"Its evident from the deals that our members were impressed with the range of products, as well as the suppliers in attendance. We are confident that long-term relationships have been forged"
It’s the second time in six months that the buying group has tasted record-breaking success at its event, with the previous best of £971,000 set in September 2017.
Fairway’s most successful meet the member event ever had a focus on new product development (NPD), which provided its 20 members with the opportunity to identify upcoming trends. In addition, the two-day show featured a record-number of new suppliers, which allowed members to strike up fresh relationships.
Members of the leading foodservice buying group also approved the launch of more than 30 new products, including own brand ready meals and ready-to-use sauces.
Fairway’s marketing and events manager Richard Ellison said: “Breaking through the £1m barrier is incredible.
“What makes the achievement even more notable is that we clearly struck the right balance between encouraging sales, introducing new suppliers who are not trading with us, and NPD.
“It’s evident from the deals concluded that our members were impressed with the range of products, as well as the suppliers in attendance. We are confident that long-term relationships have been forged.
“The success is a complete team effort between our members, suppliers, and the Fairway staff. We take the time to truly understand what our members want and need, as well as work closely with the suppliers to provide a high-quality, cost-effective solution.
“Based on member feedback from last year we also tweaked the format of day two. Day one still consisted of speed dating-style meetings, but on the second day suppliers spoke to three or four wholesalers at a time. This encouraged debate and discussion, which both members and suppliers found valuable.
“And the launch of new additions to the own brand range, which included ready meals and ready to use sauces, was also well received.”
The bi-annual meet the member event, held at Drayton Manor, was attended by all 20 of Fairway’s members, as well as 39 suppliers.
Suppliers ranged from multinational companies such as Heinz and Nestlé to successful British businesses, including Cornwall-based Phat Pasty, which supplies pasties, pies, and sausage rolls across the UK.
Martin King, managing director at King Bros, said: “It’s not just about buying. While buying is a huge aspect of it, finding new products and gathering little snippets from people about the things they do to help their business is invaluable. We take the information back and try it out ourselves.”
Paul Clark, phat controller at Phat Pasty, said: “This was our first Fairway meet the member event and it went very well.
“We have had our products out on the market for some time, and this was a good opportunity to build relationships with wholesalers and to talk to them about our range.”
Fairway Foodservice’s next meet the member event is on 11 and 12 September.
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 2017.
Alongside access to Fairway Foodservice’s extensive range of products, members benefit from 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, follow the group on Twitter @fairwayfood or visit www.fairwayfoodservice.com.