4 Apr, 2021 @ 15:45
1 min read

Remembering when expats went wild for British products as Tesco arrived on Spain’s Costa del Sol


BALLOONS, a DJ and a crowd snaking through the sun-baked streets, the opening of the new Tesco-stocked Food Co. store in Mijas caused a veritable frisson in the expat community.

Tesco1 1
CROWDS: Brits lined up outside the new store

Workmen were literally painting more parking spaces onto the tarmac as hordes arrived so more customers could get a slice of the action.

“The queue has been winding all the way down the street,” said area manager for Spain, Gibraltar and Portugal, Scott Tierney.

“The most popular stuff is anything that’s unhealthy; sweets, crisps, Cadburys and obviously everyone loves Bisto,” he told the Olive Press.

CHOCOLATE: Piles of Dairy Milk ready for shoppers to grab

Also flying off the shelves at the bog off price of €12 were the much-loved Christmas classic Quality Street tins.

“I’m here for the vegan stuff,” said Saffia from Scotland. “I’ve been in Spain for 15 years and it’s so hard to find.

“Thank god for Linda McCartney,” she said, clutching a pack of veggie sausages. 

AISLE: Just like home

“We came to buy anything we could,” said another long-term expat Annette from Ireland, who was grabbing a bag of muesli.

“We’ve only been round half the store so far but we haven’t been disappointed. We used to go all the way to Gibraltar but now we can just come here,” she said.

FAVOURITES: Popular products Bovril and Oxo

Many expats did the same as Anette, travelling to the Morissons in Gibraltar for their most loved products. 

But, with new COVID-19 restrictions, only cross-frontier workers have been authorised access to the rock. So, the new Tesco superstore opened just at the right time at the end of October last year.

“Today has been manic to put it lightly but everyone has been really happy,” said English checkout girl Annie. 

And who wouldn’t have a reason to smile as the store was sending customers away with a complimentary bag filled with prosecco.

Lydia Spencer-Elliott

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