French customs officials have reported that they are struggling to cope with the high numbers of French men and women travelling over to British channel ports and purchasing cheap Pot Noodles, microwave ready meals and Cup-A-Soups.
Wave after wave of French cars and vans are making the short journey across the channel, stocking up and taking English convenience snacks back to France. Regular ‘Noodle Cruiser’ Thierry LaCroix explained ‘Processed food is just so expensive in France. And the taxes on it are so high we can’t afford to buy it regularly, so we have to cook our own food from scratch using fresh ingredients and everything. It’s a real pain in the ass – you English have it so much easier.’
The French Government, concerned about lost tax revenue recently ruled that imported Pot Noodles and Cup-A-Soups must be for personal use only, and vans are regularly searched for microwave ready meals that might be destined for the ever-growing black market. LaCroix himself recently had a vanload of frozen mini-chicken kievs confiscated by the authorities at Calais. ‘I tried to tell them that I just really loved Tesco value microwave mini-kievs, but they couldn’t believe that the five hundred packets I had in the van were for my own consumption’ he complained.
But what is bad news for the French treasury is good news for British shop-keepers. Hypermarkets full of microwave mini-pizzas and savoury pop-tarts have been popping up outside Dover and Portsmouth with staff being trained in conversational French. ‘The only thing that they don’t buy is alcohol’ said a supermarket manager. ‘Which is odd, ‘cos we thought that nobody ate any of this stuff unless they’d have four or five pints of lager beforehand.’