Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Shop talk with Tracy west

I've been doing one of my favourite work things lately, which is going out and about visiting convenience retailers and I've seen some fantastic stores and brilliant products.

As I write this, I am chowing down on some Cherry Madeira cake, which is delicious. It's a great big slab of a cake, bought in a Budgens, made by Fatherson Bakery with a message that reads "A taste of homemade". Now, I'm no Delia, but I do bake and this Fatherson's cake tastes like homemade to me. It wasn't cheap close to a fiver, if I remember rightly, but boy is it good!

At a forecourt store, I saw a fantastic American collection of goods and bought some Mississippi Barbecue Sauce again not cheap but it has come all the way from the good old US of A so was worth the money as far as I was concerned.

Now, as regular readers of this column will know, I'm a bit of a Diet Coke fiend. When I saw the new 250ml can of Red Coke, Diet Coke and Zero, I thought pah! Who will buy that? Well, apparently a lot of people. One retailer I visited said he could not get enough of the wee cans. It seems some people can't handle 330ml or even 500ml-worth of fizz and prefer a smaller hit. Bottles may be the best sellers in your stores, but it might be worth thinking about trialling these slim-line cans.

Another new line that caught my eye was Pork Farms' Bangers 'n' Hash which, as the name suggests, has pork sausages wrapped in hash browns. You get a pack of four for around 1.50. They're not an on-the-go snack but rather a quick meal to cook at home in just 12 minutes. I haven't got my hands on any yet, but they definitely have Mr West's name written all over them.

He was particularly excited recently when I brought him home some Spam in its new resealable plastic tub. Actually, he wasn't that excited but I told him he should be! The tub has been launched to attract new consumers but Mr West was not too impressed he says the rounded edges on the meat itself make it difficult to cut for sandwiches!

Finally, a new line that might raise a smile is Big D crunchy, coated nuts in 50g bags, in barbecue and chilli flavours. Bags feature a cheeky tagline 'Check Your Nuts', which in fact has a serious message as it supports the Balls to Cancer charity, which raises funds for male cancer awareness and research.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 July 2019
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