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

Tracy West: retail commentator

Did any of you catch the story about the reporter from Hull who ate forecourt food for five days? Not only did it appear in the Hull local papers but it was picked up by the national dailies with headlines about how expensive and unhealthy the food was.

The reporter says she picked the Jet/Londis site in Beverley Road because it was the nearest one to her. Had her nearest forecourt been a Sewell on the go (a previous Forecourt Trader of the Year winner with sites in Hull) I'm sure it would have been a somewhat different story.

Anyway back to this story, where the lady concerned spent more than 50 quid for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a few snacks and drinks every day, for five days.

On day one, she feasted on Quaker Oat So Simple porridge, a John West Mediterranean salad, a margarita pizza and a beer, plus some Happy Shopper Bacon Frazzles. Surely that didn't add up to more than £50?

Across the five-day experiment, the reporter complained about lack of shopping baskets, there being nothing healthy in-store apart from a 'random bag of carrots', the fact that her chicken dinner took more than 12 minutes to cook in a microwave and too much packaging generally.

The poor girl said she felt a bit bloated and 'yucky' by the end of the five days as she hadn't eaten nearly as many vegetables as normal. She added that coeliacs and vegans would struggle eating out of the petrol station in question for a week due to lack of choice because there wasn't a loaf of gluten-free bread or an avocado in sight. By this time, I wanted to scream: 'what do you expect?'. The woman obviously has no idea of the concept of convenience stores and top-up shopping. I'm sure when this Londis store is being stocked up, they are not thinking 'we must cater for people who will only buy food from us all week'.

I'm happy to report that the Hull reporter has gone back to Lidl and Aldi 'for the sake of her bank balance and health'. Meanwhile, in the real world, forecourt stores are busy providing what their customers need in their locality, with many investing in brilliant food-to-go concepts that would put many fast food outlets to shame.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 9 December 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.4761.40138.28126.22
East Midlands130.01140.66126.05
London130.41139.39126.85
North East128.45138.66124.29
North West129.1663.90138.34125.49
Northern Ireland127.22130.90123.29
Scotland129.84136.07125.15
South East131.04138.34126.93
South West129.9167.57137.18125.74
Wales129.00135.78124.71
West Midlands129.94138.53126.11
Yorkshire & Humber129.21138.68125.42

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