UK supermarket Waitrose has reached an agreement to trial a selection of its products at three Shell UK forecourt shops before Christmas 2009.

The range will include sandwiches, wraps and snacks, as well as a small selection of grocery items, ranging from bread and pasta to ready meals and toiletries. The Waitrose products will be offered alongside Shell's current assortment.

Based on the results of the trial, the two businesses will decide whether to extend the offering to a larger number of Shell service stations in 2010.

Both Shell and Waitrose said that they see "significant" growth potential in the food to go and convenience sectors and believe the relationship offers a "strong strategic fit" for both parties.

A spokesperson for the company said that the move builds on Waitrose' attempts to capitalise on opportunities outside the conventional supermarket channel, such as its opening of small shops at Welcome Break roadside services. The retailer also intends to trial a smaller convenience format with the potential for a further 200 shops over ten years.

"There are still millions of people without access to a local Waitrose and we want to explore all the possibilities for making our food available to more customer," Waitrose MD Mark Price commented.

"Our successful partnership with Welcome Break shows that customers don't want to compromise on the quality of their food just because they are travelling. We are confident that customers at Shell forecourts will also appreciate being able to buy delicious Waitrose food while they are on the go."

Shell is a leading fuel retailer in the UK with over 900 sites throughout the country. If successful, Waitrose said that the relationship with Shell would expand its reach to "thousands" of existing Shell customers.