While Tesco currently has the lion's share of the grocery market north of the border (accounting for 31% of the food market according to CACI figures for 2009), it faces stiff competition from rivals.

Morrisons has aggressive expansion plans in place in the country, with Sainsbury's and Asda also looking to build on their existing presence. Even Waitrose intends to grow its modest portfolio, with plans to open up to 25 new stores in Scotland in the next five years. Earlier this year the retailer, which currently has three stores north of the border, got the green light from planners for the first new-build Waitrose store in Scotland, which is due to open its doors in early 2011 in Glasgow.

All the retailers are building their market share on the back of a strong in-store presence of Scottish branded goods, with most providing dedicated bays for the products. Waitrose currently stocks 300 Scottish lines, while Sainsbury's offers 1,500. Tesco stocks a similar number of Scottish products to Sainsbury's, according to Lynne Roxburgh, marketing manager of Tesco's Scottish operation. Sales of Scottish lines have grown from £259m to £303m over the past year, she says.

The retailer's commitment to Scotland is underlined by its Enjoy the Taste of Scotland events, which have been running for five years and this year took the form of a roadshow, with the initial event taking place in Elgin in May and two further dates pencilled in for later in the summer.

The free events, which attracted 4,000 visitors, provided "a highly visible platform for Tesco's Scottish producers, many of whom are smaller, family-run businesses that only have limited access to resources and/or investment, to enhance media and consumer engagement and encourage purchase of locally produced lines," explains Roxburgh.

Focus On Scotland