Food Matters, Retail food and drink trends

Food wholesalers respond to surge in consumer demand for fresh food

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Food wholesalers are responding to the surge in demand for fresh fruit and veg, by adjusting their businesses to include home delivery options.

With restaurants, bars, and hotels shut, traditional wholesale food businesses have seen a massive drop in demand for their produce at the same time that supermarkets and home delivery companies are surging beyond their normal capacity. With many consumers unable to find the items they need at their local shops, or unable to leave home, agile businesses have been adapting their business models to cater for their needs.

Among these are London-based butcher HG Walter, who typically supply high-end restaurants, retailers and hoteliers, but who’ve switched to accepting orders for home delivery for items such as burger kits, fresh veg, fruit, and vacuum packed meat. They’ve seen thousands of orders for their packs in just a few days.

Speaking to the BBC, HG Walter director Adam Heanen commented, ““We are used to doing 350 deliveries a day, but it’s just on a much smaller scale now. We were able to adapt our website and use our existing drivers and vans.”

Similarly, Cafe Deli Wholesale created a website in just a few days to accept orders from individual homes, offering grains, rice, dairy products, pasta and more delivered direct to homes. They also offer priority access and discounts for NHS workers as well. Owner Mauro Cappellazzi explains “Online orders are a completely new thing for us but so many people need food now and we need to keep our business. It’s our responsibility to do what we can to help people, especially those who can’t leave their homes.”