Pom Bear May 19

Today’s: Together We Are Stronger

Your foodservice company is a member of the Today’s Group. Established nearly 30 years ago, Today’s has grown to become the UK’s largest buying group with over 250 members and a combined turnover of £5 billion.

But, there’s no resting on its laurels. Instead, in an increasingly challenging and changing marketplace, Today’s believes it has found the key to unlocking untapped potential in the foodservice arena. Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but there’s strength in numbers when it comes to you profiting from your supplier’s membership of the Today’s group.

At the group’s 2013 annual conference to be held in Berlin in early March, Matthew Oxley – Today’s Foodservice Trading Director will challenge supplier delegates to work together for greater success. Says Matthew: “I believe that by working together, we will achieve more. By having a combined approach, we will maximise the extensive buying power of the total group, all working as one to drive down the TRUE cost of goods – not just in terms of cost price, but hidden costs too.”

Today’s: Food for Thought

Last year, the Today’s Group, which is a member owned business and so belongs in part to your supplier, celebrated its Silver Jubilee – although its foodservice arm dates back to 1985.

Trading figures for 2012 showed that despite the country heading towards a triple dip recession, Today’s had grown ahead of the market at +3% in value and +1% in volume. The majority of its 56 foodservice suppliers saw sales grow ahead of the market in 2012, taking share from national operators such as Brake and 3663. Your supplier has the advantage of local market knowledge.

Within Today’s, a typical foodservice supplier offers a ‘day one for day two’ delivery service with an average 98% service level. Even the likes of Tesco, ASDA and John Lewis can’t offer such outstanding levels of service.

Today's foodservice facts

Today’s: Economy

According to latest data (Him! and Allegra), the total foodservice market in this country is worth an annual £42 billion and is forecast to grow to £50 billion by 2017. The independents’ share, the category into which your supplier falls, is an annual £27.2 billion.

There are more than 226,000 independent catering establishments in the UK, ranging from pubs to coffee shops and an increasing number of stall, cart, van and trailer ‘street food’ vendors. It is estimated that one in nine meals is now eaten out of the home, with 34% of all adults buying a take-out lunch.

One in three of us eat out every month – a figure that has not changed over the last couple of years, despite the failing economy. However, what has changed is the consumer demand for value with a quality proposition. This is reflected in the eating Out of Home (OHH) market’s best performers – quick serve restaurants such as McDonalds, Subway and a return to popularity of American style diners (TGI Fridays recently announced a number of new UK restaurants). This has created a plethora of good ‘Me Too’ independents, which foodservice suppliers like yours, through their local knowledge and the flexibility that being on hand affords, can help become established.

Adapting to Market Trends

While frequency of dining out remains steadfast, consumer spend has fallen. As you may know only too well, diners might now cut out a course, have a glass instead of a bottle of wine and opt to share a pudding.

As a Today’s member, your supplier is working to help its customers adapt to these trends, by supporting outlets that wish to cater for cheaper eating out occasions such as breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as pubs that want to offer take-away food.

It has also supported the growing use of discount vouchers and meal deals, by offering you and other customers regular, strong promotions.

Menu innovation – with a concentration on new cuisines and healthy dishes – is another area that has helped maintain consumer interest in eating out during the recession. Your supplier, in line with other Today’s members, has worked hard – not only to meet greater demand for quality produce, but to also improve its offerings to enable you and the other eateries it supplies, as you endeavour to stand out from the crowd.

What consumers see in supermarkets and on TV cookery programmes they want to try when eating out – which is why Today’s group members now supply chorizo burgers, wild boar sausages and vegetarian fish and chips with Halloumi!

Your supplier can also help you make the most of impulse lines such as confectionery, soft drinks, crisps and snacks, which is an area of growth. Don’t forget to ask them about how best to exploit this traditional retail grocery market.

Building Loyalty & Driving Frequency

Along with other Today’s Group members, your supplier is busy working to identify areas of growth and to embrace new technologies.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are now used by more than 50% of chefs. They have become a marketing tool for communicating offers of the day, food trends and a source of real time recipe ideas based on daily stock availability. With 35 million users, social networking sites now account for a quarter of the time spent online in the UK. So, if you’re not already making the most of these platforms, ask your supplier for help. However, not everyone wants to stare at an electronic device, especially when relaxing after a hard days work. It is for that reason Today’s is a proud supporter of Take Stock magazine.

Take Stock is your magazine, reinforcing The Today’s Group and its member’s commitment to providing you with the very best in information, promotions, price and service.

Today’s: Own Brand Specialist

Today’s own catering brand label, Kitchen King, has undergone a re-design and a number of new lines have been introduced. It represents great value.

As a Today’s group member, your supplier offers other Today’s own brands from bleach to biscuits under its Essentials, Select and Blue Stone labels. Ask your sales representative for details.

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