members, none of which is now trading. The individual wholesalers decided to combine their buying power to obtain better terms from suppliers. Nowadays the group is based – and has been for many years – in Milton Keynes. The ‘cash & carry’ suffix was replaced by ‘wholesale’ to reflect the changing structure of the organisation, with many delivered wholesalers and foodservice specialists joining its ranks, alongside some of the leading C&C concerns, such as Blakemore (also the leading SPAR wholesaler) and Parfetts. In those heady days, Bestway was also linked with Landmark. But when the country’s second largest C&C operator decided to go it alone eight years ago, it was a major blow for the group, with which it had been associated from the outset. Bestway had accounted for 50% of the group’s sales. Since then, like other groups, Landmark has lost some (notably, in 2010, when Bellevue and Martex in Scotland were acquired by Bestway Group) and gained others. Two new signings have swelled its involvement in foodservice – JJ Foodservice, the fastest growing concern in this sector, and Country Range Group, which embraces a host of foodservice businesses, headed by Creed. They have joined the group’s other leading foodservice member, DBC Foodservice. Today, Landmark Wholesale is a £2.2bn combine (up from £2.1bn last year). Managing director is Martin Williams, who has been with the group for 28 years, becoming md in 2002 after spending six years as trading director. His team includes John Searle (trading director), Andrew Thewlis (finance director) and Chris Doyle (business development director). They are part of a staff of 39, which also incorporates a field team. Landmark’s ‘family spirit’ is epitomised by its annual overseas conference (last year it was held in St Petersburg, attracting 250 delegates), regular board meetings and get-togethers of its trading committees. While group members cover the full spectrum of categories, the three largest are cigarettes, soft drinks and spirits. They also support Landmark’s plethora of own labels, including Lifestyle and Lifestyle Value foods, Scandia and Prince Consort drinks, Vintners Collection wines, No 3 tobacco and Caterers Kitchen. In total, there are 1,000 SKUs in the group’s own-label portfolio.
Says Williams: “We have excellent working relationships with all of our key suppliers and work hard to develop these relationships through our annual overseas conference, supplier presentations and regular face-to-face meetings. It would be unfair to single out one, or even half a dozen, for special praise. “Providing our members with the service they demand is my priority,” he adds. “We continue to lead the market and are viewed by the trade as professionals trading with integrity.”
‘We have excellent working relationships with all of our key suppliers and work hard to develop these relationships’ Martin Williams, managing director of Landmark
Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 41
One-stop-shop strategy Although Fairway Foodservice can be traced back to 1984, it began life as Independent Frozen Food Distributors following a meeting of the ‘Famous Five’ – Randy Arnold, Alf Lloyd, Tim Woods, Richard Howarth and Michael Holdsworth. They were the heads of the founding members: Anglia Woods Frozen Foods, Howarth Frozen Foods (now Total Foodservice Solutions), Holdsworth Frozen Foods, Briton Frozen Foods and Lloyds Frozen Foods. The name was changed to Fairway Foodservice in 1994. Chris Binge, 54, who became chief executive in 2002, joined the group four years earlier after a varied career in the food trade. After running his own restaurant, he had buying roles with T&L Food & Wine (later bought by Brakes), and also worked for Ross Youngs and Pullman Foods (now 3663). “Our current members’ turnover is £230m,” says Binge. “That compares with £107m 10 years ago and £155m in 2006.” Recalling the early days, he comments: “The five founders saw the benefits of collective buying to offset the increasing business threat posed by the then Brake Brothers’ advance from the south-east and the amalgamation of TFC and Vince Sorge Wholesale into Pullman Foods. “Initially, we were formed as a defensive measure to improve buying leverage and reduce costs by sharing common services. But at one stage there was an idea in the late 1990s to float the company onto the stock market. “All the founding companies are still with Fairway, except Holdsworth, which left early this year. That was a great disappointment. It was a superb member for more than 25 years, contributing massively to the development of the group, behaving honourably and honestly in all its dealings.” Before 2005, the only concerns that had left the group were victims of takeovers – Tanners, Farmfrost, Bindles, Swiftserve, Variety Foods and Drydens. “Until Holdsworth,” says Binge, “no company had left voluntarily.” Explaining Holdsworth’s departure, he comments: “It had increased its turnover from £2m to £45m while a member and it substantially helped others to introduce ambient and
Simon Howarth of Total Foodservice Solutions, one of the five founding members of Fairway.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
grocery products into their businesses from 2006. Indeed, it still supplies some of our members with certain products. “However, Holdsworth disagreed with part of the Fairway strategy for the continued development of grocery and it chose to leave. It was so disappointing to see Holdsworth go.” It hasn’t been one-way traffic, however. In recent years Fairway has recruited three new members – Musgrave in Ireland, Food Options in Livingston, West Lothian, and Europfoods in Spain. Another new member joins this month. Fairway is based in the Halifax area – fairly central for the original members, which were in Grimsby, Huddersfield, Buxton, Stoke and Chester. The group has been at its current address for 15 years. There are seven working there, and the group is hoping to add a grocery buying manager shortly. In addition to Binge, they are: Kevin Denyer (purchasing director), Richard Ellison (marketing & administration), Tanya Moore (administration), Graeme Horn (accountant), Cezary Chmiel (sales administration and Erudus online database) and Sue Garlick (technical manager). Says Binge: “We have always focused on foodservice. But around 2005 the growing recognition of the need to be a one-stop shop directed us to introduce grocery/ambient products across the membership on a progressive basis. “Now all members are managing frozen, chilled and ambient food products, with grocery/ambient delivering very strong growth. Ambient/chilled purchasing values now represent over 40% of the group’s total purchases.”
Own-label range extension Fairway has several own labels covering grocery and catering lines – Fairway, Vive le Pain, Easy Tiger, Decadine and Classics. “We have around 250 own-label lines,” says Binge. “At the moment, they are for frozen foods, but we will be launching some own-label ambient products in the autumn.” He names Lamb Weston, Kara Foodservice, Pinguin, D’Arta and Fivestar among the leading suppliers with whom the group deals. But he is quick to add: “We have a strong rapport with most of our foodservice frozen food suppliers. In general terms they are much better than the grocery producers – particularly those marketing the big brands – who seem to have a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. Despite that, there are some exceptionally good grocery suppliers. Among these are Fayrefield, Ivory le Doux and Caterers Choice, all of which are seeing strong growth with us.” Much of the group’s communication with members is relayed electronically. It has an online image library, with more than 16,000 product images, price list, menu production, product data base and corporate brochure. Although Fairway does not hold an annual conference, it hosts ‘semi-formal’ two-day events attended by all member companies. “We discuss Fairway’s direction and common issues, and we have a meal together,” says Binge. “We also conduct the formal business necessary for a plc.”
Service is top priority Caterforce had had its ups and downs since its formation as the National Independent Frozen Food Wholesalers Association in 1991. But today its solidity is not in question, with six member wholesalers and a combined turnover forecast at more than £200m this year. Coincidentally, the group started with six members, two of which, Hunts Foodservice, based at Sherborne, Dorset, and Philip Dennis Foodservice, of Ilfracombe, Devon, are still associated with Caterforce after 20 years. Nick Redford, who took over as managing director from Allen Watts at the start of the year, recalls the early days. “A year after our formation, we had added one new member. Two years later, Allen Watts was appointed executive director and we set up a central office at the Bodelwyddn depot operated by Woodwards. We had also increased our membership further by welcoming two additional wholesalers. Group turnover then was more than £87m.” That year also saw the introduction of Caterforce’s first centrally co-ordinated members’ price lists. After another two years, in 1996, the group changed its name to the present title, the announcement being made at Food Expo in Birmingham.
Loanhead, Midlothian, described on its website as Scotland’s leading independent catering wholesaler offering more than 2,000 lines of frozen, chilled, grocery and non-food products, also remains one of our members. “In 2007, Caterforce joined international buying group ECD (European Catering Distributors) and a year after that all our members became associated with Today’s Group to further accelerate the development of their grocery business.” Last year, when Watts announced his retirement, Redford was appointed md. He had joined the group a year earlier as buying director from Makro, where he was in charge of buying alcohol, tobacco, soft drinks, confectionery and snacks. At the Caterforce central office in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Redford heads a team of 10, including buying manager John Woolfenden and marketing manager Nicola Evans.
Of the six current members (including Pioneer Foodservice, based in Carlisle, and Lynas Foodservice, which has two sites in Northern Ireland), all specialise in foodservice, with Pioneer also operating a cash & carry. The three leading members in terms of turnover are: Lynas, with £71 million, Hunts £38 million and Philip Dennis £32 million. Redford continues: “1997 was a year of radical change for Says Redford: “Over the past four years, the group has us, with two-day meetings introduced for suppliers to presembarked on rapid ambient growth. Service is our priority. ent their products to members. It also saw Woodwards being This year we will break through the £200m barrier after acquired by Iceland, another member, Lomas, being taken reaching £170m last year. over by Brakes, and Pilgrim Foodservice joining us. “Frozen foods top our category list, accounting for 52% of Pilgrim, of Boston, Lincs, remains one of the group’s turnover, meat & chilled 25%, ambient 18% and other goods longest-serving affiliates. 5%. Six of our leading suppliers are potato products specialBy 2000, and after a number of departures, the six-strong ist Lamb Weston, bakery products supplier Kara Foodservice, group was achieving combined turnover of £100m. Whitby Seafoods, Heinz Foodservice, and pastry and roll Redford takes up the story. “Four years later, we signed JB manufacturers Bakehouse and Delifrance. Foods and our annual sales had reached £125m. JB, of “We currently stock around 60 own-label frozen products, with Caterforce Cuisine the main in-house brand, supported by Caterforce Value. Own brand is part of our strategic focus over the next three years.” Caterforce holds quarterly board meetings and three supplier presentation days. It also hosts a weekly buying teleconference where current trading issues are discussed. It will be holding its first-ever ‘Plan for Growth’ conference next month at The Belfry, West Midlands. Redford comments: “The attendance for this was initially capped at 200, but we are looking at ways to extend this after an overwhelming response. Last year we gained a lot by attending the British Frozen Pilgrim of Boston, Lincs, is one of Caterforce’s longest-serving affiliates. Food Federation event.”
Cash & Carry Management
• September 2011 • 43
Outsourcing ‘highly effective’ Leading brokers explain the role they play in product distribution across a range of channels. Specialist non-food distributor Robinson Young is still achieving double-digit growth for many of its customers and manufacturing partners, despite the tough climate. Its achievements prove that, despite changing market trends, the outsourcing of sales, marketing and distribution is still a highly effective route to market. Says managing director Michael Robinson: “Customers benefit from our non-food expertise, which spans a wide range of categories across many channels and sectors. “The trend towards international buying can force out some non-food brands. Having a partner such as Robinson Young, which has the size, local sales teams, established relationships and reputation across different channels, can provide manufacturers with the crucial competitive advantage they need.” The agency’s formula is a simple one. “We provide a sales, marketing and logistic service which achieves results,” Robinson comments. “We do this more cost effectively than a manufacturer can alone. “Using a shared costs and resources model reduces duplication of sales and logistics and, therefore, costs in the supply chain. Outsourcing can bring the best from a manufacturers’ budget and therefore give our customers the ‘holy grail’ of both good service and competitive prices.” Robinson Young is a full-service broker providing
coverage in all major retail multiples, cash & carries, impulse and convenience outlets, wholesale, foodservice, hardware, DIY and pharmacy. It is claimed that, by leaving Robinson Young to deal with managing sales, logistics, forecast, planning, invoicing and credit control, manufacturers can focus on their business strengths, such as consumer marketing and product development. Robinson says: “With our extensive level of sales coverage and expertise, we are in a unique position to understand our customers’ needs better than most, giving them what they want, when they want it, thus helping to drive growth for everyone in the categories of household, health & beauty, stationery, foodservice and hardware.”
Infrastructure that delivers
His words are backed up by the infrastructure, systems, facilities and skilled head office staff expected of such a business. Efficient low-cost company-run warehouses provide countrywide coverage and market-leading logistics, while dedicated in-house marketing teams in each of the four divisions provide support for manufacturers’ own marketing teams. They help bring ideas to market – developing and adapting messages to each audience and each channel, meeting the objectives of both brand owners and customers. Technology also has a vital role to play, and Robinson Young is in the process of implementing a new system from ‘global leader’ Infor, which will further increase efficiency and provide more detailed reporting and analysis required to maximise opportunities. With an ever-changing market, and manufacturers looking to capitalise on every last opportunity in order to deliver growth, those engaged in outsourcing will, increasingly, have an advantage over their competitors. The best distributors, Robinson claims, are those who are continually evolving and adapting to cope with the changing market, providing new and additional services to meet the needs of the brand owners. He maintains this is a vital part of their success. “We have the scale and presence to be able to secure for our clients the right opportunities and still provide the level of care and individual attention only found in small businesses. With such a proven track record, we will continue to be the champions for many of the leading non-food brands of Michael Robinson examines one of his client’s products. the future.”
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
Three of the brands in the large portfolio handled by SHS Sales & Marketing.
Simplification and streamlining “Brand owners are continually looking for ways to simplify their structures and streamline processes in order to devote more time to ‘future proofing’ brands through new product development and consumer marketing,” says Marcus Freer, sales director of SHS Sales & Marketing. “They now recognise outsourcing of sales, marketing and logistics functions as a viable option to improving their business by streamlining processes and providing the room for increased brand focus. “Bringing sales and marketing companies like ours on board allows decision makers to entrust key process-driven areas of business to experts while maintaining the future focus that is so important in the current economic climate.” Freer adds that there has been a marked increase in grocery, non-food, household and healthcare brand owners turning to outsourcing. “This year, we built on our longstanding relationship with Reckitt Benckiser by taking on the management of its health care brands such as Lemsip and Nurofen. “Beiersdorf, which owns such leading consumer brands as Nivea, Elastoplast and Atrixo, has also entrusted us with the responsibility of driving sales across key channels. We we are now also handling Chewits on behalf of Leaf Confectionery.” Freer reasons that the advantage of using SHS is that it enables brand owners to concentrate on their key priorities, such as NPD, while the brokerage drives sales of existing products and offers solutions in areas such as national account management, field sales, logistics and business support. “It effectively reduces complexity, enhances performance and provides a tailored cost solution.” This year SHS appointed Gareth Roberts as commercial controller for confectionery and increased its focus on the household & healthcare category by creating a new division and promoting trade sector manager Rob Slater to lead this department. Freer comments: “Both appointments demonstrate the customer-centric approach we follow to deliver the exceptional results that keeps us in the No.1 position as supplier of choice, because we listen and adapt to the market, placing
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
an emphasis on recruiting top talent who know their sectors inside out. We also have longstanding relationships with buyers across a number of key channels. “Our channel expertise allows us to open doors more quickly for brands when competition for shelf space is tougher than ever before. We can recommend the latest and most suitable promotional mechanics and pack formats that will work in a particular channel and draw consumers, guaranteeing that budgets are used as effectively as possible to drive the highest return on investment.” Freer says that the sales and marketing industry has seen significant change in terms of the key players that have developed in recent years to meet brand owners’ needs. Outsourcing is now more relevant than ever, he maintains. “Sales and marketing agencies have come a long way and evolved significantly over the last decade, moving away from the dated ‘brokerage’ term to a full service outsourcing solution.” He says the industry has grown to offer two clear service options: 1. Full solution – a complete end-to-end solution that allows brand owners to simplify trading models. 2. Specialist solution – a single area of business, such as data analysis, category or consumer marketing and insight. “The area of specialisation can also extend to a single channel or specific geographic area to offer increased focus for those companies following a more defined sector approach,” explains Freer. “Sales, marketing and distribution agencies now offer more flexibility and tailored solutions to suit brand owners’ specific needs, be it logistics, debt management or the complete sales and marketing function. “The trend of brand owners simplifying their trading models to create greater focus and reduce costs will undoubtedly continue. “At SHS we offer brand owners the strength and breadth of our portfolio of leading brands, spanning such categories as household, healthcare, grocery, confectionery and beverages.” The sector as a whole, Freer adds, now regularly attracts sales talent from blue-chip companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever “as they recognise the career opportunities that sales and marketing agencies offer”.
ROBINSON YOUNG THE NON-FOOD SALES BUILDERS
Providing industry-leading sales, marketing and logistics for over 39 years. Our expertise, passion and relationships delivered double-digit growth for many of our partners last year. To succeed in major multiples, convenience, cash & carry, pharmacy, food service, hardware and DIY, contact Michael Robinson on 01284 766 261 or email@example.com
brokerage ‘Pioneer’ in the sector
because we share our logistics system with Ceuta, which handles products delivered in smaller drops, our minimum order size is just £100. “This is an advantage for brands entering the C&C/wholesale, convenience and forecourt sectors, and it also helps wholesalers who want to offer their retail customers innovative products.” Coleman cites granini as a good example of how Go2Grocery has already achieved notable success for a brand seeking to make inroads into C&C/wholesale. “It already had a presence in the multiple grocery sector, but when it launched in a 330ml bottle aimed at the impulse sector, it approached us because it was a new market. Since we took on the brand in April, distribution has doubled.” Another benefit of the relationship with Ceuta is the level of technology Go2Grocery is able to access. Sales teams are equipped with the latest field strike software and the agency is currently trialling the system with a major wholesaler. It enables the sales team to electronically transfer orders from stores direct to depot for next-day delivery. Again Coleman has strong views on the need to embrace new technology. He maintains: “While outsourced marketing has adapted well to the changing needs of brand owners, often the sales side has remained stubbornly stuck in the ‘nineties’. “For today’s brand owners, utilising technology to capture and deliver orders should be a ‘given’. Outsourcing can help reduce the not insignificant cost of investing in new technology by sharing this across a number of brands.” Summing up the company’s strategy, he adds: “Our strength lies in our flexible approach – from simply offering sales support on a specific or multi-channel basis through to creating a successful full service business model built around proven experience. “Ceuta Group has achieved some fantastic results with blue-chip partners, including Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer, but we are equally adept at nurturing smaller businesses who are looking to take the big step into mainstream grocery marketing and distribution.”
Launched earlier this year, Go2Grocery claims it is at the forefront of a revolution in the brokerage industry. Dismissing the traditional brokerage model as ‘broken and not fit for purpose’, it has structured its business so that it is functionally aligned with the way that brand owners, C&C/wholesalers and retailers operate in today’s market. The company, a newly-formed division of the Ceuta Group, sees itself as a pioneer, paving the way for a new generation of outsourcing and sales management operators who are forward thinking and willing to embrace new technology. Go2Grocery aims to bring a fresh, flexible approach to helping brand owners – from Coleman: ‘Making inroads into C&C/wholesale can be very major blue-chip compachallenging.’ nies to new start-ups with creative flair – develop and realise the full potential of their food and drink brands. With the financial backing and support of its established parent, it is bringing a ‘unique blend of innovation, insight and brand fostering skill’ into the food and drink arena. The newcomer is particularly keen to work with smaller suppliers to help them bring interesting concepts and brands – with a point of difference – into the wider grocery market place. To achieve this objective, it has introduced a specific business model to assist emerging businesses to develop their brand offering as well as opening up access to routes to market. The most recent addition to the Go2Grocery portfolio is a prime example – the KOOKs range of baked vegetable and rice snacks. Business controller Gavin Coleman says: “The KOOKs ‘healthier option’ brand fits perfectly into our strategy and sits very well alongside our existing portfolio, which includes well-known brands such as the Nurishment nutritionally enriched milk drinks, Lo Salt, Hermesetas sweeteners, Dextro Energy, Fisherman’s Friend lozenges and the £750m Eckes granini fruit juice brands.” Coleman adds: “Making inroads into the C&C/wholesale channel can be very challenging for new brands because of the complexities of the sector structure. Through our account teams and logistics structure, we can provide a very cost-effective solution. “Our national account team has a network of over 750 grocery, convenGo2Grocery aims to expand its existing client range. ience and foodservice contacts and,
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
JFK stalwarts John Kerr and son Michael.
A true ‘partnership’ With 24 years’ experience in brokerage since he established the business with son Michael, John Kerr, director of The JFK Partnership, believes no word better describes the role of the broker in today’s grocery trade than ‘partnership’. JFK is seamlessly integrated into a partnership with each client’s line management structure, operating as a totally integrated part of the client’s sales team and, in some cases, as their sole sales team. The company has responsibility for a strong portfolio of national brands, complemented by leading Scottish labels. JFK is the sole Scottish brokerage for Dr Oetker foodservice, Taylors of Harrogate tea and coffee, Compton’s Gravy Salt and Stock-Mates bouillon foodservice range. Symington’s has engaged JFK to drive the return of Campbell’s condensed soups, in addition to Golden Wonder. The company also has responsibility for the newly-acquired Ragu and Chicken Tonight ranges, for both Scotland and Northern Ireland. And it works closely with Westmill Foods to develop specific sectors of its business in Scotland. For two Scottish producers, The JFK Partnership has full UK responsibility – Hamlyn’s of Scotland Scottish Porridge Oats and Oatmeal and Nisha Enterprise’s wide range of Golden Cross corn snacks and Nisha’s nuts and confectionery. Buchanans, the rapidly growing Northern Ireland producer of cereals, pulses and dried fruit, completes the client partnerships. While outsourcing all functions is an established route to market, The JFK Partnership offers an equally well-established, cost-effective, risk-free alternative – the pure sales and marketing brokerage. Operating, to some extent, in the same way as the full service route, it delivers all the essential sales and marketing advantages but with none of the disadvantages of ‘full service’.
• Cash & Carry Management • September 2011
John Kerr maintains that this has a really strong appeal to both clients and customers. Clients can take full advantage of outsourcing sales and marketing to speed the route to market, matching sales costs to results, while keeping invoicing in house and using a third-party specialist to handle storage and stock movement along the supply chain. Invoicing, warehousing and physical distribution are highly systemised functions and JFK argues that these should be kept ‘inside’. As a mainstay of its partnership responsibilities, the agency continually strives to ensure that the independent trade enjoys a level playing field at all times and in all aspects of market developments, pricing and promotional support. “Parity of pricing and marketing support is at the very core of what we deliver when we bring our customers and clients together to build successful business partnerships,” says Kerr. “As brokers, we do our homework very thoroughly before signing up to a new range, which in turn gives our customers the confidence to buy.” New products and new customers are the lifeblood of every sales operation and brokerage is where it’s at, according to Kerr. “From across our portfolio, our clients continually One of the leading brands arm us with a raft of exciting handled by the brokerage. new products and product improvements, backed by strong sales and marketing support. This takes our sales role to a level far beyond that of stock and order when we make our regular sales visits. Kerr maintains that JFK’s ‘all sectors of Scotland’ coverage of grocery, foodservice, confectionery and specialist retail enables the company to develop its clients’ brands to their full potential in a marketplace in which every supplier increasingly struggles to deliver regular sales coverage at an acceptable percentage cost of sales. Says Kerr: “In the current recession, with food inflation and margins ever tightening, the fixed cost sales option makes real commercial sense. In effect, our customers are dealing directly with our clients, from each client’s own UK price list. “We believe that our clients prefer to remain in overall control, with JFK operating as their sales and marketing arm to form a winning business partnership.”
For further information: Go2Grocery (0845) 128 2750 The JFK Partnership (01343) 541496 Robinson Young (01284) 766261 SHS Sales & Marketing (01452) 378500
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