Sir: The current shortages in the ice cream supply chain (‘Ice cream sales up 300% to leave freezers ‘like Beirut’,’ 27 July) demonstrates a worrying over-reliance by the major retailers on the top two ice cream manufacturers.
If retailers were to give medium-sized ice cream manufacturers greater opportunities, then the overall UK ice cream stock holding would increase. By spreading stock levels across more suppliers, I believe the huge supply and demand fluctuations the market has been experiencing as a result of the weather could have been managed far better.
As the UK’s third-largest ice cream manufacturer, we too have been experiencing an increase in demand from customers during the heatwave. Our size, agility and extra capacity have enabled us to take advantage of this opportunity. We have maximised outputs to ensure an uninterrupted supply and worked with customers to maintain stock levels.
So would using an increased number of suppliers cost the major retailers a bit more money? Probably yes, but this would surely be a fraction of what empty freezers will be costing them right now.
Andrew Howard, MD, Beechdean Ice Cream Group