Fairway Foodservice held its best ever Meet the Member event, with a record number of deals concluded over the two days.
Deals worth more than £900,000 were recorded between Fairway’s 19 members and the 43 suppliers who attended.
It marks an amazing start to 2017 for the buying group, which also voted in Miller Foodservice as its newest member at the event.
The £904,000 worth of deals smashes the previous record of £740,000 in March 2016.
The event saw 43 suppliers meet with Fairway members in a speed dating-style format, using 20-minute appointments to pitch more than 100 new products and special offers.
The bi-annual event, held at Birmingham’s Villa Park, gives Fairway Foodservice members an opportunity to share information on the foodservice industry and talk to suppliers about their product lines.
Fairway Foodservice chief executive Chris Binge said: “It’s superb to break the record. The fact that more than £900,000 of deals were concluded illustrates how important and impactful our Meet the Member events are.
“We constantly listen to member and supplier feedback and amend the format and logistics where possible. This allows us to put on such a beneficial event.
“Everything we plan and deliver is with our members in mind, and our meet the member event is no exception.”
Suppliers ranged from multinational companies such as Tetley and Kellogg’s to successful British businesses, including the UK’s largest independent chocolate supplier HB Ingredients.
A to Z Catering’s managing director Hifsi Ayrancioglu, whose company joined the buying group in November 2016, was thrilled with his first taste of a Fairway Meet the Member event.
“It was perfect and I loved it,” he said. “It was professionally run and well organised.
“It was different to other events I have been to, and what I really liked about this one was getting to meet each supplier and have a one on one conversation with them about their products and services.
“It was very productive and worthwhile attending.”
Tracey Hughes, foodservice account manager at HB Ingredients, said: “The day was the most successful event that we have conducted in foodservice over the last five years.
“This wasn’t just in terms of business gained on the day, which was a huge result for us, but also the investment from members looking at NPD and innovation going forward.
“We have quite a big action plan, which is excellent, and will hopefully deliver fantastic growth for all parties.”
Stuart Dawber, Business Manager at Tetley GB, said: “Tea is constantly evolving and Fairway’s Meet the Member events give us the opportunity to meet with wholesalers to discuss latest trends in tea in the foodservice environment, the opportunities to grow sales and how we can work in partnership to make this happen”.
“The events are an ideal forum to spark a conversation with key people that we deal with and build new relationships.”
Fairway Foodservice’s next Meet the Member event is on 12 and 13 September.
Fairway Foodservice is a buying and marketing organisation, which operates on behalf of wholesalers based in the UK, Ireland and Spain. Founded in 1984 by five frozen food wholesale distribution companies, it has grown from a collective turnover of £7m in 1984 to £650.5m in 2016.
Alongside access to Fairway Foodservice’s extensive range of products, members benefit from collective buying power on a number of lines, significant marketing support and subscription discounts to the Erudus One product specification database.
For more information on Fairway Foodservice, follow the group on Twitter @fairwayfood or visit www.fairwayfoodservice.com.