Martyn Fisher talks to Ian Garrett about Mattessons’ recent success in frozen & chilled.

How has Mattessons helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?

Mattessons Fridge Raiders is increasingly being stocked as part of retailers’ core chilled food offering, which plays to the rapidly growing space of chilled food-to-go. In the convenience channel, Mattessons has a 31% share of the category, and is growing at 15.4%, offering wholesalers a fantastic opportunity to rapidly grow sales in an important shopper mission.

What is the greatest challenge the wholesale industry currently faces?

The primary challenge for the industry is how we grow in a highly uncertain environment with inflationary pressures, political uncertainty and a consolidating – but still fragmented – market. Keeping as close to the needs of customers and shoppers as possible is critical in this period and shoppers’ behaviour will dictate the future structure of the market.

What trends and opportunities are emerging that customers can take advantage of?

The growth in the food-to-go category is a trend that wholesalers can take advantage of. Our recent research has found that 86% of shoppers want the choice of healthier options at the fixture and chilled snacking is a perfect way to offer this.

To get the offering right, wholesale ranges need to develop in alignment with the changing needs of shoppers, so suppliers need to provide great food-to-go solutions playing to choice and healthy eating.

What challenges has Mattessons overcome this past year?

Space at the fixture isn’t growing as fast as chilled food-to-go. Through our ‘nation of chilled experts’ category strategy, we are working closely with our customers to resolve this challenge.

What is Mattessons’ greatest achievement in the past year?

We continue to excel with some fantastic and award-winning brand campaigns. A real highlight is the continued success of Mattessons Fridge Raiders as part of the snacking component of lunchtime meal deals. Mattessons Fridge Raiders is now outperforming major branded confectionery and crisp rates of sales in a number of retailers, as a result of being included in this mechanic. It highlights that shoppers will gravitate to healthier chilled alternatives if they’re given the choice.

What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in fresh & chilled?

Through our trade website, www.chilledexperts.com, we offer support to customers, no matter what stage of developing a chilled range that they’re at. Alongside this, it’s vital to extend ranges beyond milk, spreads and cheese, and look at missions such as food-to-go and occasions such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What would you like to see happening in wholesale in the next 12 months?

Fresh & chilled is growing. Focus areas for wholesalers should be: developing the chilled section in cash & carries, looking at the layout, shopping experience and ranging by mission and occasion; providing category advice and support to the end consumer; and with online’s growth showing no sign of slowing, how to enhance the shopping experience and guide customers to core ranges and bestsellers.

Are you planning any activity that wholesalers should be aware of?

We currently have a fantastic campaign on Mattessons Fridge Raiders in support of Halloween. There is also an upcoming partnership on Mattessons Fridge Raiders towards the end of this year, so keep a look out for our announcement.

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Martyn Fisher
Martyn Fisher is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Martyn can be found on Twitter on @BW_Martyn, or can be contacted via martyn.fisher@newtrade.co.uk and 020 3871 6490.

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