Who we are Our History
In 1862 our founder, William Reed, began publishing an authoritative weekly magazine aimed at helping his grocery industry customers to succeed in business.
Since the first issue of The Grocer magazine rolled off the printing presses, we are proud to have been the authoritative voice of the UK grocery industry.
We have always moved with the times and invested significantly in developing and improving brands and products. A number of successful strategic acquisitions throughout our history have also boosted growth.
Today, with the fifth generation of the Reed family running the company, we have an expanding portfolio of websites, newsletters, magazines, face-to-face and virtual events, and insight, across an international footprint.
The future promises exciting opportunities, with more investment in people and product development, greater deployment of new technologies and the prospect of further acquisitions.
Below are some of the milestones from the William Reed story so far.
We rebrand William Reed and launch a new corporate website in the Spring
M&C Allegra rebrands as MCA in March
We launch The Bar and Pub Show and Appetite Learning (our eLearning brand)
We launch the Healthy & Natural Show in Chicago
Allegra merges with the M&C brand in 2015 to become M&C Allegra
Farm Shop and Deli Show grows by 175%
We launch The Conscious Hospitality Show
Our US head office moves to Chicago
We launch a membership model on The Grocer
We launch him! International, our global insight brand.
We launch Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in the Spring in Singapore
We then launch Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in September in Lima
We launch Vision Events, created for an international audience of senior business decision makers, industry leaders and experts from science and academia and provide an exclusive community environment around compelling content and speakers. The Vision Events portfolio includes events in the food & drink, nutrition, probiotics and wine industries.
We launch Global Meat News - a daily online news service available as a free-access website, which provides regular newsletters to subscribers. The service seeks out news stories and data of value to decision-makers in the meat industry across the world.
Having been a substantial minority investor, with Board representation, since March 2008, WRBM acquire the remaining balance of the him! business in September 2011. him! is a research-based retail consultancy, working with over 100 blue-chip organisations in the retail, wholesale, on-trade and foodservice. him! operates syndicated multi-client customer tracking programmes in a variety of sectors, from convenience to high street, forecourts to pubs and bars, pharmacies to coffee chains. him! continues to operate as a separate entity.
him! moves to Ely Place in London
We acquire The Publican print magazine, its associated websites and events, together with Theme and Bar Show brands; we merge The Publican with our existing title, the Morning Advertiser, to create The Publican's Morning Advertiser
Decision News Media SAS, based in Montpellier, is renamed William Reed Business Media SAS
The Grocer Food & Drink Awards are renamed to The Grocer New Product Awards
We launch The Farm Shop & Deli Show, which brings together hundreds of speciality suppliers at Birmingham’s NEC to celebrate the best of British regional produce
We open an office in the US
We acquire Decision News Media SAS – publisher of FoodNavigator.com and 16 other websites serving the food, drink, nutrition, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries – to support the expansion of William Reed Business Media’s online brands
We launch The Food & Drink Logistics Show for 2010, to run alongside Foodex, Baking Industry Exhibition, Food & Drink Expo, Convenience Retail Show, Cafe+, the Off Licence Show and the International Forecourt & Fuel Equipment show at Birmingham's NEC in March
We launch William Reed E-Learning - our online learning division
We launch Grocer Food & Drink Awards
We acquire Harpers, including the Harpers Directory and website. The magazine is merged with our existing Wine and Spirit title and re-launched as Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review.
We change our name from William Reed Publishing to William Reed Business Media, as we grow our online portfolio with the launch of: TheRightInfo.co.uk - BigHospitality.co.uk.
We also redesign British Baker and the Morning Advertiser and start publishing The Subpostmaster (on behalf of the National Federation of SubPostmasters).
We launch 2 websites: Convenience-Store.co.uk and BakeryInfo.co.uk
We expand our range of magazines with the acquisition of Food Ingredients, Health and Nutrition (subsequently incorporated in Food Manufacture)
We launch Baking Industry Exhibition
We add MeatInfo.co.uk and MorningAdvertiser.co.uk to our growing portfolio of websites and start publishing Wine & Spirit.
We launch The Grocer Own Label Awards. These awards reward the most outstanding products in the own-label category.
We extend our portfolio of products significantly by buying: Foodex, Meatex, British Baker, Meat Trades Journal, The Restaurant Show, Restaurant Magazine, International Wine Challenge (IWC), Frontier (subsequently sold), Drinks International (under licence to Agile Media Ltd)
Food Manufacture is named Business Magazine of the Year by the PPA.
We also start publishing Pro Wholesaler (on behalf of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors), and launch ForecourtTrader.co.uk.
We expand into conferences while also growing our magazine base with the launch of Scottish Local Retailer (under licence to 55 North Ltd).
We launch the online version of The Grocer –TheGrocer.co.uk.
We launch The World’s 50 Best Restaurants - an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of almost 1,000 international restaurant industry experts. It is recognised around the world as the most credible indicator of the best places to eat on Earth and is the trusted arbiter of what matters in global cuisine.
We launch The Grocer Today email news service.
We trial GrocerTV, a television channel on Sky Digital aimed at independent retailers, covering news, prices, deals and other issues.
We buy: The Morning Advertiser, Food Manufacture
WR Exhibitions acquires: Food & Drink Expo, Convenience Retailing Show (CRS), International Forecourt & Fuel Equipment Show (IFFE)
We launch GrocerJobs online and redesign Off Licence News.
The Grocer is named Business Journal of the Year by the PPA, the association of UK magazine and periodical publishers.
We launch The Knowledge Store – our database marketing and data management division.
Forecourt News is incorporated into Forecourt Trader.
Monthly magazine Forecourt Trader is acquired.
Our directories division begins with the purchase of Food from Britain Buyers’ Guide.
Independent Grocery News is re-launched as Convenience Store.
Independent Retailer and Caterer replaces Cash and Carry News
We buy Cash and Carry News from Grocers Gazette.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Review is renamed as Off Licence News.
The Grocer Buff List is launched to provide a comprehensive listing of manufacturers' suggested retail prices for the supermarket industry. In 1976 it is renamed The Grocer Price List.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Review is first published as a separate title and later becomes Off Licence News, which is still published fortnightly today.
5 new titles join The Grocer, including: Tobacco Trade Review, Brewers Journal 1864, Hop & Malt Trades Review (a supplement in Brewers Journal), The Oil Trade Review, The Wine Trade Review (a supplement in The Grocer) 1863
William Reed begins publishing The Grocer.
Founder William Reed launches his publishing business.