The Celtic Manor resort in Wales played host to Caterforce’s recent conference, with suppliers and wholesalers from the foodservice industry coming together for a day of insight, awards and networking.

Here are six key takeaways from the day:

1. Caterforce managing director Gary Mullineux announced turnover growth for the company, with 2021 above 2019 levels. He also revealed a new weekly e-sales report feature for members.

2. Personnel from Dunsters, Caterforce, Pilgrim Foodservice and Lynas Foodservice called on foodservice suppliers to improve the marketing of their products in order to make the most of the huge opportunity of the retail market.

3. TWC’s Tom Fender suggested the growth in veganism may have stalled and that this could be a result of the cost-of-living crisis. His company’s data also showed a reduction in visits to sandwich shops, cafes and fast-food outlets from the company’s survey of over 1,0000 Caterforce member customers. However, visits to pubs have bucked the trend and remain in growth.

4. Hunt’s Food Group managing director Tom Hunt outlined the points of difference Caterforce members can offer, with the regional focus of each member and the support of local communities continuing to be a focal point for all eight.

5. Castel Howell’s Edward Morgan delivered an overview of the group’s sustainability work, confirming that the members are now measuring Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, whislt also now starting to measure Scope 3, with some members also becoming Real Living Wage employers.
6. Concluding the conference, Dunsters Farm’s Tom Mathew outlined the investment and future direction of Caterforce, with £26m invested into the eight wholesalers over the past year, and a further £37m of planned investment over the next 12 months.

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