New course to ‘help supermarket buyers tell shampoo from Chardonnay’

Graphic: Rob 'lather-man' Johnson

The team at the Further Education College for Alcoholic Learning (FECAL) have announced that they are to launch a new vocational course aimed entirely at supermarket buyers.

The new qualification is described by its creators as being ‘significantly different to existing courses – specifically, easier…’ and starts next month.

Low base

‘Judging by the sorry state of the drinks aisles in most UK supermarkets, it’s obvious that most of these buyers have barely even drunk alcohol before, never mind bought it for a living,’ said FECAL’s Jilly Gluedon. ‘So we needed to start from a pretty low base.’

All three of the UK’s current supermarket drinks buyers have signed up to the first course. And Gluedon is hopeful that at least one of them will complete the six-week syllabus before they are moved into an entirely unrelated department.

‘It would be a shame if they didn’t stick around long enough to get any benefit from what we’re teaching them,’ she told Fake Booze. ‘But on the plus side, the supermarkets’ policy of constantly employing people with zero experience and then moving them on once the job starts to make sense should pay for my retirement home in France.’

Vocational venality

As well as basic product information, such as telling the difference between Chardonnay and shampoo, the course will also cover skills specific to buying such as lying, chicanery, shouting, venality and back-stabbing.

‘But we also want the course to adapt according to the demands of our clients,’ said Gluedon. ‘For instance, we’re already getting requests for modules in creative accounting and margin slashing.’

No more accidents

‘This is exactly the kind of qualification we’ve been requesting for years,’ said Giles Methadone, Pricefixer supermarkets’ head of brand perception, corporate outreach and patisserie.

 ‘Something like this should help our buyers to assess quality far more accurately.

‘And make sure they don’t accidentally buy anything good in the future.’