Musgrave Wholesale evolves with changing customer behaviours: MD Michael McCormack

Musgrave Wholesale evolves with changing customer behaviours: MD Michael McCormack

Musgrave Wholesale Partners is evolving its offer as customer behaviour has changed as a result of Covid, according to managing director Michael McCormack.

In an exclusive interview which will appear in the forthcoming IFCR yearbook, he says Covid has accelerated some behaviour changes among consumers – for example, a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily have shopped online have now taken to digital.

“A lot of hospitality customers are now engaged in delivery, they’re engaged in technology, they need different packaging to deliver product, and in some cases they need different ingredients to supply the products that are delivered,” Mr McCormack says.

“Then of course there are a lot of people not in workplaces, that means a lot more people buying locally now rather than buying lunch in a workplace. Hybrid working is here to stay and we all have to respond to that.”

The acceleration of the shift to online has driven Musgrave MarketPlace to spend the last 18 months working on a digital platform, which is due to launch shortly. It will be about delivering an exceptional online experience that gives customers everything they need to run their business.

“It’s about becoming the Amazon for wholesale, having real time stock information, accurate delivery lead times and having a platform that’s easy to use,” Mr McCormack says.

“Covid has been difficult for the hospitality sector. In the first instance, we’ve been looking after our customers, looking after our colleagues, looking after our partners and our retailers, but in the background we’ve been working on setting ourselves ambitious goals for the future across coffee, meat, fruit and veg.”

Mr McCormack said Musgrave has just launched a business coffee brand called Brewdoo across a number of locations.

“It is ultimately about delivering a consistent cup of coffee. We have the maintenance programme behind it, we have a partnership with one of the biggest coffee businesses in the world.

“Similarly, we’ve brought on a lot of expertise in on-trade alcohol, and we’re building an on-trade alcohol business of scale, with a product range of close to 400 products covering alcohol and soft drinks and a superior range of wines.

“Another area of interest to us is centre of plate as we call it, which is generally meat and fruit and vegetables. We have a very strong meat business. We’ve brought in new capabilities and we’re going to extend the range of meat that we have, including Hereford as an example.

“We’re going to do a similar exercise with fruit and veg later in the year. Our premium business, La Rousse Foods continues to innovate in areas like patisserie, cheese, chocolate, wine. There’s lots of good stuff happening,” he says.

Check out our forthcoming IFCR yearbook for the full interview.