Bestway and Ferrero: The secret to our success

Bestway Trading Director Kenton Burchell shares why the wholesaler’s relationship with Ferrero is beneficial for both businesses and reaping rewards

How do you work with Ferrero currently?

We have a longstanding, sustainable relationship with Ferrero. The team here at Bestway work with its team at all levels in a structured way, with regular meetings, check-ins and quarterly reviews. We also work in a more informal way with regular ad hoc calls, which ensures we have great ongoing communication.

Our relationship is one of mutual respect and an in-depth knowledge of each other’s businesses, which is invaluable. The team at Ferrero have such longevity in the business, and this knowledge, experience and stability simply can’t be underestimated.

The Ferrero team have a thorough understanding of the wholesale sector and it’s clear they value the channel as a powerful route to market. This really helps the relationship and ensures we’re in tune regarding expectation and support on both sides.

There is excellent responsibility taken by both teams, and a huge level of trust and mutual respect, which is a direct result of the considerable experience of those involved. It can be hard to build trust where there’s a lack of experience – a proven track record of doing what you say you will really is invaluable.

Working together doesn’t always mean you agree to do what the other wants as both businesses have their own pressures, but with Ferrero, there is always compromise and understanding. Challenges don’t have to be unhelpful; there is always a way forward.

Have there been any changes in the past 12 months?

During the past year, there has been a lot of inflation in the market and Ferrero has worked with us well to manage this appropriately. We have also had personnel changes, both at Bestway and Ferrero, and they have been handled well with no detriment to the account.

What is clear about Ferrero is that it is a business always striving for innovation.

We don’t support all supplier NPD due to the risk, but we are always interested in our key partners’ innovation as we have such a strong track record. Plus, the excellent relationship we have means we can have open conversations about how confident we should be. The proposition has to be good, such as with Kinder Cards, and as Ferrero knows our business so well, it can make suggestions for collaborative initiatives that it knows will reap rewards.

How is Ferrero performing right now?

We’re doing really well together, after a successful year in 2022. Ferrero sales are ahead of overall category performance and together, we’re performing ahead of inflation, both in value and volume.

Ferrero is known for its excellent new product development, so how do you work with its team to successfully activate in depot and get retailers’ attention?

With Ferrero, activity is planned way ahead of time as the earlier we know about innovation and strategy, the better it can inform our plans. Activations and marketing strategies form part of our joint business plans and at this stage we like to know the type of launch it will be in order to give it as much exposure as possible across our channels and in depot.

It always starts with planning where NPD fits within the category. Is it innovation that will change the dynamics of the category, or is it an extension of an existing brand? Where does it add value? Once this has been ascertained, we look to determine the level and sequence of activation, such as our retailer communications, deals leaflets and marketing collateral in depot.

It’s very much a work of collaboration – we work together to make suggestions of what we each feel will work most effectively from both a supplier and wholesaler perspective.

Can you give an example of how Bestway and Ferrero have worked well in partnership?

Traditionally, Pancake Day has always been about batter mix, sugar and lemon juice, but actually, Nutella has now become a go-to product of choice.

The big opportunity posed by Pancake Day was that it has above-the-line marketing on TV and media channels that we could tap into to connect with retailers to communicate this huge opportunity. This year’s Pancake Day activation was the first time we were able to extend it out further across all marketing touchpoints as we knew Nutella would resonate with retailers and their customers.

Is there an example of excellent Ferrero in-depot activation that you can share?

We worked with Ferrero to deliver an end-to-end activation plan for Kinder, which was incredibly successful. By working closely with us, Ferrero was able to take advantage of our existing events and use in-depot theatre to bring its products and promotions to life.

What stands out about Ferrero is that it has a strong field team who come to our events and optimise every opportunity to engage with retailers.

They work closely with us at all stages – pre, during and post event.

Ahead of events, Ferrero not only ensures all collateral is provided with great theatre but everything is underpinned by a fantastic promotional offer too. Suppliers, such as Ferrero, who also run retailer incentives and competitions, see a significant difference in take-up too. Those suppliers who invest time, thought and budget are always the most successful.

What do you think retailers and their customers are most looking for in the confectionery category?

In the category, trust and excitement are the big drivers. It’s a treat category, so it has to be enjoyed, but it also has to be relied on – customers will be looking for reasons to indulge. By supporting Ferrero’s core range, we’re delivering bestselling products that retailers can trust to deliver sales, while excitement can come from seasonal lines, pack offers, flavour variations or even a brand extension that offers a slightly different proposition, such as the Nutella Biscuit.

Crucially, retailers need to know they can back products without being worried about taking a risk on a case that won’t sell. Retailers are very mindful of both availability and margin, especially right now, and these are key considerations when deciding whether to stock a product.

What are your future plans with Ferrero?

We want to build momentum with all our trusted partners, and with Ferrero, we fully expect our plans to go from strength to strength. Ferrero provide great brands, such as Kinder, Nutella and Thorntons, and continually demonstrates innovation and, essentially, we understand each other’s businesses.

We are committed to continue to work with Ferrero to take things further, both in terms of core range delivery and new products to reflect emerging trends and to deliver excellent sales for our retailers.

activation Bestway Wholesale confectionery Ferrero Kenton Burchell NPD