Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s Review Of The Year 2011. Christmas is sneaking up on us once again, faster than you can say ‘Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Tintin movie merchandise display.’

As another tough year nears its end, December is traditionally the time for taking stock and reviewing business. So in our time honoured fashion we’d like to help you get into the festive mood as we present The Grocery Trader’s Review of The Year, with a look back at some of the industry stories we’ll remember from 2011.

Once again our Review of The Year celebrates the UK grocery industry’s continued outstanding ability to meet consumer needs, come rain come shine. As these pages show, the UK grocery industry continues to flourish and innovate, and Brit consumers still jump at the chance to have a good time, which keeps the grocery trade going.

Light hearted or serious, the stories published here represent the wide span of subjects The Grocery Trader covers throughout the year in the magazine, in print and digital editions, and on our website, and reflect the many facets of the UK multiple grocery industry.

Our Review of The Year lift the lid on some of the areas of excellence where so much great work is being done in so many fields – among them grocery new product development and marketing, packaging, the back of the store and supply chain, and retail IT. Retail IT, of course, includes the fast moving field of payment technology, which the experts tell us will soon transform much of the retail environment as mobile payments catch on in a big way. In the Review we’ve got interviews with Barclaycard, leading the field in secure payments, ValidSoft, redefining card payment security in the move to mobile payments and Elavon, offering easy and reliable payment processing.

The back of the store and supply chain are also of critical importance in today’s grocery industry, and our Review’s front page leads with a story about storage experts SSI Shaefer highlighting efficiency through automation, with their very popular Automation Day Conference. And on the grocery side we have stories on the front page from three food companies who have been achieving excellence this year – New Covent Garden, who carried out their biggest brand overhaul yet during 2011, Rustlers, part of Kepak, who joined forces with MTV in a dream alliance targeting young male consumers and Burton’s Foods, who brought grocery icon Wagon Wheels back to prominence this year.

We hope each of you reading this issue gets the chance to relax, take your mind off business and enjoy the festive season as best you can. Start getting into the mood with our Review of The Year. Cheers!

The Grocery Trader

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