Exports case study: Bestway Cash & Carry Ltd

The Bestway Wholesale Group is the largest independent food wholesaler in the UK with 63 Bestway and Batleys branches, supporting independent retail trade across Britain. The company was shortlisted for the FDF Exporter of the Year award 2014.


As one of Britain’s leading independent grocery wholesalers, Bestway offers a product range in excess of 25,000 lines. The company has traditionally been a cash and carry operation and starting to export has required a huge shift for the Export department and the organisation as a whole.

Bestway now exports to over 85 countries, supplying all major brands as well as over 1,200 private label products via an interactive online ordering system.

The top five export markets for Bestway are Nigeria, China, Ghana, Pakistan and Cyprus, with ambient grocery, confectionary and soft drinks being the most successful products in overseas markets.

As the company exports to a large number of countries, not all of its products are known to all customers around the world. This is a challenge Bestway has been able to overcome by using the reputation of its private label to sell new products. In addition, tailored services are offered to global customers, from individual labelling to packaging re-design in different languages.

The Export Division has invested a great deal of time and resource in trying to better understand the future of FMCG Export.

While consolidation is still the core of their export business, the Bestway team has managed to develop strong relationships with distributors abroad. Recognising the potential to build brands was unforeseen, however, the Export team has decided to make it a focus and by working closely with UK brand owners, they have started to roll out NPD’s in some of their export markets already.

The achievement of Bestway’s significant overseas earnings growth has been recognised by the Queen’s Award for International Trade 2012.

Umar Sheikh, Group Controller for International Trade, said: “Bestway Export is a multi-faceted and relatively new entity within our long-established business, but has already had significant growth and both internal and external recognition.

“In the future, we hope to further increase our international presence and become one of the UK’s leading exporters.”

Sectors: Food & Drink
Export Action Plan