Manufacturers must utilise better product data tools, wholesale leader warns

Caterforce MD Nick Redford pictured at the buying group's conference in 2017

Hot on the heels of tragic cases involving Pret a Manger and allergen labelling, the managing director of a leading foodservice buying group has warned manufacturers they risk losing out on sales by not using tools that help with product data updates.

Caterforce’s Nick Redford has called on suppliers to FMCG wholesalers to subscribe to Erudus in order to “work with the rest of the industry”.

Erudus is a software programme which enables manufacturers to quickly share changes to ingredients and allergen information with more than 100 wholesalers at the click of a button.

Redford says Caterforce’s members place huge value on suppliers who use Erudus because of the benefits to everyone in the foodservice chain.

“Erudus is used by 117 wholesalers and 85,000 caterers,” he said. “It is a no-brainer that manufacturers should also be using it.

“Many suppliers still use the likes of Microsoft Excel and Word to provide updates to product data. This can have big consequences for wholesalers and caterers. For example, it increases the risk of human error and an end-user being supplied incorrect allergen information.”

He added: “It is time for all suppliers to see the bigger picture and work with the rest of the industry. It could be the difference between supplying a wholesaler and not.”

One Caterforce member, Castell Howell, introduced SushiSushi to Erudus and the supplier has increased sales as a direct result of signing up to the software.

Stuart Turner, founder and managing director of SushiSushi, said: “Being a part of Erudus proves you are not a fly-by-night operation. It also shows potential customers you are capable of successfully handling big clients, for example, those with multiple sites.”

Jon Shayler, chief operating officer at Erudus, said: “The message from wholesalers is simple: join Erudus and use the software your customers use.

“Erudus is the largest foodservice data pool in the UK, and we are positioned to bring the entire food industry together by offering a single place for its data needs.

“In addition to encouraging new manufacturers to come on board, it is vital that existing suppliers keep their product info up to date.”


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