In and out-of-home channels come together to provide mutual support

Date : 20 March 2020

Patrick Mitchell-Fox

Senior Analyst

As demand in the foodservice channel collapses but demand in the food retail channel soars, the two sides of the food industry are now exploring ways in which foodservice suppliers and wholesalers can support retailers by switching supply into supermarkets and convenience stores.

British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) launches ‘The Frozen Food Platform’

As a trade body with a broad membership in both food service and retail, The British Frozen Food Federation has launched The Frozen Food Platform.  This is an information exchange to gather details on the capabilities of frozen suppliers to the out-of-home channel to be shared with retail members who may be seeking new sources of supply at this time of unprecedented demand.  The service is open to all suppliers whether members of BFFF or not.

Richard Harrow, Chief Executive BFFF commented:

‘We are trying to match these manufacturing members with grocery retailers who are experiencing a surge in demand that’s reached levels normally only seen during the peak Christmas trading period.  Whilst it may drop back it is clear that food normally consumed out of home will switch to increased home consumption.’

Unitas seeking to share products across channel boundaries

Unitas the leading national wholesale buying group, which counts significant numbers of both retail and foodservice channel operators amongst its 172 members is also acting to explore ways in which retail members can access surplus stock from foodservice.  Opportunities also exist to share resources such as delivery vehicles and drivers where these are being underused.  Darren Goldney, Managing Director, Unitas, commented: ‘We are connecting members who need additional lines with those who are selling less as a result of the virus.’

For further information on the industry responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) see: