The relaunch of its food, drink and non-food products aims to offer customers better choice. It follows recent changes to its warehouse management structure and name, which changed from Bidvest 3663 to Bidvest Foodservice in June last year.
The new range would be easier for customers to shop for because they could order everything, including kitchen equipment, using one ordering process, said chief executive Andrew Selley at a briefing in London yesterday (20 January).
Bidvest customers will be able to shop from the new categories immediately, which include Essential Supplies, Everyday Favourites, Premium Selection and Farmstead meats, which will launch fully in the spring (see boxout below for full descriptions).
The focus of the relaunch was based on research carried out by Bidvest, which showed its customers wanted 50% of what they bought for their businesses to be non-branded, claimed Bidvest own brand manager Holly Marrero Easson.
Many of its customers were cost-conscious and demanded products that were affordable, but of a high quality, Easson said.
"With our research showing that 50% of all [of our customers'] purchases contain own brand products, it is clear there is significant demand for it," she added.
"We've relaunched the portfolio to make it easier for operators to shop with us. As part of this, we've also created a new non-food brand and a new premium brand, allowing customers to find what they are looking for more quickly and simply, as well as being able to offer a wider variety of products that match individual establishment's needs."
Meanwhile, as part of the relaunch, Bidvest introduced general managers (GMs) into its warehouses to allow the company to react quickly to the needs of businesses.
"The role of the GM is very different from depot manager," explained Selley.
"The GM is there to run the business. People look at us and say our competitors must be Brakes and Booker, but we have this whole other area that's a competitor, such as [independent businesses'] small vans with food on them delivering [to customers we could deliver to] across the country."
GMs would, in theory, be able to target the areas those smaller businesses were delivering to by thinking more like business managers, he added.
Bidvest’s own brand relaunch
Essential Supplies: is the non-food brand, providing all those supplies needed to ensure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes, such as cleaning products.
Everyday Favourites: has more than 600 products and offers foodservice operators basic products that are either ready prepared or for cooking from scratch. The range includes everyday ingredients such as plum tomatoes and baked beans, bakery items including sultana scones and maple pecan plaits, and main meals including vegetable lasagne and chilli con carne.
Premium Selection: all of the products in this range are endorsed by the Craft Guild of Chefs. They include premium bakery and desserts, British ready-made meals, and high-quality burgers and sausages.
Farmstead: is Bidvest Foodservice’s fresh meat brand that offers a broad range of meats.