Chilled and frozen wholesaler Eden Farm Hulleys is making major investments into own label and delivery operations to improve margins and service for retailers.
The firm’s sales director Ben Lawrence told Better Retailing its Farmer Jack’s range now includes 45 lines, with a heavy emphasis on price-marked packs (PMP) to communicate value to retailers and customers. The range has seen a 400% volume growth since last year, with the director attributing the increase to high-profile manufacturers reducing their own PMP offers.
He added: “The whole idea is that every single product is pricemarked to give independent retailers and their customers assurity. We’ve just added cocktail sausages, beer battered onion rings and an Indian sharing selection alongside existing products such as chicken wings and ice cream.
“The average margin retailers can make is 25%, although its 30% or higher when on promotion. We’re also looking at point of sale to help try and promote the range. Our field reps are trying to educate retailers to show them how they can make the most money on the range. This involves surveys with customers and our latest promotional leaflets show retailers what the top 30 lines are in general from different categories.”
Eden Farms has also been working closely with Bestway. Commenting on these relationships, Lawrence added: “We’re working with our customers on extending the category range including meat lines, which help customers compete with the multiples.
“We speak with Bestway regularly and we recently discussed how we can work better and provide the ranges to make sure their customers get what they need. We do supply some of the Farmer Jack’s range into Bestway. It’s a real partnership. They advise us and we advise them.”
As well as improving its own label range and relationships with other wholesalers, Eden Farm has also made major investment into its delivery operation to improve service for retailers.
These developments include increasing the number of loading bays at its Luton depot, which has decreased the average time to load stock into a lorry from 45 to 25 minutes. Staff are also given verbal directions when picking stock to improve picking time.
Eden Farm Hulleys depot manager Neil Pemberton said: “We’ve got new vehicles coming in which are better on fuel consumption. New vans are also arriving ready for the summer peak.
“We’ve also invested in a 40,000L fuel tank so we can bulk buy fuel and reduce costs in this area. We need to look at how we can improve our efficiencies to help our customers.”
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