Published On: 16/02/20231.9 min read

Check out our latest series taking an in-depth look at the most prominent UK media publishing companies

uk media publishing companies - the grocer

First in the spotlight

First in the spotlight is William Reed which is one of the leading media publishing companies behind revered UK trade titles like The Grocer, The Morning Advertiser, Convenience Store, and Forecourt Trader.

William Reed Early Years

In 1862 the Yorkshire sugar merchant William Reed established William Reed Publishing. This venture saw the birth of his inaugural journal called The Grocer which chronicled grocery industry developments. Just a year later, he expanded with The Wine Trade Review supplement. Reed’s expansion continued in 1864 with the launch of the Brewers Journal, accompanied by the Hop & Malt Trades Review supplement, followed by the Tobacco Trade Review in 1868.

The Grocer has maintained its publication schedule throughout both World Wars, boasting an impressive 160-year run. It continues to dominate the grocery retail media landscape in the UK today. The Grocer frequently drives industry discussions with exclusive stories, often picked up by mainstream consumer news outlets. Pioneering digital trends, it launched its first e-newsletter, The Grocer Today, in 2001, followed swiftly by its website in 2002. The publication even explored television broadcasting briefly with GrocerTV, airing on Sky Digital in 2000.

William Reed Today

With offices now situated in Crawley, Sussex, and London’s Fleet Street, William Reed has grown into one of the leading media publishing companies with over 300 employees and a diverse portfolio of 35 media brands. Its publications range from British Baker and Food Manufacture to Big Hospitality and Restaurant. The company boasts a vast online presence with over 80 websites, including Confectionery News, Beverage Daily, Bakery & Snacks, and Dairy Reporter. William Reed’s event offerings are equally impressive, featuring exhibitions like Low2NoBev, The Forecourt Show, The National Convenience Show, Farm Shop & Deli Show, The Big Hospitality Expo, and Food & Drink Expo. William Reed’s extensive roster of 80+ annual awards includes prestigious accolades such as The Grocer New Products, The Grocer Gold Awards, and The Publican Awards.

Following Reed’s passing in 1920, The Grocer remained the flagship publication of his company, frequently utilised by the Ministry of Food for official announcements. Today, William Reed Publishing remains a family-owned enterprise, with Reed’s great-great-grandson, Charles Reed, serving as its current CEO.