Delighted to accept an invitation to a Tesco Finest evening just before half term, I was really not sure what to expect. For a start it was in the evening. So after dropping Spike at Football practice on the way, I then swung the car onto the M25 and around to South Mimms, to the large Tesco at Potters Bar.
Normally these kind of events are during office hours where we journalists/bloggers drop in, sample the dishes, gather the information, take numerous photos, then head off back to work. This however was not the usual event.
Instead, we all gathered in the entrance of Tesco, waiting for something to happen. I soon learned that most attendees were loyal customers. Just a handful of us were bloggers and journalists aswell.
At the allotted time, we were all guided to the back office, past the warehouses and into a cosy room spread with the new Finest additions to the range. The only sound, an irritating bleep in the background, that continued throughout the entire presentations. Perhaps the security system or something...
Potters Bar, we discovered is one of the UK stores that trials new ideas, new layouts, new concepts. So following a brief introduction, we learned that Potters Bar was undergoing a major revamp in the coming weeks, that would possibly affect customers, but to avoid major disruption, would mainly be carried out in the early hours. Any feedback, good or bad, was welcomed, as this was a kind of blueprint store for the rest of the UK and customers were encouraged to seek out the head construction guy to tell him their issues. So Tesco, like all retailers, continues to evolve the ranges they stock, to keep in line with market demand and continued changing customer behaviour.
Keen to move on and talk food, next up was Helen from Marketing, who spoke with enthusiasm and passion about the stories behind each artisan producer, each expert that's been involved with creating the Tesco Finest range. I was surprised to learn that the range has existed for 15 years and now comprises some 1500 products!
In a recent supermarket shop, I had already noticed that some packaging has already changed as they roll out the revamped Finest branding and packaging. So after gathering our drinks, we all sat down again for the talks about the many new additions to the Tesco finest range. We sampled some of the cheeses including Stilton (not a favourite of mine I am afraid) but for the first time ever, I did try Quince Jelly which is so delicious on top of their Finest mature cheddar, on top of their Finest cheese crackers. We sampled the tasty sun-dried tomato bites and cheese straws, took meat from the meat platters and chunks of cheese, along with sipping on some new tea blends or new instant coffee they had on offer. This was then polished off with Carrot cake, red velvet cake or chocolate cake.
All of which could easily be popped in your lunch box to make it all that much more of a "finest" lunchbox!
We even smelt, snapped and savoured some chunks of their new Finest chocolate range.
So if you are wanting to treat yourself, do take a look at the Finest range in store. They are totally passionate about bringing tasty morcels to the masses and working with local producers and artisans to keep it local. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either!
You'll also find on most packaging, a black and white code, not the bar code, but something called a QR code. If you scan this into your phone, (an i-phone I believe works best), you can then click through to the website and read more behind the story of this particular product in your hand, or learn more about the range that's new to Tesco. There are lots of videos online on the Real Food section of Tesco
showing the dedication and passion behind this range of Tesco Finest.
So pop something in your basket the next time you shop at Tesco, and give it a try!
Now if you are keen to get involved and be one of those loyal customers that gets to hear the latest news on Tesco Finest and other additions to Tesco, and maybe sample the odd new flavour or two, do ask at your local store! You never know, it could be you next!
The Lunchbox Lady x
Disclosure: All thoughts, opinions are my own. I did receive a goodie bag for attending, along with all the other loyal Tesco customers.