SPECIALIST food broker the JFK Partnership has responsibility for what it sees as five major Scottish brands, Hamlyns of Scotland, Millar, Golden Cross, Nisha’s, and Thomson’s Coffee. And that, says the firm, gives it a leading position in several key product sectors.
Completing the client partnerships is Buchanans, the long established Northern Ireland whole foods producer, plus the iconic Comptons Gravy Salt.
The business was established over 25 years ago, and directors John Kerr and his son Michael say there’s no word that better describes the role of the broker in today’s grocery trade than “partnership”. They’ve taken that as their maxim, and operate in close partnership with each client’s line management.
The JFK Partnership says it offers a well-established, cost-effective, risk-free alternative – the pure sales and marketing brokerage. Operating in much the same way as a full-service route, they deliver all the essential sales and marketing services, but without the disadvantages the client can experience if it surrenders all key functions to a full-service provider.
The company sees one of its major strengths as its ‘all sectors of Scotland’ coverage of grocery, foodservice, confectionery, snacks, and specialist retail. It enables the development of each client’s range to its full potential – in a wide geographical area, in which suppliers struggle to deliver regular sales coverage at an acceptable percentage cost of sales.
“With intense competition and ever tightening margins, the sales and marketing brokerage option wins every time,” John Kerr said.
JFK strives to ensure that the independent trade plays on a level field in all aspects of new product development, marketing support, pricing, and promotional support.
“Parity of pricing and marketing support is at the very core of what we deliver when we bring our customers and clients together to build successful business partnerships,” explained Kerr.
Everyone is having to up their game as never before, and JFK says it’s delighted with the new products, packaging upgrades, media advertising, promotional investment and point-of-sale support, which their clients regularly unveil.
“Convenience stores shouldn’t just allow their customers to use them as a convenience, but create a level of ‘theatre’ which increases their customers’ spend on a high proportion of visits,” he said,
He sees many independents looking to emulate multiples’ sales success from highlighting Scottish brands and running promotions on local products, and he says JFK is particularly well-placed to deliver a wide range of leading Scottish products.
The launch of Hamlyns of Scotland’s new range of porridge pots and sachets, and returning Millar bagged sweets to their position as one of the fastest-selling confectionery brands in Scotland show what can be achieved in today’s busy market, he said.