Forecourt retailers have to react quickly to new market trends and developments in shop product lines if they want to develop a contemporary shop offering to compete with traditional convenience stores, according to a new report by independent market analyst, Datamonitor.

One such recent development is the stocking of low-carbohydrate products in response to the Atkins diet and other similar slimming regimes.

“Would the male-dominated forecourt audience be willing to give up their sausage rolls and chocolate bars for low-carb fare that can trim their waistlines while filling their tanks?” asks Datamonitor

managing energy analyst and report author Anne Marie Davis.

“Slimming and weight control initiatives are generally adopted by females. For this reason, sales of low-calorie products have never fared particularly well among the male-dominated forecourt shop audience,” she says. “However to date, low-carbohydrate dieting has struck a chord with men in the US and the UK, mainly because it encourages consumption of tasty, fatty foods including red meat, cheese, bacon and eggs.”

Davis says obviously the availability of low-carbohydrate products for the

forecourt shop is a vital supply-side consideration in assessing the markets where they can and should be offered.

“But ignoring low-carbohydrate food categories is not an option for any forecourt retailer... Already there is an array of mainstream manufacturers and food service companies operating in the market.”