Wholesaler AF Blakemore is looking to double its foodservice sales over the next five years.
The move is part of the wholesaler’s wider five-year strategy focusing on its Spar business and other food distribution operations, following the divestment of its cash & carry arm last year.
It revealed its foodservice ambition at its first-ever Blakemore Foodservice supplier conference this month. Sales director Nick Rose said a key part of the growth plan was to target new markets.
“Our trading strengths have been branded pubs, holiday parks and local authorities, but as Him research has highlighted, the out-of-home market is worth £89bn and to get a slice of that we need to become a complete one-stop shop,” he said.
Blakemore is also looking to streamline its 5,000 products by stripping out duplication and introducing “a more specialised, diverse range”.
It is set to put much more emphasis on its fresh offer, extending its current fruit & veg range to include more exotic items. It will also now source its fresh meat from Blakemore Fresh Foods at Hilton Cross in South Staffordshire.
It is also set to launch a new ordering app that will allow customers to scan and track products and give suppliers the opportunity to advertise new products. Voice-activated ordering and AI technologies are also currently in development.
“These are inspiring times for Blakemore Foodservice, with investment and opportunities for synergy across the group opening up new markets and exciting developments in digital set to improve the overall customer experience,” said head of Blakemore Foodservice Richard Harman.
“When implementing these new strategic aims, collaboration is going to be key and it’s fantastic to know our suppliers are on board to support.”