As a fine food wholesaler, we certainly know the importance of the Christmas period for both our suppliers and customers. Whether you’re a convenience store, fine food store or deli, the key to a successful Christmas is to stock the best.
So as retailers prepare for the biggest selling period of the year, we’ve been speaking to some of our Christmas suppliers to see what must stock products they have in store for us this year.
Christmas is definitely time to display a wide range of alcoholic beverages. When Brakspear closed its brewery in Henley-on-Thames in 2002, its head brewer, Peter Scholey, decided to create his own business with his wife, Vanda - Ridgeway Beers. Based on the ridgeway in South Stoke, with a new ecologically-focussed brewery in Sussex, the range of Christmas beers from Ridgeway Beers is like no other.
Peter, founder, says: “We do about a quarter of our business in the Christmas period so it’s really important to us! Last year, the best selling Christmas beer was Very Bad Elf at 7.5% abv, but it will be interesting to see if this remains the case this year as we supply Cotswold Fayre with six other speciality beers. From Bad Elf India Pale Ale to Reindeer’s Revolt, our Christmas beers are very popular either to give as a gift or to drink for yourself!”
Famous for its Gourmet Mulling Syrup, Selsley is one of our top Christmas suppliers. For the small family business based in Cirencester, the Christmas season is huge, with up to 70% of its annual sales taking place.
Paul Hunt, founder, says: “Our Gourmet Mulling Syrup has been our bestselling product for many years. The non-alcoholic flavoured syrup can be added to wine to create the most delicious mulled wine throughout the festive period. We are also working on rebranding our Ginger Beer Making Kit, another good seasonal seller from our range, and hope to see an increase in sales as a result of this, as it makes an excellent gift.”
We’re excited to be working with some fabulous new suppliers this year, including Jenny Wren and the range of luxurious Belgian chocolate gift boxes. Research shows that the majority of boxed chocolate sales occur within two key seasonal periods: Easter and Christmas, so it’s no surprise that Jenny Wren has introduced a new Christmas Collection Gift Box.
For Jenny Wren, presentation is just as important as product quality. Mike Stainfield, founder, says: “We find that our gift boxes are so popular because of the sense of luxury and exclusivity created by the design and packaging. Chocolate gift boxes found in supermarkets tend to lose this exclusivity, so people look elsewhere and are always willing to pay a premium price for a premium product, especially a Christmas gift.”
Confectionery is a huge category at Christmas, so we are always looking for new and innovative suppliers to add to our catalogue. Cocoba makes 150 delicious chocolate products from its production unit in Kent which opened last year, after its flagship store and chocolate café opened at the end of 2013.
Darren Litton, founder, says: “We are excited to be supplying Cotswold Fayre for the first time this year. We have a variety of Christmas bestsellers including our range of Marshmallow Hot Chocolate Spoons, available in a variety of flavours, great for a gift at Christmas.
“If you’re looking for a unique, premium alternative for your Christmas table, you’ll want to stock our Christmas Crackers this year! Each contains a mini chocolate bar, two of our infamous Cocoa Dusted Salted Toffee Truffles and of course a hat and a joke!”
Cocoba also offers a fantastic range of Christmas Gift Tins, filled with delicious salted caramel or salted toffee truffles, presented in a beautifully designed festive tin, for the perfect gift at Christmas.
As a fine food wholesaler, our Christmas wholesale range covers a wide range of categories including baking, confectionery, grocery and store cupboard essentials, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, make your own gift sets and chilled.