John Sharpe, managing director of Nisa-Today’s Central Distribution Services, said the group had done well with its existing range, sold under a supplier brand, but knew it could do much better in the fresh meat category.
By packing meat under the group’s Heritage brand, Sharpe felt it would be able to build more distribution among members, thus boosting sales. He added: “There’s no reason why we cannot double our business very quickly.”
Quality was paramount, said
Sharpe, who said that the buying and distribution group was now working with a top processor.
The new supplier can offer beef, lamb and pork, and has the ability to source South American beef - allowing Nisa to run competitive promotions. Sharpe said the new range, launched next month, would comprise up to 35 different packs of mince, joints and cuts across all red meat species.
News of the development came at last week’s annual Nisa conference in Monte Carlo, attended by the country’s top independent supermarket and convenience store retailers who are members of the group.
Chilled foods are key for Nisa-Today’s, which supplies products on a 6-day-a-week service to 2,700 delivery points. Delegates were told its chilled foods business was growing by 24% year on year (or 15% once milk has been stripped out).
The group recently relaunched its fresh produce, working with eight specialist suppliers. Sharpe said that the relaunch had been a success with sales 70% up since the new packs and product had arrived. He pointed out that fruit and veg was worth £20m - but could be a £100m category.