If you read the profile of any company, it will contain familiar words and phrases. I can almost guarantee that quality, customer service and innovation will appear in the text, whatever the industry.
Innovation and new product development creates a point of difference and enhances the customer offering. Top food manufacturers invest millions in new product development.
The role of innovation for the food wholesaler and supplier comes in the brands and range of products we are prepared to stock and the support we give to the makers by promoting them to our customers. This is where we should concentrate on adding value. At 3663 we also develop our own Smart Choice brand where other brands are not relevant.
Wherever possible, we need to give food manufacturers the time and opportunity to establish their branded product before bringing in an own-brand version – and even then, its primary focus should be to grow the market rather than cannibalise branded sales.
Within the distribution industry there will always be the competing dynamics of wanting to offer customers a wide choice, while keeping stock-holding at an economic level. In the catering Features > Business, we must push the limits in terms of variety even if this puts pressure on stores and warehouses.
To maintain customer loyalty we have to offer good value with a quality and range that meets their needs. Chefs are always looking for new ideas and we have an important role to play in bringing innovative products to the marketplace.