Frozen foods wholesaler Eden Farm Hulleys increases product range

The range includes more than 30 frozen PMP products, including fruit, vegetables, chicken fillets and ice cream

Chilled and frozen food wholesaler Eden Farm Hulleys is ramping up its investment in extra warehousing capacity, online support and own label to support retailers with rising costs. 

Speaking to betterRetailing, the company’s sales director, Ben Lawrence, said a number of developments in its storage facilities and vehicles were being made to improve its overall availability for store owners. 

He added: “We invested in our Luton depot a year ago, and the thinking behind that was to improve capacity. We’re also waiting for a fleet of new trucks, which will come in at the start of 2023, and they will be more fuel efficient.” 

Similarly, Lawrence referenced expanding its geographic reach to more retailers across the country as part of acquisitions made by its parent company, Kitwave Group. 

The company is also developing a service to enable ordering through the instant messaging service WhatsApp. According to Lawrence, Eden Farm has also implemented various initiatives to help retailers manage their overheads.

This includes making more lines available in single-pick. “We know cash flow is really important to retailers,” he said. 

This year, wholesalers and retailers had raised issues about suppliers squeezing the shared margin on price-marked packs (PMPs) by increasing the wholesale cost on core lines. Lawrence had previously told betterRetailing that Eden Farm and “seven large wholesalers” were considering moving towards more plain-pack formats. 

Recently, one senior source from a national wholesaler confirmed to betterRetailing that suppliers were “still being really difficult” on the issue of shared margin. 

Commenting on how Eden Farm Hulleys was progressing on these disputes, Lawrence said: “Our trading director has been spending time with suppliers and looking at the right products to help retailers grow their businesses. We want to ensure the margins are correct.” 

Lawrence confirmed the company is expanding its Farmer Jack’s own-label range to help retailers avoid squeezed margins. The range includes more than 30 frozen PMP products, including fruit, vegetables, chicken fillets and ice cream

“The Farmer Jack’s range is one of the main ways we can help our customers get better margins,” he said. “It varies from product to product, but we aim for 25% margin on the range. 

“Our field sales teams are also being instructed to provide retailers with more education on what’s selling. We’re finding there’s demand for ready meals and they’re telling store owners how to link certain categories together and not just fill the freezer with products. 

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