In spite of our remarkable growth in new world wines, particularly Californian, there is still plenty of interest in France, particularly from the on trade.

With colder weather on its way and reports of a possible shortage of flu vaccine, we have begun highlighting cold and cough remedy products in our medicinal, health beauty section. We agree with GlaxoSmithKline that this is a category in which independents can perform better. A small store planogram with ranging recommendations would be very helpful.

Pet foods sales have been a little slow. While we are pleased to see Purina investing in Felix, we are losing out to multi-pack deals and long-term discount pricing in multiple outlets, although a recent five sachets for pound;1 retail deal sold well through retail club members.

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