Bidvest Foodservice reveals growth plans and biggest competitors

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

How big will Bidvest grow?
How big will Bidvest grow?

Related tags Bidvest foodservice Management Chief executive officer

Bidvest Foodservice will continue to acquire businesses and launch new sites to grow its customer reach, chief executive officer Andrew Selley has told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (PMA).

Selley, who spoke at the British Frozen Food Federation's annual conference in Coventry today (1 March) about innovation within the company, said the plans formed part of the catering and food supplier's ambition to be within no more than 80 miles of its customers.

"We're always on the lookout for small, unique companies and we see there are more opportunities for acquisitions there," he told the PMA​.

"But we're also building new sites and have opened a number during the past couple of years and will open another one in Slough in June and [continue] filling in the gaps with acquisitions."

The gaps Selley spoke of were mainly in the south west of England and in Scotland, he said.

Recent relaunch

Selley's comments follow the company's recent relaunch of its brand​ portfolio in January, which included the unveiling of its new Essential Supplies, Everyday Favourites, Premium Selection and Farmstead meat brand.

Bidvest in facts:

  • Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Founded in 1988
  • Operates in Australasia, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America
  • Further growth plans

The relaunch will build on the company's plans to empower its depot managers to run their sites like their own businesses. This will allow them to better compete with local wholesalers and food suppliers, which he said, were Bidvest Foodservice's biggest competitors.

"They [our depot managers] have the power to focus on local ranges. We look at our major competitors as the hundreds and hundreds of the majority wholesalers out there doing fantastic jobs serving their customers and what we say to our depot managers is they need to serve their regions better," Selley said.

Branded products will also continue to play a big part within Bidvest Foodservice's offer, he added, and revealed the business's plans to launch a vending machine that could produce hot, ambient, chilled and frozen products.

The new vending machine, which will be called Ooft, will be able to vend 15 hot meals, as well as chilled or ambient products from the same machine.

Better and easier access

Meanwhile, Bidvest Foodservice's relaunch of its food and non-food ranges earlier this year aims to give customers better and easier access to shop the supplier's range, and emphasises the company's own-brand offer.

At the launch in January, Bidvest Foodservice own brand manager Holly Marrero Easson said 50% of customers want non-branded products.

"We've relaunched the portfolio to make it easier for operators to shop with us," she explained.

"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."

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