Welcome to the March issue of The Grocery Trader. Spring is on the way and it’s Easter at the end of the month, giving consumer spending a welcome lift after the winter.
Retailing depends more than ever on technology, and in this issue we’ve got our RBTE 2016 Preview. Once again The Grocery Trader is proud to be a media partner to this prestigious event, showcasing the latest and best in retail tech at Olympia London from Wednesday 9th to Thursday 10th March. What makes RBTE so important as an event is that it’s the ideal place for people in the multiple grocers to see how retail technology can make a difference to their business. In these pages we give you a flavour of the event and a taste of the exhibitors. If you’re visiting the Show, come and see us on stand 753.
The EU continues to impose its authority on how products are sold here. As our Smoking & Vaping feature explains, the upcoming Tobacco Products Directive, which becomes effective in May, presents a significant challenge for both the regulation-bound tobacco sector and the booming vaping market. The TPD will usher in sweeping changes affecting cigarettes and affect marketing, production and sale of e-cigs.
It’s good to report brands making progress in the big retailers and driving categories forward. On our cover No.G, the award-winning gluten free pies, quiches and tarts brand, has landed a major new retail listing, hitting Morrisons stores nationwide. Following the successful launch of No.G’s sausage roll in selected Morrisons stores, the supermarket has listed eight pie, quiche and dessert SKUs nationwide, a milestone in gluten free products’ ongoing development.
Skills training is vital to our industry’s future. In the other story on our front page Verner Wheelock, the Yorkshire-based food industry training company, has announced the winners of its first Excellence Awards. The Awards were launched in 2015 to coincide with Verner Wheelock’s 25th anniversary and recognise the students’ achievements on their courses. Leeds-based convenience food producer Symington’s was the winner of the Verner Wheelock Company of the Year Excellence Award. After training with Verner Wheelock, Symingtons’ delegates have won the RSPH Award for Level 4 Food Safety in Manufacturing two years running, achieving the highest exam results in the UK.
Have a good month and enjoy the Easter break.