There were no shortage of laughs at the IGD conference this week. Commenting on a prediction by Waitrose CEO Steven Esom that "by 2020, we will have cashless, checkout-less supermarkets," bearded wag and Tate & Lyle CEO Iain Ferguson retorted: "Fantastic. We'll be able to walk out of a Waitrose without giving up any of our cash. That's the advantage, I suppose, of being a not-for-profit."

Responding to a suggestion that, in the future, online shopping would bring supermarkets into consumers' homes, conference host Michael Buerk quipped: "If someone turned my front room into a Tesco Local, I'd slit my throat."

Alas, the AV system at the IGD conference had a few glitches. A couple of commercials for Waitrose failed to come up on the screens. Still, it led to another memorable Buerk funny. "Well, you all know what they're like. Starving South American farmer gets a visit from Waitrose, and suddenly he's got eight beaming kids."

'Lessons in how to eat fruit and veg,' screamed the papers. It seems our nanny-state government has such a low opinion of consumers that it wants our supermarkets to teach us how to peel a banana. Apparently all that fruit and veg is "scary" to shoppers, according to health minister Caroline Flint. And, one half expected her to add: "Sudan 1 is all cuddly and nice."

My mother-in-law, Glenys, who lives near Wakefield in northern England, started cooing about her new toaster: "I can toast Warburtons in it." It seems some Warburtons slices are too big for your average toaster. Glenys had already returned one toaster not up to the job and, to make sure she didn't make the same mistake twice, cut out a slice-sized piece of cardboard so she could test appliances before buying. I guess that could be called 'using your loaf'.