At the many industry events I’ve attended over the years, discussion about the future of convenience has been dominated by fresh and chilled. But at the latest big future seminar, just like that, it switched to a new flavour: coffee and foodservice.

Hang on, what’s happened to fresh and chilled, I thought? That bubble certainly hasn’t burst though; fresh makes up 40% of Roli Ranger’s sales in his new Sunninghill Londis. And retailers haven’t cracked it yet either. Even the best are always on the lookout for the latest product, trend or opportunity.

A month or so ago, one of RN’s account managers, Dwain, was presenting to Yoplait, when someone from the company pulled out a copy of RN’s What to Stock guide and pointed out that while it offers 26 ranging guides covering virtually every part of your store, a category we have yet to cover is fresh and chilled.

This made me realise that while it’s flowed through many of our profiles and category features, we’ve never given you the tools to manage this hugely important category effectively in a way that inspires you.

That’s why we’ve made this our fresh and chilled issue, with a focus on who’s shopping this category, which products they’re buying, the companies to work with and advice from three brilliant retailers who have taken very different approaches to meeting their customers’ needs.

Whether you’re just starting out with fresh or are looking to take your range up a level, there is something inside for you

Whether you’re just starting out with fresh or are looking to take your range up a level, there is something inside for you.

And those of you thinking “isn’t foodservice the next big thing?” don’t miss our in-depth guide to the category on 14 August.