Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s March issue. As the weather brightens it’s the custom for the UK grocery industry to take to the road in March and visit trade shows. Hence in this issue we preview two big events coming up shortly, the Retail Business Technology Expo, at Earl’s Court from Tuesday 11th to Wednesday 12th March, and Food & Drink Expo and its sister show Foodex, both at the NEC from Monday 24th to Wednesday 26th March.
Also in this issue we have our Fridges, Chillers and Air Conditioning feature. As the weather gets warmer, it’s vital for stores to stay cool, and we have the latest news on in-store chiller cabinets and refrigerated display units, back of store storage units and more, plus hot news from the recent ACR show.
In our exclusive interviews we catch up with John Armstrong, Kepak Convenience Foods’ Marketing Director. As Kepak’s ‘Hot Quick & Tasty’ merchandising initiative gathers speed, Kepak continue to put their money where their mouth is with their ongoing mission to build the category, bringing out new products and pulling in the consumers with innovative advertising. This year Kepak are making another major investment in top microwaveable snack Rustlers, starting with a new TV campaign shifting Rustlers’ hunger solution message from ‘speed-focused’ to ‘satisfaction-focused’, while keeping the hallmark Rustlers humour.
In our other interview we hear from Mark Pearson, RB UK Category Marketing Director. As a world leader in household, health and personal care, RB is committed to growing every market it’s in, and its move into the UK Vitamin, Mineral and Supplement market this spring with the launch of MegaRed, the No 1 selling SKU in the US VMS section, is no different. In what the company promises will be a game changer for the category, RB UK is launching MegaRed, its new omega-3 food supplement containing krill oil, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, into the British market. The launch is supported by a £5million promotional campaign, which is an unprecedented level of support in the UK VMS category.
Finally, The Grocery Trader would like to pay tribute to Faizel Vohra, Account Manager at Preston PR agency MTJ Associates, who died recently in a tragic road accident. Faizel, who was in his late 20s and married in the last few months, joined MTJA in June 2011, working on trade and consumer PR. In November 2012, he featured in PR Week as one of ‘29 under 29’, a competition to find the best young talent in UK PR. We extend our warmest condolences and deepest sympathy to Faizel’s family and his colleagues at MTJA. He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him, and will be remembered among other things for his part in launching the Caribbean Food Week, now a regular fixture in the UK food calendar, and his more lighthearted role as question setter for the Kepak Pub Quiz, which has become an extremely popular annual trade press event.