Food firm tempts caterers with online marketplace

3 July 2002
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04 July 2002 | Robin Parker

Catering industry purchasers are the target market for an online trading exchange backed by a leading food distributor.

Established as a separate company within the Bidvest Group, allows users to consolidate orders from multiple suppliers into a personalised shopping list, and set up favourites lists or repeat orders.

The marketplace is initially centred around food products, but the company is in talks with suppliers of non-consumable items, such as utensils and stationery, to add their catalogues.

Support services include recipes, for which the ingredients can be ordered instantly, alongside news and advice on catering industry matters.

Users can also negotiate prices, set preferred delivery days, view order histories, request online quotes and host their own auctions.

It currently contains the entire product portfolio of distributor 3663 First For Foodservice, formerly known as Booker, which is using its established distribution network to deliver orders within 48 hours.

Liam Taylor, 3663's commercial director, said "hundreds" of suppliers have put their catalogues on a version of the marketplace launched in South Africa a year ago.

The system is intended for use at any stage of the supply chain, and a module specifically designed for wholesalers will be added later in the year.


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