Over at Tesco, they’ve got a wilful disregard for the state of your teeth with some potentially orgasmic spreads that are made from biscuits.
We told you about the mighty Biscoff, which is basically crack in a jar that will give you diabetes just by looking at it, and now Tesco are getting in on the action too.
However, this time, there’s a vote going on.
Tesco say: “We asked The Orchard at Tesco members to submit their suggestions for a new biscuit inspired spread. After much umming and ahhing, we’ve shortlisted four tasty spreads: Jaffa Orange, Millionaire Shortbread, Jammy Ring Swirl and Chocolate Digestive.”
“It’s now up to you to pick the winner. Which spread do you think takes the biscuit?”
You can vote over at their Facebook page. We’re just disappointed that no-one suggested a Tunnock’s Tea Cake spread. We’ll just have to go back to squashing 6 of them onto our toast with a spoon while we cry at Judge Judy repeats.
No, this is not a euphemism – who has the dirtiest chicken?
Well, turns out that it is Asda. Their chicken has the highest proportion of chickens contaminated with unpleasant bacteria that causes food poisoning, out of all the supermarkets. And that’s according to the Food Standards Agency.
The other supermarkets shouldn’t start crowing about it though because the FSA found, in a rather damning report, that 70% of chickens sold at supermarkets contained unacceptably high levels of campylobacteria.
Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said: “Wherever you buy chicken from you are at risk from this nasty bug.”
He added that supermarkets aren’t doing enough to protect chicken munchers and that tens of thousands of people are being made ill by them. So no-one comes out of this particularly well, with only Tesco managing to have overall contamination levels lower than the industry average.
Wearne continued: “What I would do is make sure I cook it properly. These results show that the food industry, especially retailers, need to do more to reduce the amount of campylobacter on fresh chickens.”
So, if you like, you can now look at a table of dirty chickens and see who is best and who is going to make you able to poo through a lace curtain.
Here at Bitterwallet, we’re always banging on about sticking up for consumers, but a shop assistant in Dublin has gone far and beyond the call of duty in sticking up for his customers in Spar. Henceforth he shall be known as SparGuy and imagined in lycra and a cape.
While everyone is both entitled to hold their own opinions, and dress how they like, when one customer expressed his homophobic attitude towards a ‘flamboyantly dressed’ fellow customer in the queue, SparGuy did not quietly ignore the incident as most of us might have done, he decided to stick up for the person who was rudely insulted while simply doing his shopping.
Mr Insult Pants, who was in the queue with a lady friend, reportedly smirked “look at the faggot in the shorts” before laughing with his companion, while just inches in front of said shorts-sporting customer. SparGuy came to the rescue, however, and flat refused to serve the antisocial customer who felt entitled to insult other people just because he wanted to.
Of course, there are no laws to prevent people insulting other people, and we all know a few who could do with a good slanging match, but in Spar, SparGuy is King, and Spar rules allow all shoppers to shop insult-free as far as possible. And to pre-empt ‘whatever happened to freedom of speech?’ thoughts, remember: you are free to say as you please, but not free from the consequences of saying them. That’s called ‘House Rules’ that.
Anyway, after some discussion, the insulting customers left without their purchases, and the insultee told his tale on social media, with Twitter commenters roundly lauding SparGuy’s actions. Spar were also impressed by their employee, commenting “We believe in respect for all people and therefore we’re very proud of #SparGuy.” There are no faggots in Spar. Not even Mr Brains’.
But Spar won’t be out of pocket, in case you were wondering about the lost sales to the barred customers, as Twitter users have claimed deliberate patronage of the Dublin store to show their appreciation for SparGuy’s stance on homophobia.
Or perhaps it’s just a stance on being a decent human being to other human beings.
And in the spirit of human concern, we also join some Twitter users in recommending the man saved by SparGuy think harder about his choice of clothes in future- not for sartorial reasons, but just to ensure he doesn’t freeze to death wearing shorts at the cold end of November…
Lenovo have hit upon a novel way of promoting their wares.
The company have enlisted comedy lot Upright Citizens Brigade to make a video to promote Lenovo Yoga 3 laptop where they mess with people’s heads.
It’s being termed as ‘prankvertising’ which is possibly the worst word ever and should be helicoptered out to the middle of the sea and dropped like toxic waste.
The stunt involves UCB members posing as employees of Lenovo and touting the hinged hybrid computer to shoppers passing by a laptop-test-drive kiosk at Pennsylvania’s Plymouth Meeting Mall. The stooge employee tells shoppers of the laptop that transforms into a tablet: “What makes this laptop special, among many things, is that it bends. Try and do that with a Mac.”
So obviously he picks up a Mac and snaps it. Hahaha. Before handing the broken laptop to the poor customer and runs away. Obviously the reaction shots are what makes the ‘prankvertisment’
Once the prank is revealed, everyone’s all good and smashing, though we don’t know whether they come back to buy a Lenovo Yoga.
According to Bob Cordell, digital marketing manager for Lenovo: “We definitely recognize people will [view] this in different ways, just as we recognize there are passionate supporters of other people’s products,”
“But we hope to do this in a way that we’re upfront about it. We’re not trying to pull a fast one.”
Across the country, Tesco have been trialling new, slimmer self-service tills. Not because they look nicer, but rather, they can get more bodies in who will serve themselves and bundle them out the door again. In one Manchester store, there is no traditional till served by a member of staff. One London Tesco branch is also entirely self-serving too.
Instead, the staff are now hanging around the self service tills as floating assistants, too flustered to converse with customers, and effectively retraining everyone who walks through the door to be an unpaid worker.
Tesco won’t mind though because they think that they can pass off self-service tills as something that will reduce queuing time for consumers.
However, there’s a number of problems with self-service tills – by getting the customer to do some of the work, that means they don’t need to pay as many members of staff, but are Tesco passing on the money they’re saving to customers? Not a chance.
Another problem is that research has shown that the queues have been replaced by a lengthier waiting time while customers have technical problems with the self-service tills, argue with the staff about not wanting to use the machines and the whole ‘bagging area’ irritation. A survey by the Telegraph showed that the shops offering a choice between staffed and automated tills, it is usually quicker to choose the traditional method. In addition, if a store has one remaining manned cash register, then the queues get increasingly large there, as customers avoid the automated ones.
Anecdotally, one city-centre store BW has seen has gone from a friendly (no, honestly, pleasantly friendly), bustling supermarket to half-dead overnight. That’s not because the 100% self-service checkouts have streamlined service, but rather, the nearby shops that offer both self-service and trad. arr. staffed tills are now much busier than before because customers have the choice of talking to, or ignoring other humans.
Of course, self-service tills offer a humiliating prospect for older customers, who aren’t all tech-savvy and, pat on the back for this one supermarkets, by removing a chatty member of staff from their lives, may have lost an old dear the only person they got to talk to in a day. Naturally, there’s a whole host of tech-knowledgeable pensioners out there, but even they must miss a brief ‘hello’ when shopping, rather than moving through a shop silently.
In some Tesco stores, you could feasibly spend £200 on your shopping without actually speaking to another human or receiving any acknowledgement or gratitude from the company’s proprietors or management. Empty as a ‘thank you’ can be, it is still nice to get one if you’re handing over your money to a company.
In self-service heavy outlets, you walk in, shop, put your own stuff into the system without the savings being passed on, walk out and the only thanks you get is a sign, swaying in the rafters that says “Thanks For Shopping At Tesco”. It should go without saying that there’s some people who actively prefer self-service tills, but it is lousy to see supermarkets edging toward a lack of choice for the customer.
Obviously, self-service isn’t always bad – when was the last time someone served your petrol, or the last time someone eschewed a cash machine because they wanted to get their money from a bank clerk? There’s a good number of people who have enjoyed the five-fingered discount that self-service allows too.
There’s just something bleak about Tesco, a company that has lost huge sums of money and losing ground to Aldi and Lidl, choosing to squeeze pennies out of customers so flagrantly. With customers seemingly voting with their feet and shopping elsewhere, it is a problem that Tesco need to look at.
Tesco and a customer have been flirting with each other in the most nauseating way imaginable – by writing poems to one another.
That’s right, a pair of Charlies wrote to Tesco’s Sir Richard Broadbent with a poem about salted popcorn and how their local branch had no plans to restock it.
Tesco replied with a poem and a £10 voucher while the rest of us vomited up everything we’ve got (save for the saps who will inevitably say ‘Ooooh stop complaining – it is just a bit of fun!’. They’ll be the first against the wall come the revolution).
Don’t panic, it’s not forever or a bid for the Christmas No.1 or anything, the online retail giant have teamed up with the posties, to allow buyers to have their parcels delivered to the branches directly.
That’s quite good news for anyone whose postman stashes their items with the neighbour but neglects to inform the actual recipient.
10,500 Post Offices are now added to Amazon’s Pickup Location Programme – which sounds slightly unsavoury. This however brings the total of Pick Up posts to 16,000 in the UK.
It’s an odd but good move for the online shop to team up with the very thing it was trying to destroy, which is quite a nice festive message for us all to take from it.
Oh but of course, there has to be something in it for Amazon too, so the service will be yet another incentive to sign up to its Prime subscription deal; free with Prime, Post Office deliveries will otherwise cost standard First Class post rates.
Google have made spending your money even simpler for you this Christmas.
The search engine has been updated to include new elements on smartphones and tablets to sell you even more stuff this Black Friday.
Extra information will be yours when you tap in something like ‘kettles’, and it will tell you where the product is available and user reviews and will pop up on a regular search. You’ll also have the option to use a 3D, 360-degree rotation tool to view some products.
Google reckon half of all people between 25 and 34 use their phones to shop while they’re out shopping. This new app will enable them to do so with even greater ease, and you’ll be even able to track your items and stock levels. I mean, how much more help does one want here?
This cost-cutting from the supermarkets of the UK has seen a sharp increase in insolvency among food producers, with the number of companies in the food production sector entering insolvency rising by 28% in the 12 months.
Duncan Swift, a partner at Moore Stephens, says: “Supermarkets are trying to compete on price with Aldi and Lidl, but with profit margins that are far higher than these discount chains.”
So, in the case of farmers and the like, who often operate as sole traders and therefore aren’t registered at Companies House, this means that if they’re suffering, Moore Stephens’ figures are likely to not tell the whole picture of how hard it is for food producers.
Those in the food-making industry are waiting longer to get paid from supermarkets too. Jeff Longhurst, chief executive of the ABFA, said: “Many in the food and drink sector believe the problems with payment terms have now become endemic.”
Tesco – the UK’s largest supermarket by market share – revealed a £263m shortfall in profits in October, as a result of problems with the timing of payments received from its own suppliers.
“Supplier contributions cause major cash-flow problems for food producers and can tip them into insolvency,” added Swift. “It’s a raw deal for the food producers who need the supermarkets to reach the public, but who can’t afford the terms of business that the supermarkets foist on them.”
Yes, because it is quite a big thing. No end of impressionable children are lead into darkness by seeing a display of newspapers.
Waitrose and Tesco have agreed to work on new display methods as so not to upset the precious ones.
This move comes following months of pressure from campaign groups No More Page 3 and Child Eyes, who have heralded the decision a victory.
Newspaper front pages can sometimes be unsavoury, yes, but you get the impression that much of the way modern life has been lived, is going to upset somebody. Both parties had expressed concern at sexualised images of women being one of the key things that they didn’t like seeing. Exactly how ‘in your face’ and massive are these newspaper stands anyway?
A spokesman for Tesco, said they’d had made the decision after consulting with customers and campaigners, and so now that the papers will be displayed with just mastheads showing.
He confirmed that all large outlets, known as Extra and Superstore shops, will receive the new display units by the end of November 2014.
Tesco’s Customer Experience & Insight Director, Tracey Clements, said: “We are first and foremost a family retailer and it’s important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store.”
“We’ve asked our customers what they think about the issue and we have spoken to campaigners. The change we’re making will strike the right balance for everyone.”
The Child Eyes campaign was formed after a rash of little darlings were seen to go on a sex and drug fuelled rampage after seeing a cover of the Daily Mirror.
Founded in 2012, it campaigns to stop sexualised, sexist and damaging images being displayed at child height in shops and public spaces. Child Eyes claims that newspapers are frequently displayed at children’s eye level, often right next to the comics that children are drawn to, and use easy-to-read words which catch their attention.
“This is a real victory for all the supporters of the Child Eyes Campaign, who have been trying to make their voices heard on this issue for so long. We’re feeling really positive and excited that the other supermarkets, and then also smaller shops will follow on to make the UK more family friendly.”
‘Make the UK more family friendly’. Jeez.
A spokesman for the kids said “yeah, whevs” before bypassing their parental controls on the computer and surfing for porn. They’ll be asking people to no longer stick baby’s heads on spikes next. This country.
The restaurants will be serving up a meal planned by chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.
The events will happen in selected hotels such as Blythswood Square Hotel and Home House between November 21st and December 10th.
You can try your luck to win a reservation by tweeting @AldiUK using #AldiFestiveFeast as your hastag.
Naturally all the food served will be sourced from Aldi’s Specially Selected range, including such fare as caviar, crab, turkey wellingtons and Christmas pudding.
(Actually their Christmas pudding is well nice).
Joint managing director of corporate buying, Tony Baines said: “Jean-Christophe Novelli has put together a luxury menu that shows off our festive range to the full and offers better value than other supermarkets. We hope that our consumers will enjoy it.”
The Co-op have unveiled a new promotion!
Entitled Swipe and Win, any Co-op member can swipe their card in a food store, and then get entered into a daily draw thing where there’s a prize budget of £1.3m, with booty such as vouchers, tellies and fridge freezers.
There’ll also be instant prizes such as a £20 voucher or just some freebies. The promotion runs until December 9th, so you’ve got a good couple of weeks or so to try your luck.
Steve Murrells, CEO retail at The Co-op Group said “We hope our members will enjoy taking part in Swipe and Win,”
“Of course, there are many other facets to membership of The Co-operative which enables people to have a say in the running of the business, join campaigns and to take part in organised events with other members.”
Hark at him with his ‘facets’.
Samsung are entering the TV advertising arena this season with their first Christmas campaign!
The series of ads will showcase the company’s range of gadgets while soundtracked by the decidedly ponce and unfestive Ravel’s Bolero. Mercifully, it doesn’t involve this gawdawful rap.
The adverts entitled ‘All Wrapped Up Early’ and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ are already on Samsung’s YouTube channel. All Wrapped Up will be on TV tonight (19th Nov) during that I’m A Celebrity nonsense, and ‘Christmas Round Ours’ makes its TV debut next Monday.
Russell Taylor, vice president of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland said: “Christmas provides the perfect platform for us to communicate with a large base of Samsung customers and will help to make the UK’s biggest tech brand also its most loved one.”
The Galaxy Note 4 takes centre stage in ‘All wrapped up early’ celebrating the brand’s flagship smartphone. ‘Christmas round ours’ showcases the whole Samsung range.
Will it persuade you to ask for a Samsung for Christmas? Didn’t think so.