JJ Food Service, wholesaler of the Year in The Grocer Gold Awards 2014, is making a move upmarket by targeting gastropubs, restaurants and hotels.

The Enfield foodservice operator, which has eight depots, majors on fast food, schools and local authorities but plans to triple its field sales force over the next six months to widen its customer base. It will also launch new own-label gluten free lines, source fresh products from local and sustainable suppliers and provide online ordering.

“We are well known for supplying the fast food sector so we are looking to go up a level,” said JJ Food Service group general manager Terry Larkin. “There is an opportunity for more premium products.

“We are spending a lot of time and effort in sourcing the right product and spending a lot on advertising and extra training,” he added.

Chief product officer Ali Guvemli said by adding new ranges of fresh lamb, beef and poultry “that are Red Tractor, Eblex and/or animal welfare approved, as well as new gluten-free items, we anticipate increasing market share from 3% to 5%, mainly to the independent sector.”