Local is just all talk Delivered wholesaler
?I think for most delivered wholesalers, local and healthy products are not an issue. Local just doesn't exist in our business. For us it is all about brand leaders and, truth be told, we are becoming more reliant on these key brands. It would be great to sell a lot of healthy and local products but the demand is not there. From our retail customers, I get the feeling that many consumers talk a lot about eating more of these products but don't actually follow it through.
I think the same applies with wholesalers and independent retailers. I hear an awful lot about local and fresh when I go out to conferences and events but I think in most cases it is just talk. What my customers want at the moment is competitive prices on the biggest brands and a good mix of promotions, but this could all change.
Key to being greener Cash & carry operator
?Not only can wholesalers benefit from introducing local ranges, it is also a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their green credentials. For local suppliers, cash & carry distribution is the best way to limit food miles.
At the moment there is growing demand but it's still nowhere near enough. Budgens and some independents have already demonstrated what a powerful concept this is. As wholesalers we need to convince the silent majority of retailers that this is valuable for them.
Suppliers dealing directly with retailers is an issue we have to deal with. I have no objection to a direct supply relationship but I strongly believe that we can quickly and effectively develop this opportunity if wholesalers can make a wider audience aware of local products.
The onus is on us Cash & carry and delivered wholesaler
?At present, the majority of our local sourcing is based on products from our particular corner of the UK and some specific regional suppliers. We do little near-store sourcing but I do think there is a opportunity for wholesalers in this area. Sourcing locally means wholesalers can work with smaller companies that are prepared to tailor their offer to local needs.
There is still not a great demand from retailers for local products, however there is a consistent demand for Scottish products in Scotland, for instance. We can't accommodate every local need in our central depots but we do have a limited number of direct-to-store invoicing arrangements with suppliers. The onus is on wholesalers to find opportunities that will appeal to their retailers by attending trade shows and speaking regularly with their retail customers.