Start with the customer’s needs

Simon Marshall, managing director of Unilever Foodsolutions, said he was able to view the fooodservice sector as a relative newcomer, having moved from another part of Unilever to his present post about a year ago.

He said: “One thing that has struck me in the year that I’ve been working in the foodservice industry is no matter how different our individual businesses may be, the one thing we all have in common is that we have to satisfy the needs of our customers. We may approach it from a different angle, but we all have the same goal in the end.”

He spoke about coming back to basics and looking at the consumer as the starting point in innovation within the foodservice sector. “Really new, innovative products should be top priority for wholesale and cash and carry operators. I am talking about well-researched, hard-hitting new products that meet consumer needs, develop categories and genuinely move the market forward.”

Marshall suggested that the foodservice industry should align itself with health and vitality as this is a key issue of the moment. “We know that consumers find it difficult to eat healthily out of home. Often, the information isn’t there to help them make the right choices.”

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