Food wholesalers reveal they're the 'best kept secret' as they offer next day delivery on essential items
15 April 2020, 11:52 | Updated: 15 April 2020, 11:55
Food wholesalers are making online home deliveries to sell stock during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many shoppers have been struggling to order food from supermarkets online, with delivery slots booked up for weeks in advance.
However, now some food wholesalers are supplying essentials to households across the country within 24 hours, describing themselves as the ‘best kept secret’.
Wholesalers usually sell to restaurants, leisure facilities and food retailers, but many have started offering their stock online to the general public, after hospitality services were ordered to shut due to government restrictions.
And because their warehouses stock large quantities of items, essentials such as toilet roll, rice, pasta and flour are in plentiful supply, despite supermarket shelves being stripped over the past few weeks.
Tom Matthew, director of wholesalers Dunsters Farm, told the Daily Mail that the lockdown initially led to a drop in orders, so they were forced to change the business.
He explained: “We lost 95 percent of our business with the closures of schools, cafes, hospitality, etc so we had to pivot the business quickly to safeguard the future of our business and long term job security for our 50-strong team.
“We are proud to say that this adaptation has meant that we have retained all of our staff.”
Chief Products Officer, Sezer Ozkul, from wholesaler JJ Foodservice also revealed that demand from members of the public has increased 400 percent since the lockdown.
He told the Daily Mail: “We have always been open to the general-public but only five per cent of our customer base were households.
“No one really knew about us. We used to refer to ourselves as the 'best kept secret.”
Explaining how they were forced to adapt their selling strategy, he added: “On March 21st we had an emergency strategy meeting.
“By the end of the day, our Next Day Home Delivery Service was live, offering next day deliveries for orders placed by 9pm with a minimum order of just £79.”
Some items sold by wholesalers also offer competitive prices to rival supermarkets including fruit and vegetables, bread and eggs.
A list of wholesalers currently offering delivery services:
Bidfood - next day delivery, depending on location, or click and collect
Birchalls Food and Drink - home delivery
Brakes Foodservice - home delivery depending on location
Butler's Larder - home delivery in Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
Creed Food services - home delivery or collection in selected areas.
Dunsters Farm Food - next day delivery in Greater Manchester.
JJ Foodservice - next day delivery depending on location.
New Covent Garden Market - next day delivery