Cash and carry reverses decade-long closing trend

Growth in the cash and carry sector outstripped the delivered grocery for the first time in a decade according to the IGD

In its UK Grocery and Foodservice Wholesaling Outlook 2009 report, it said that the cash and carry sector grew by 3% during 2008 to pound;9.7bn, compared with 2.7% for delivered retail to pound;8.6bn. Delivered foodservice showed the greatest value growth of 5.1% over the same period, but the report’s author Patrick.Mitchell-Fox said inflation in this sector meant volumes were flat at best.

He said delivered wholesalers had to contend with very steep increases in the cost of fuel during the year and this allowed cash and carry players to establish a significant price leadership, prompting increasingly cost-conscious customers to switch spend away from delivered operators.

Cash and carries also made significant gains in the out of home sector. Their sales to foodservice, catering and hospitality businesses were the fastest growing segment of the wholesaling market in 2008, increasing by 5.7% on 2007.

Mitchell-Fox added: “Cash and carry players were boosted by strong growth in sales to the pub sector. Falling sales in their core offering is prompting many publicans to develop a food offer to offset this.”

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