In response to increased demand for local supermarkets to meet the demands of St Andrews’ growing international community, Tesco have expanded their East Asian food section to provide students with speciality groceries and a selection of thirty-five to forty branded items. This comes following the introduction last September of a Polish food section and, more recently, an aisle for American drinks and confectionary to service the town’s swelling number of North American students.
Before Tesco’s World food sections were introduced last year, Asian students at the University eager for some home comforts had to go out of their way to visit speciality stores beyond St Andrews- such as the hugely popular Wing Fung supermarket in Dundee, which attracts Chinese students from Aberdeen and beyond with their expansive selection of branded imports and specially-sourced Asian groceries like lotus and beancurd sticks.
The aisle, now relocated towards the back of the store by the frozen section offers everything from instant ramen dishes, sauces and tofu to more specialised items like boil-in-the-bag Pad Thai and kimchi. The move has been accompanied by a rise in the number of branded products, including the Yutaku range of Japanese noodles, miso soups and sushi rice.
Duty Manager Claire Frew reminds customers that if there’s a product from home not offerred anywhere else in town, to approach a staff member and request it: ‘we always strive our best to bring in any popular brands that people want to see.’ The increase in size of Tesco’s range of Asian products coincided with an introduction of a small South American food section by the bakery, near the American section.