Wholesaler Palmer and Harvey has ended its direct-to-store baked goods sales service six months after it started.

Launched last December, Bakedirect saw Brighton-based Palmer and Harvey (P&H) deliver fresh bread and morning goods to businesses in the M25 area from suppliers including Warburtons, McVitie’s, Premier Foods and Carrs Foods.

P&H said at the time it rolled out the service that Bakedirect would offer retailers a “regular and reliable service with no minimum drop charge and huge time savings versus cash & carry visits”. It added that Bakedirect customers would benefit from its sales representatives’ category expertise and in-store merchandising to help them stock the correct ranges to meet customer needs and maximise sales.

The distributor today (13 June) told British Baker that its Bakedirect trial had ended in April.

Warburtons this week confirmed the end of its involvement with the scheme, stating: “Following a six-month review of the Bakedirect trial in London and the South East, we have taken the decision mutually with Palmer and Harvey to close the operation.”

Warburtons added that, despite the scheme coming to an end, it viewed the partnership a success as Bakedirect had enabled it to increase distribution of its products to 1,000 new independent retail outlets.

Premier Foods, which partnered with Bakedirect to distribute Mr Kipling and Cadbury Cakes, said: "We will continue to work with Palmer & Harvey’s alternative direct van sales services and have multiple routes to market for the independent and convenience channel, ensuring the nation’s favourite cakes are available to retailers.”

P&H told British Baker that, as Bakedirect was only a trial, its other direct van delivery services, Snackdirect and Sweetdirect, are unaffected by the decision.