Forecourt Trader
Shell launches garage food campaign

Shell has acknowledged the preconception that garage food is below expected standards in a new campaign to promote its forecourt food brand Deli2Go.

Maxol awards Brio contract to Totalis

Maxol has awarded a contract worth £1m to Belfast company, Totalis Solutions, to provide signage for the re-imaging of its service station network in Northern Ireland. Maxol is investing £40m in an expansion of its all-Ireland network and the roll-out of a new brand identity.

Jobs boost from services

Work has started on the development of a £40m service station on the M5 motorway, between junctions 11a and 12at Brookthorpe in Gloucestershire. The project is a partnership between a local charity, the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, and Westmorland Limited, which runs the Tebay service station on the M6 in Cumbria, and is the only family-owned company to operate a UK motorway service station. Income from the services will be used to support local communities and charities, and the project will seek to create build-related and permanent jobs for the area.

Diesel thieves stopped by tank monitoring system

A sudden-loss alarm system has helped to foil two intruders who siphoned off around 10,000 litres of diesel from Forest Lane Service Station, on the A614 near Calverton, Nottinghamshire.

Car wash phone app

PSD Codax, developer of token-free control systems for car wash equipment, has unveiled a new mobile phone app that will enable motorists to select and buy car wash programmes using an iPhone or Android device.

BP adds extra shine

WashTec is upgrading the performance of BP's car wash offer at 60 locations with the introduction of its ShineTecs car care treatment.

Driving to the top

We're at the starting grid for the launch of the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards 2013. The awards are the showcase for the petrol retailing industry recognising and rewarding those businesses at the leading edge of their profession that continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive world.

New flavours for GSK's Ribena and Lucozade

New to the Lucozade Sport range is Champions' Choice, developed by brand owner GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK's) Human Performance Lab to combine the benefits of hydration and fuel for sport. It is a blend of glucose and electrolytes for improved physical performance, and caffeine for better mental ability. It comes in mango & passionfruit and lemon & lime flavours, in 500ml bottles with a rrp of £1.39. new TigerNuts

Walkers is describing the introduction of TigerNuts as its 'biggest-ever' nut launch.

SpongeBob on ice

The Beechdean Group has signed a licensing deal with Nickelodeon to launch SpongeBob Square Pants ice cream. The 110ml vanilla tubs have a spoon in the lid and a rrp of £1.

Upbeat about protein

The Good Whey Co is launching Upbeat a new fresh, high-protein drink that's also low in fat. Upbeat is made from British milk and real fruit, and is a natural source of calcium. It comes in mango & passionfruit and strawberry flavours, in 250ml bottles, rrp £1.79. It contains no more than 150 calories and has less than half the sugar found in leading smoothies and fruit juices.

Wacky yet wonderful

New Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations are described as "wacky, yet wonderful" flavour combinations covered in milk chocolate.

Maltesers in a bar

The Malteasers Teasers chocolate from Celebrations and the Malteaster bunny is now available in a bar format. There are two sizes: a 35g bar, rrp 57p and a 150g bar, rrp £2.09.

Magics from Fruittella

Fruittella Magics are sweets that change flavour as you chew them from orange to strawberry or raspberry to lemon. They are available in single sticks, multipacks and bags with rrps of 44p, £1.48 and £1.25 respectively. The launch will be supported by a national TV campaign and sampling in kids' magazines and goody bags.

Cool new launches

Two more confectionery brands are available as ice creams, courtesy of Fredericks Dairies.

Rustling up noodles

Kepak has added noodle pot snacks to its Rustlers range. New Rustlers Noodles will initially be available in chicken & mushroom and Oriental pork varieties. Each 300g pack comes with a fork and can be microwaved in two minutes. Rrp is £1.99.

As good as gold

J20 has a new limited-edition, pear gold, available to both the on and off trades. The drink is a mix of pear and guava, and the launch is backed by a multi-media marketing campaign.

Family friendly

The Mr Kipling snack pack range has been extended to include caramel and chocolate slices. The 'family friendly' flavours, are available now, with a rrp of £1.59.

Made in Yorkshire

Seabrook crisps are being relaunched with new packaging that includes the message 'Lovingly made in Yorkshire'. The relaunch is supported by a multi-million pound investment.

Channel specific

Coca-Cola Enterprises has launched a new 1.75l pack size of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke specifically for the convenience channel.

Young drivers need more support, says IAM

Young drivers need more guidance and support in the first six months of obtaining their licence, according to road safety charity IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).

Madderson missive to Home Secretary on soaring forecourt crime

The continuing rise in crime being suffered by the UK’s service station network and the differing response by local police forces was the subject of a strongly worded letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May, sent this week by RMI chairman Brian Madderson.

30,000 employees trained to drive using less fuel

The Energy Saving Trust has trained its 30,000th employee in the Smarter Driving programme which is funded by the Department for Transport. The scheme trains employees in techniques to help them drive more efficiently and reduce the likelihood of accidents. It claims to be a proven method of reducing the cost of fuel by 15 per cent.

Petrol price fall has ground to a halt, says AA

A fall in the UK’s average petrol price has ground to a halt just 2p below the year's high of 140p a litre in early March, according to the AA. This is despite a 3p-4p fall in wholesale costs, with VAT, from late February into the middle of March.

Merril Boulton: Positively aspirational

Another busy issue as we launch this year's Forecourt Trader Awards (see page 26) and preview this month's Forecourt Show at the NEC, Birmingham (see page 35). Both are significant events in the forecourt industry calendar for similar reasons: they provide a great opportunity for networking; and the chance to discover a new or better way of doing things.

A sustainable case?

The introduction of E10 fuel into the UK came a step closer this week as the finishing touches were applied to a public awareness campaign about it. No oil company has yet committed to introducing E10 into the UK, but when one does the campaign will swing into operation to smooth the way.

Shop Doctor: BP Wisbech Road Service Station, Littleport, Cambridgeshire

p13_s_doc_april_13.jpgGENERAL APPEARANCE: This site, developed by the James Graven group, is perhaps better known as Spar Littleport and for winning best environmentally friendly outlet awards. In October 2012 the enterprise was leased to BP.

Money Talk: Budget 2013: did you even notice it?

After what went down in history as the 'omnishambles Budget' of 2012, the contents of which had been leaked in advance all over the media only to be embarrassingly reversed in the following few weeks, this year's effort was at least kept pretty closely guarded right up to March 20. According to some of the more cynical commentators, the reason why there was little advance disclosure this time around was really quite straightforward even the Chancellor himself had no idea what he was going to be able to put into Budget 2013, since his economic options were so limited. With that background, perhaps it was not surprising that the March 2013 Budget speech was one of the shortest in memory, and provided relatively little real news for the next day's papers. However, in case you missed it, or have forgotten it already, here are a few of the main points that might affect you and your business.

Service Centre: Jac Roper discusses credit card charges and electric car charging

Do you take plastic? Of course you do

You'd probably have to go as far as Germany to find a forecourt that doesn't accept cards although I haven't been to Germany lately so I don't know if their 'cash only' policies still apply.

Bright outlook

Hugely challenging' but 'very exciting and rewarding' is how Maxol chief operating officer Brian Donaldson describes the brand transformation process that has engrossed the oil company over recent months. Family-owned Maxol invested £12m upgrading and expanding its retail business in 2012, acquiring five new forecourts and starting the roll out of its vibrant new 'brio' image across the network of 225 service stations, including 125 dealer sites.

Double take

Nisa Retail is the latest of the symbol operators which, having realised the potential of the fuel retailing sector, wants to significantly raise its forecourt profile.

Taking the biscuit

There's a man in a pink dressing gown all over the telly at the moment, hunting down people who've missed their breakfasts. He tells them 'Breakfast is served' in the form of Kelloggs' Nutri-Grain Breakfast biscuits. But he's going to be very busy, as research has revealed that one in three people regularly skip breakfast. However, it is Mondelez International that lays claim to creating the breakfast biscuit category in the UK, in 2010 with Belvita aimed at adults who struggle to fit breakfast into their busy lifestyles.

Ice time

The good news is that as ice cream is viewed as a cheap treat, the category has been largely unaffected by the adverse economic conditions. The bad news is, of course, the weather and the UK's lack of a summer. The simple truth is that when the sun shines, ice creams sell, but the sun seemed to have been more illusive than ever last year. That's not to say that independent forecourt retailers should give up on impulse ice creams altogether as, according to IRI data, impulse ice cream sales are worth over £149m. However, maybe more concentration should be put on the indulgence lines like the Magnums and Cadbury ices rather than real refreshment lines. Plus there are the eat-at- home packs to consider too.

Forecourt Show 2013 preview

Forecourt and convenience retailers will be welcomed to the NEC, Birmingham this month as both The Forecourt Show and the National Convenience Show open their doors to reveal a comprehensive display of the latest, equipment, products and services in the market.

Day in the Life: Simon MacKay

The alarm goes off at 6.30am and Jess my four-year-old Labrador immediately comes bounding up the stairs and leaps on the bed. She knows it's time for her breakfast and that all-important morning walk across the fields. This is the best time of the day as it gives me time to focus on the day ahead. Breakfast is normally consumed while I check my emails on the iPhone and any Flow web reports. This system is a must as it constantly catches our sites' sales and tells me what time the first and last sale was at all the sites and important things like if there have been no coffee or car wash sales. A quick phone call to check that maintenance has been called to fix the problem can speed up downtime. More importantly, the manager knows that I know the machine is down!