The confectionery buyer anticipates more healthy, natural and sugar-free products backed by innovation in growth sectors such as gum and the imminent arrival of Wrigley’s Orbit Complete and the launch of CTB’s Trident Soft and Splash confirms this. The beer buyer says he is reluctantly awaiting calls from suppliers to expand his speciality selection and embrace Romanian and Bulgarian lagers and the wine buyer has already tasted some very good wines from these new EU entrants.

We are poised to receive a wave of new product launches and range developments in key categories but producers must be realistic and support new developments with strong launch programmes backed by realistic advertising and promotional investment.

We eagerly await results from HM R C and police action in the hunting down the rogue businesses undermining the legitimate wholesaling of drink. Beer and wine is still reaching the market at crazy prices and our dwindling tobacco business is still threatened by smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco.

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