Fairway Foodservice’s own-brand range driving growth for its members

Wholesalers are experiencing significant growth when switching to products in a foodservice buying group’s own-brand range.

Fairway Foodservice’s focus on developing the range is reaping the rewards for its 20 members, with some products resulting in sales increases of more than 40 per cent.

In the last 12 months, the buying group has added lines including coldwater prawns, sliced cooked meats and joints, jacket potatoes, sausages, and ready-to-use sauces to its own-brand offering, which now stands at more than 570 products.

Fairway’s purchasing director Steve Jeavons said: “The strength of our own-brand range is clear to see: immediately after we add products to it, the volumes grow considerably compared to the same products supplied under alternative brands.

“We believe we have an unrivalled own-brand range and the message we receive from wholesalers and caterers is that they agree.

“For example, since moving to Fairway’s own-brand sliced cooked meats and joints, members have recorded more than 40 per cent increase in sales. Even well-established and popular products including canned tomatoes, baked beans, and mayonnaise are showing significant double-digit growth.

“We also work closely with members to identify upcoming trends and provide the correct products and support to ensure they are in the best possible position to outperform their competitors.”

Fairway’s commitment to its own-brand range saw it run its inaugural own-brand trade show in 2016, with the bi-annual event set to return in November.

And Steve credits Fairway’s creative and dedicated approach to supporting members is a key reason why the own-brand range continues to be successful.

“We see too many under resourced brands where wholesalers pay a ‘brand tax’ for very little benefit,” he added.

“For example there is poor representation, minimal, if any, promotion and marketing support, lack of basic foodservice knowledge, and poor service.

“With our own-brand range we can control quality, consistency, and the supply chain to ensure it meets the high standards demanded by our members.”

Fairway’s marketing strategist Toby Jordan added: “The success of the own brand range is even more impressive considering we have not carried out any specific marketing or brand awareness activity. Our future plans include reviewing the branding and packaging and communicating the brand values and differentiators more successfully through innovative digital initiatives.”

Fairway Foodservice is a buying and marketing organisation, which operates on behalf of wholesalers based in the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Founded in 1984 by five frozen food wholesale distribution companies, it has grown from a collective turnover of £7m in 1984 to £715m in 2018.

Alongside access to Fairway Foodservice’s extensive range of products, members benefit from collective buying power on core lines, and significant marketing support.

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