Palmer and Harvey is launching Sweetdirect, a direct to store van sales service, supplying a range of confectionery and sweet brands.
The 100-strong fleet of Sweetdirect vans will be on the road in mainland UK from May 11 and P amp;H says it has a potential market of 20,000 retailers.
P amp;H is building on the success it has achieved with Snacksdirect, a van sales service, offering a range of savoury snacks, biscuits and cakes. Snacksdirect has 150 vans, more than 25,000 customers and has built-up an annual turnover of £60m since it was created in 2000.
The Sweetdirect business will have 15 depots, with two operating from existing P amp;H sites and the rest leased on new sites around the UK, with 170 new jobs being created within the P amp;H group.
Jim Newsome, managing director of direct van sales at Palmer and Harvey, said the vans offered a different business model to the P amp;H delivered service. He added: “We are delighted to announce the launch of Sweetdirect and the creation of 170 new jobs, especially in this economic environment. Our current direct to store van sales business Snacksdirect has grown rapidly and we are definitely seeing a positive trend for a wider direct to store delivery service. Sweetdirect will add another category to our direct to store service and will help independent retailers remain competitive.”