A study by IGD has found that the fresh and chilled food categories will likely drive growth in wholesale between now and the end of the decade.
As a result of increased spending in the foodservice sector, IGD forecasts 1.6 per cent growth in total UK wholesale sales over the next four years, from £28.8bn (2014) to £32.3bn (2019).
Commenting on the study, James Walton, IGD chief economist, said, "Over the last few years, we have seen all types of wholesaler increasing their investment in fresh and chilled food, developing their ranges and the way they serve their customers.
"There is a clear growth opportunity for those wholesalers and their suppliers that get fresh and chilled right, and we expect this to help drive some of the overall growth in wholesale over the next few years.”
IGD reports that wholesale growth in 2014 stood at +1 per cent, but fresh and chilled were the star performers, with growth far outstripping overall levels.
However, Walton also suggested that there are also some tough times ahead for wholesalers, with competition expected to intensify across the board.
“The sector is seeing plenty of consolidation, most notably the recently agreed purchase of Musgrave Retail Partners GB by Booker, he said. "Customer numbers are falling and those that remain look set to be bigger, more capable businesses with an even wider variety of needs."
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.