Independent retailers will be able to try and test demand for new products in their stores for free, as part of a new initiative from wholesale buying group Unitas.

The scheme is due to be launched “imminently”, according to Unitas sales and marketing director John Kinney. “There will never be competing supplier products. Retailers won’t get two products from two different suppliers offering pet food,” he said.  

Kinney added the Unitas scheme was designed to take the “risk away” from sending new products into stores.

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Three retailers have told betterRetailing they would welcome the scheme. Ken Singh, of Boghar Bros Stores in Pontefract, said: “I’d say 80% of new products I trial in my shop don’t really last that long. Lucozade Original and Red Bull are still the most popular products, and investing in new products takes a lot of time and money.

“I can’t think of any new products that have been popular for a prolonged period of time. Being able to trial new products without the added risk is a good thing.”

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