"It was a really successful couple of days for both our members and suppliers, one of which completed more than 156,000 in orders alone."
The event saw 36 suppliers meet with Fairway members in a speed dating-style format, using 20-minute appointments to pitch more than 100 new products and special offers.
The bi-annual event, held at Birmingham’s Villa Park, gives Fairway Foodservice members an opportunity to share information on the foodservice industry and talk to suppliers about their product lines.
Fairway Foodservice chief executive Chris Binge said: “It was a really successful couple of days for both our members and suppliers, one of which completed more than £156,000 in orders alone.
“A crucial part of what we do for our membership is to consider the future of the industry and help them develop their business strategies based on forecasted change.
“One of the things we talked about with members is how we believe customers are increasingly using online ordering and digital brochures. Changes in legislation have also driven demand for allergen information, which can be accessed through the Erudus system we make available to all of our members.
“We firmly believe that looking to technology to cut costs and increase margins is the way forward in foodservice, and it was encouraging to hear about plans some of our members have for developing that aspect of their businesses.”
Suppliers ranged from multinational companies such as Kellogg’s and Unilever to successful British businesses, including seafood trader Havelok, quiche specialist Peakhouse Foods and Dragon’s Den funded bakery ProperMaid.
Michael Watt, general manager of Fairway Foodservice member Thomsons Foodservice, said: “The Meet the Member events are always very positive and a fantastic opportunity to meet with a number of our key suppliers over a short space of time.
“There were two or three new suppliers that I’ve met for the first time and will definitely be looking into working with in the future.
“Aside from meeting with suppliers, it’s also a good opportunity to talk to other members too. There are a few new ideas I’ve talked about with fellow Fairway members that I’ll be looking to take further.”
Fairway Foodservice is a buying and marketing organisation operating 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 £556m in 2014.
Members benefit from access to a range of more than 600 own-label products, collective buying power on a number of lines, significant marketing support and subscription discounts to the Erudus One product specification database.
For more information on Fairway Foodservice, visit www.fairwayfoodservice.com, or follow Fairway Foodservice on Twitter @fairwayfood.