The modern foodservice wholesaler offers more than 5,000 products across three different temperatures. All supplied, as a rule, within 24 hours. Which is pretty impressive. None of our suppliers get close to matching this level of service. Yet most of them still behave as if they control the market. They seem to believe that as brand owner they have the right to dictate who buys their product.
This may well have been true in the past – when the typical wholesaler had a warehouse and a set of wheels, but little else. Since then we have not only increased our product range to meet market conditions, but increased the temperature ranges and market sectors we cover too. We have been proactive.
We have also learned about adding value for our customers, and advising them on product selection. Foodservice wholesalers now understand their customers and their needs far more than they used to.
By contrast the major catering product manufacturers have become something of a “one trick pony”, championing new product development. But how many varieties of rice or pasta can a caterer really use? Far from developing the foodservice supply chain, manufacturers have clogged it up with eager salesmen all flogging the same products.
It is the humble wholesaler who has evolved, and by doing so has created a more efficient and effective supply chain.
Who would have thought it?