Wholesaler P&H is expecting to welcome 500 new stores to its Mace symbol group during the next 12 months.

Retailers operating 150 stores have joined the symbol group since October, on the back of wider product ranges and improved category advice, explained marketing director Richard Hayhoe at the wholesaler’s recent Pro-Retail show.

P&H has expanded both its impulse and its fresh and chilled range in the past year, with fresh products supplied to retailers on a flowthrough basis from suppliers to maximise product freshness.

A new food to go concept under the name Market Fresh was also showcased at Pro-Retail, designed to be a viable alternative to Country Choice’s Bake n Bite offer.

The concept includes savouries, cakes and doughnuts in a variety of display unit sizes, including a hot coffee service option. Products are delivered frozen ,and include both thaw-to-serve and bake-off lines.

In addition, the wholesaler’s alcohol range has been expanded by 35%, including more Champagne and fine wine, to encourage independent retailers to capitalise on the opportunities created by the recent collapse of high street off licence chains.

“In our offer, we’re not too far away from being Waitrose,” added Hayhoe.