Food wholesaler Booker is set to go head-to-head with the likes of 3663 by launching a new division targeting the foodservice market.
The publicly-listed company revealed it has created a trading arm called Chef Direct, which will serve major foodservice customers from a state-of-the art distribution centre in Didcot.
The Didcot operation is currently being fitted out but is scheduled to go live from June 2012, building on Booker’s scale and logistics capabilities.
“Our plans to focus, drive and broaden the Group are on track and we are pleased to be developing Chef Direct to serve major foodservice customers,” said chief executive Charles Wilson.
Booker yesterday announced that sales for the three months to the end of 2011 rose 7% year-on-year, with the strongest performance coming from its fresh fruit and vegetables departments.