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UK family owned, operated:

Fresh producer supplier offers products across the food service

Reynolds is the only national fresh produce supplier to the UK foodservice industry to still be family owned and run, according to Andy Weir, Reynolds’ Head of Marketing.

“Although we now supply products right across the food service, it’s fair to say that our largest customer segment is restaurants. This sector is what the company was built on and I would say that over half of our customer base is still made up of restaurants. But this is changing as the business is targeting other sectors such as education and healthcare. We also have a sizeable amount of hotel, business and industry and travel and leisure customers.”

Reynolds sources as much as possible from the UK when produce is in season, but to give the customer more choice, Andy says that the company sometimes imports less expensive products from abroad even when they are in season in Britain.

“It gives the customer the choice between provenance and value. We also have a contracted grower base instead of spot buying from the market. This means that we set up a six month contract twice a year, and the customer gets fixed prices, guaranteed availability and consistent quality, all of which is very important to us. Our suppliers are also either Assured Farm or Global GAP certified.”

Like many fresh produce companies, Reynolds has invested in the rise in popularity of superfoods such as kale, and aims to give customers the opportunity to innovate with these products.

“If you take kale as an example, we have started supplying new varieties such as red Russian and baby, to enable our customers to mix up their menus and stay on trend. We supply different types of micro herbs, which have been around for a long time, but are becoming much more mainstream. However, the variety available now is quite staggering! We also employ our own food development team, who work with customers to develop menus and give them new ideas.”

Reynolds supplies the top 5 fastest growing full-service restaurant chains in the UK; Byron, Loungers, Cote, Bill’s and Ed’s Easy Diner.

Andy believes that one of Reynolds’ main advantages here is that wherever the restaurants open, the specialist greengrocer is able to supply them, due to their wide network. “We currently have around 250 trucks, which operate from our national distribution center and five satellite depots, with plans to open another depot next year. This is to enable expansion without stretching the capacity at current sites.”

The company’s national distribution center is located at Waltham Cross, and all produce goes to this location first before being taken to a satellite by environmentally friendly artic trucks.

“The great advantage of our central distribution center is that all produce goes through the same tech department and quality control team, ensuring complete consistency across the UK. What’s more, because all of our produce is contracted, we also know exactly where it comes from and can track it.This has been especially beneficial to us since the horse meat scandal, as more operators now realize the importance of traceability, food safety and accountability for all kinds of products. Businesses that want to protect their brand will pay just that little bit more for food safety to safeguard their reputation, as a food scare can be very damaging to a company.”

For more information:
Andy Weir
Tel: +44 (0)845 6348 260
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