Records tumble at Fairway members event

Sales top £1million as deal-hungry members create “incredible” total

There were handshakes aplenty at Fairway Foodservice’s meet-the-member event, as a record number of deals were struck to take sales past the £1million mark.

The bi-annual event saw 20 Fairway members and 39 suppliers get down to business at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire, with a bumper attendance beating the previous best for total agreements – set at £971,000 last September.

New product development (NPD) was the focus of the foodservice buying group’s show, with more than 30 new lines showcasing upcoming trends in the market.

With a host of multinational brands, including Heinz and Nestle, rubbing shoulders with smaller companies, there was an array of discussions to be had, with Fairway Marketing and Events Manager Richard Ellison understandably delighted with the results.

“Breaking through the £1million barrier is incredible,” he said. “What makes the achievement even more notable is that we clearly struck the right balance between encouraging sales, introducing new suppliers that are not trading with us and NPD.

“It’s evident from the deals concluded that our members were impressed with the range of products, as well as the suppliers in attendance. We are confident that long-term relationships have been forged.

“The success is a complete team effort between our members, suppliers and the Fairway staff. We take the time to truly understand what our members want and need, as well as work closely with the suppliers to provide a high-quality, cost-effective solution.”

Part of Fairway’s success was down to a couple of tweaks to the format of past events, with the first day’s speed-dating style meetings followed by small group get-togethers, where suppliers spoke to three or four wholesalers at the same time.

Suppliers and wholesalers left the event gaining more than just new business, with benefits ranging further than simply the number of deals completed.

“It’s not just about buying,” insisted King Bros Managing Director Martin King. “While buying is a huge aspect of it, finding new products and gathering little snippets from people about the things they do to help their business is invaluable. We take the information back and try it out ourselves.”

The next Fairway meet the member event is scheduled for 11 and 12 September.

£1million event Fairway Foodservice member sales