Seven things we learnt at the Caterforce conference

Caterforce’s biennial conference welcomed 300 delegates from across the foodservice industry to South Wales, with the buying group revealing that it is forecasting revenue of £537 million for 2019 – a 9.1% increase compared to two years ago.

Interim managing director Gary Mullineux also explained that the group has made £37m in investments over the past two years on buildings, transport and technology, with this spend scheduled to continue into 2020.

“As a group it’s been a very successful 12 months and the business is in an extremely healthy position,” explained Mullineux. “Each of our seven members has continued to grow, invest its infrastructure and as a group we’ve put a lot time as well as budget into key areas such as people, technology and locations.”

Here are seven things we learnt at the event:

  1. After predicting it two years ago, interim managing director Gary Mullineux revealed that coffee shops and cafes have now taken over as the buying group’s biggest customer sector.
  2. Mullineux also explained that Caterforce is out-performing the market and forecasts its turnover to be £600m by 2021, with an average turnover of £77m per member.
  3. The UK foodservice sector is predicted to grow from £98.4bn to £106bn in total market value by 2030, according to Future Foodservice founder Simon Stenning.
  4. Caterforce  now has a 11.3% share of the independent foodservice market, with a lot of the growth stemming from medium-sized operators.
  5. Caterforce has launched a new CSR policy and code of conduct for suppliers. The new strategy contains aims for itself as well as each of its seven members.
  6. The buying group’s own brand, Chefs’ Selections, has committed to removing the use of all black plastics and moving to unbleached cardboard by 2022. It has also pledged to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  7. According to UK economist Liam Halligan, the UK should be careful about spending due to its public sector debt having increased from 28% to 88% since 2001

Mullineux appointed Caterforce interim MD

Caterforce announces sales growth

Caterforce launches coffee brand

Nick Redford to step down as Caterforce managing director

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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