Local food producers are set for a boost thanks to a project which will allow consumers to taste products before they go on sale.

Temporary and permanent 'Food Sampling Shops' are to be rolled out across the UK this summer. Producers will be able to rent shelf space at the Perfect Tasters-run shops, where they can offer free "taster experiences" to customers.

Perfect Tasters co-founder Davis Weaver told Convenience Store: "Our research shows that independent retailers want to demonstrate their commitment to their localities and to support local producers, but often don't have the evidence to determine whether products will sell. We strongly believe that our initiative will assist this.

"Our 'taster' approach will also encourage interface between producers and independent retailers, which can only be a good thing."

Customers will be able to buy as well as try products in the Food Sampling Shops. Many of the new outlets are expected to be set up in vacant units, so the project will also help to rejuvenate communities, added Weaver.