Palmer & Harvey has formed a new van sales company called P&H Direct to target the foodservice sector.

P&H Direct will supply cafés, snack bars, garden centres, sandwich shops and pubs with branded crisps, chocolate, soft drinks, chewing gum and catering essentials such as coffee and tea.

The launch means the UK’s biggest wholesaler now has three van sales operations - Snacksdirect, Sweetdirect and P&H Direct - making more than 50,000 customer calls every two weeks.

Snacksdirect will also offer the full savoury snacks category for the first time later this month, following the wholesaler’s acquisition of Walkers’ van sales business last year.

“Van sales have long been an important part of our business,” said P&H MD of direct van sales Jim Newsome.

“We’ve seen strong growth recently and retailers have found direct van sales to be both a useful way to maximise returns and receive expert category advice, without having to leave their premises to stock up.”