"There is a genuine feeling amongst those that attend that everything is in place to benefit everyone in the room, from quality products and enticing deals to education and innovation."
At its latest event, deals worth £917,000 were recorded taking the total this year to £2.1m, beating the previous best of £1.9m in 2017.
The record amount of sales follows hot on the heels of the buying group’s rebrand and new website, which were launched in January.
Fairway’s marketing and events manager Richard Ellison said: “Our meet the member events continue to surpass previous meetings, and the continued development of the relationship between members and suppliers is also evident in the deals concluded.
“There is a genuine feeling amongst those that attend that everything is in place to benefit everyone in the room, from quality products and enticing deals to education and innovation.”
Fairway members also approved the addition of MSC cod fish fingers and MSC fish cakes to its own-brand range, as well as the catering dispenser 450 for cling film refills.
The event also strengthened relationships through networking opportunities.
Richard added: “Our extra activities including clay pigeon shooting and bowling continue to go down a storm, but we are never one to rest on our laurels. We always reviewing how we can improve and regularly speak to our guests to take on board their suggestions.
“This extends to the meet the member event itself, and we are looking to revamp the timetable to improve the experience for members and suppliers.”
The bi-annual event was held at Drayton Manor Theme Park in Tamworth. More than 40 suppliers attended and ranged from multinational companies such as Unilever to successful British businesses, including chocolate distributor HB Ingredients.
Hayley Scott, business development manager at HB Ingredients, said: “As well as sales, it’s also an opportunity to educate members on how best to use our products. For example, we produce empty pastry cases and the meet the member events allow us to fill them and show the variety of options possible.”
Ian Woodcock, purchasing director of Fairway member Harlech Foodservice, said: “The Fairway meet the member events provide us with the knowledge and expertise to be able to enhance relationships with our customers.
“Trends in the food industry never stand still and innovation is also key. Thanks to the 1-2-1 chats with suppliers, it helps us to position ourselves as the go-to foodservice wholesaler in our region.”
Fairway Foodservice’s next meet the member event will be held on 10-11 March.
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 £801.5m in 2019.
Alongside access to Fairway Foodservice’s extensive range of products, members benefit from collective buying power on a number of lines and significant marketing support.
For more information on Fairway Foodservice, follow the group on Twitter and Instagram (@fairwayfood and @FairwayFoodservice respectively) or visit www.fairwayfoodservice.com