Kraft’s bid to take over Cadbury sees the newspapers producing short biographies of the key players. Kraft’s chief executive Irene coffee-pot-808Rosenfeld is famous for Bagel-fuls, frozen bagels filled with cream cheese, and Oreo Cakesters, soft versions of the biscuits.

Local shops are full of products like these, some of which take off for a short time and some of which develop new categories. Mostly, as independent retailers you have to trust the big manufacturers to get their product development right. What you need is for them to generate some shopper excitement, to get your shopper’s changing their habits in a way that works for you store.

Serving coffee is one category that every local shop should try. The owners of the Costa brand report that their sales continue to rise. It is recession-resilliant, they say. Just as Kraft makes progress by helping people eat their bagel quicker, you make progress by putting a beverage next to the newspapers and cigarettes.