Essential chills out

Bristol-based wholesaler Essential Trading is expanding its chilled and frozen storage facilities in order to meet increasing consumer demand in these sectors.

Chilled foods currently represent about 10% of all UK retail foods by value, and with consumers demanding fresh and healthy versions of convenience food, this makes the chilled sector a dynamic one within health food retailing.

In the past three years Essential Trading has seen a 200% increase in refrigerated goods and it sees plenty more potential as brands are continuing to develop innovative new products. Eli Sarre, marketing manager, says: “In recent years the offering has become increasingly sophisticated – from nutritious dips and dairy-free desserts to coconut water with kefir and raw pomegranate juice.”

“As well as doubling our cold storage capacity we are replacing our units with more energy efficient equipment,” says Richard Crook, the company’s finance co-director. “We’ve been planning this for some time and it’s coincided with a significant upturn in sales at Essential Trading,” he continued, adding that the company’s sales increased by 10% in 2013 and that it is expecting a turnover of £13 million.

The wholesaler is increasing its refrigerated/frozen range by 145 products and nine new or augmented brands, including products from Amy’s Kitchen, Biona, Razzle Dazzle, Natural Cool and Marinoë.