PepsiCo UK has set up a vans sales operation to distribute Walkers snack products to independent retailers and foodservice operators.

The new operation will provide a direct-to-store service, with Walkers-branded vans delivering products to outlets nationwide. The venture will bring new job opportunities for the business and the company has urged van sales representatives to apply for the roles.

The move follows wholesaler Palmer & Harvey entering administration last month, and PepsiCo said the new service would help support retailers who relied on direct-to-store deliveries.

“The wholesale market is experiencing a significant amount of change and our focus is to ensure that our customers’ needs are being met in the absence of the important direct-to-store service previously provided by Palmer & Harvey,” said PepsiCo UK’s vice-president of impulse sales Huseyin Tulpar.

“By establishing our own van sales delivery operation, we can quickly replace that service and ensure our retail customers are getting the direct-to-store service and the continuity of supply they require.  It is part of our long-standing commitment to the Impulse market and to supporting local retailers.”

PepsiCo added it is in discussions with a third party to provide warehousing and depot services to support its van operation.