Posted: 20/02/2019

Hider cuts range by 20% for new lines and own-brand expansion

Hider Foods has announced that it is cutting its product range by 20% to make space for “a raft of new lines” and expand its recently acquired Butler’s Grove range and own-brand products. 

Some 750 products, out of 3,500 lines, are set to be removed from the Hull-based distributor’s portfolio by March to allow the business to add new lines and new producers. 

The decision follows Hider’s move into manufacturing last July after it acquired Dart Valley Food’s Butler’s Grove brand and production equipment. But speaking to FFD, managing director Duncan Hider said the shake-up was “part and parcel of the same plan”.

“We’re really keen to take on new products,” said Hider, “but the only way we can do that is by making room for them, so it’s a good opportunity to wheedle out the products that aren’t working for us.”

He added that the space made from the reshuffle will allow the distributor to expand on its range of Butler’s Grove products as well as its own-brand lines and other key brands it works with. This will result in a higher percentage of Hider’s catalogue consisting of own-brand and in-house lines, which will hopefully appeal to retailers who prefer to deal directly with suppliers.

“There are still a lot retailers out there that prefer to deal with producers directly, so the more brands we can offer that we are directly responsible for the better,” said Hider.

He added that the review – set to be completed by March 2019 – will consider all categories in the distributor’s repertoire as it looks to reduce the number of brands it carries in the first two quarters of the year. Christmas and gifting lines are two sections the distributor wants to increase in time for the fourth quarter.

Although food trends will be on the distributor’s agenda when seeking new lines, Hider said he also wants to hear from retailers about the brands they would like to see from the wholesaler.

“We’re receptive to what is missing,” said Hider. “For the last six months, we have been struggling to take on new products, so now after this rationalisation we want to hear from our customers.

We value their feedback on what they want to see in our catalogue and what they want to see from us.”

This story appeared in the January/February issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

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