Good information is vital to securing our future and we buyers now have masses of data at our fingertips. What we lack is the time to analyse and interpret it correctly.

Following my concern over ranging, merchandising and promotions in the dairy cabinet, (January Diary), Muller has come forward with an offer of help. Thanks, guys.

Catering development is always high on the agenda of our weekly meeting. This morning we reviewed our progress. We don’t need reminding how well most specialist foodservice wholesalers are organised, having lost some good catering accounts recently. We offer a wider range, sell much cheaper and can offer instant availability for a one stop shop, so why aren’t we growing this side of our business? In a shrinking retail market, all wholesalers are now looking to catering to improve sales and profitability.

Douwe Egberts move into Skinny cappuccino, latte and mocha instants reflects how quickly coffee shop drinking trends can be converted for ‘at home’ use and exemplifies how to get growth back into the stagnant hot beverages market.

Put the name Tesco into any on-line search engine and you’ll find plenty of individuals and groups willing to denigrate them. The Every Little Hurts campaign has plenty of followers and the forthcoming Wal-Mart movie will fuel the fire. Big isn’t always beautiful. We hope the backlash will benefit symbol group retailers and other independents.

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