Musgrave Wholesale Partners Noel Keeley talks to BW about the opportunity presented by the merging foodservice and convenience retail markets.
The Musgrave Marketplace in Ballymun, Dublin, is being refurbished in the new year and will act as a showcase for retail and foodservice customers.
BW: We’re seeing some of the most entrepreneurial retailers moving into foodservice, offering food to go or even a sit down meal within their shops. Where is the opportunity for wholesalers?
NK: “The reality of it is that a lot of these products are now sold to both customer types (retail and foodservice operators). So there’s a real opportunity for us to take convenience retail to the next level and bring it to life downstairs on the floor. There’s an opportunity to take foodservice and bring it to life. As I’ve said to my own management team, we can have Catex every day on seven different sites across the country.
“I think this is where there is a real challenge for big box retailers because the products that will lend themselves more to internet shopping are the products that it’s not much fun to shop for, so personal care, ambient groceries. We all know we’ve got to buy toothpaste, shampoo, cereal, flour. And there’s no great fun or excitement about going to shop for those things, you just know you need to get them. And I think those type of products will generally move their way towards the internet faster which leaves then the gap in the market being food for now or food for later, food that I can go and consume now because I need a solution or fresh food that I can go and take home that I can prepare in the next 24-48 hours and this is where convenience stores in my view have a great opportunity now – it should be their finest hour.