DBC Foodservice has launched a range of fresh fruit and veg to help it compete against Brakes and 3663 First For Foodservice.

The range of 70 SKUs means the foodservice provider can now provide its national customer base with a full multi-temperature foodservice solution in one delivery.

Going into fresh food is a milestone move for DBC, which used to be most famous for its meat and started life as the Danish Bacon Company.

The new range is intended to help caterers provide healthy meals for customers who are increasingly demanding fruit and veg, encouraged by the government’s 5-a-day campaign.

“The launch of our fresh fruit and veg category marks a significant moment within our ambitious growth plans,” said MD Chris Horne. “It follows a highly successful introduction of the range over the past few weeks to several significant nationwide customers, including the MoD and Little Chef. By offering a comprehensive range to customers, we are also able to save on food miles by delivering all categories to a customer in one vehicle. The general feedback from our branches across the UK is that we are already experiencing considerable demand for the category, with volumes building rapidly.”

The range includes conventional produce, such as apple and salads, but will also offer more exotic fare such as physalis and mooli. DBC is prepared to source other products as and when its customers demand it.

The foodservice provider tracks consumer buying data in an effort to respond to the latest fruit and veg trends.

DBC has set its stall out to take on Brakes and 3663, the two big players in the foodservice industry, and believes fresh represents a lucrative gap in the market. One rival wholesaler said DBC could have a go at fresh, but warned it was a “very tough nut to crack”.

It was bought last year by three board members at Iceland Foods, including CEO Malcolm Walker, who are using Iceland to boost DBC’s buying power.