01 June 1998

The UK's number three supermarketeer, Asda, is piloting a takeaway food facility at its Canterbury site. The 7,000 sq ft project, which caters both for takeaway and instore meals, signals a new strategy driven by forecasts that 50% of all UK meals will be taken outside the home by 2005 - the current figure stands at 30%. 'Goodbye Sainsbury's and everyone else', says a shopper as she collects her family's dinner from the Chinese counter, 'it's so convenient.' And convenience is the name of the game at Asda, catering for those who are so busy that they have no time to cook. A wide range of meals is available, all cooked in customers' view as they wait. There is even a broadcast running commentary by the chef as he/she cooks the dish of the day. And in true Asda tradition, the cod and chips at £2.29 undercuts the chippie down the road by a hefty 41p! In November, the site will open a drive-in section and plans for a home-delivery service are also under discussion.