Sales at Tree of Life hit £50 million last year, thanks to a 10% growth in revenues at the company during the year ending 31 March 2016.
The company says that this performance confirms its position as the UK’s leading health, natural and organic food wholesale distributor. Strong growth has been achieved, it says, through the continued development of the company’s multi-channel strategy. While it has continued to expand its operations with independent retailers, it has also built new partnerships with mainstream bricks and mortar stores and major online retailers, including a high profile presence on both Amazon and Ocado.
Tree of Life’s broad offering of over 10,000 lines – half of them organic –is enabling retailers tap into some of the fastest growing market sectors, such as free from, raw and vegetarian, says CEO John Weaver: “Incidence of actual allergy or intolerance remains relatively low, as a percentage of population. For example, only 2 per cent of the populace suffer from Coeliac disease. Despite this, we are detecting a growing preference for free-from products generally, as consumers fine-tune their lifestyles.
“Significant improvements in the quantity and quality of information about diet has led to a greater awareness about the dangers of allergens. This is leading consumers to switch to either partially or completely remove allergen-containing foods from their diets.
“While these recent trends are clearly a bonus for the traditional health food sector, we are seeing specific categories moving from advised sale sectors of health food stores and pharmacies into the mainstream grocery distribution. All classes of trade now have serious interest in these categories which are fast losing their ‘specialist’ status as they become a regular feature of consumers’ baskets.”
“We are seeing specific categories moving from advised sale sectors of health food stores and pharmacies into the mainstream grocery distribution”
The wholesaler’s own brand has also achieved major growth, with a 44 percent increase in sales during the year. It continues to have its own shop on Ocado (www.ocado.com/treeoflife) and products are now also available through Amazon. Tree of Life plans to extend its range to 500 lines by the end of 2016, a 25 percent increase. Categories covered within its portfolio span from breakfast, bakery and snacking to confectionery, pasta, rice, ready meals and soups.
The company also remains committed to working with a selection of key brands in the free from and natural categories, such as Lucy Bee, Navitas Naturals and BetterBody Foods, helping them gain listings in the UK grocery and health food retail sectors.
Weaver added: “Consecutive years of double-digit growth is helping develop our reputation as the ‘go-to’ one-stop supplier of in innovative healthy and natural food products. We have achieved market-beating growth again this year and as we continue to work with new brands and invest in our own label products, I’m confident this year will see yet more significant growth for our business.”