Established nearly 30 years ago, Today’s has grown to become the UK’s largest buying group with over 250 members, with a combined buying power of £5 billion. And we're not resting on our laurels; instead in an increasingly challenging and changing marketplace, Today's have found the key to unlocking untapped potential in the foodservice arena.
Today's: Food for Thought
Last year, the Today's Group celebrated its Silver Jubilee - although its foodservice arm dates back to 1985.
Trading ﬁgures for 2012 showed that despite the murmurs of a triple dip recession, Today's had grown ahead of the market at +3% in value and +1% in volume. The majority of its 56 catering suppliers saw sales grow ahead of the market in 2012, taking share from operators such as Brake and 3663.
According to latest data (Him! and Allegra), the total foodservice and catering supplies market in this country is worth £42 billion annually and is forecast to grow to £50 billion by 2017. The independents' share is an annual £27.2 billion.
With more than 226,000 independent catering establishments in the UK, approximately one in nine meals is now eaten out of the home, with 34% of all adults buying a take-out lunch. One in three of us eat out every month - a ﬁgure that has not changed over the last couple of years, despite the failing economy.
However, what has changed is the consumer demand for value and quality. This is reﬂected in quick serve restaurants like McDonalds and Subway. This has created a range of good 'Me Too' independents, which food wholesalers like yours can help to become established.
Adapting to Market Trends
While frequency of dining out remains steadfast, consumer spend has fallen; diners might now cut out a course, have a glass instead of a bottle of wine and opt to share a pudding. As a Today's food wholesaler member, your supplier is working to help its customers adapt to these trends, by supporting outlets that wish to cater for cheaper eating out occasions.
Menu innovation - with a concentration on new cuisines and healthy dishes - another area that has helped maintain consumer interest. Your supplier, in line with other Today's members, has worked to meet greater demand for quality produce and improve its oﬀerings enabling you to stand out from the crowd.
What consumers see in supermarkets and on TV cookery programmes they want to try when eating out - which is why Today's group food wholesalers now supply chorizo burgers, wild boar sausages and vegetarian ﬁsh and chips with Halloumi!
Building Loyalty & Driving Frequency
Along with other Today's Group food wholesaler members, your catering supplier is busy working to identify areas of growth and to embrace new technologies. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are now used by more than 50% of chefs.
They have become a marketing tool for communicating oﬀers of the day, food trends and a source of real time recipe ideas based on daily stock availability. With 35 million users, social networking sites now account for a quarter of the time spent online in the UK.
So, if you're not already making the most of these platforms, ask your catering supplier for help.
Read more about Foodservice here.