Launched in Gran Canaria, Spain, in January 2017, the SPAR Natural concept recognizes that trends in health and wellness are driving growth within the retail food industry, and is poised to grow significantly over the next five years. The store also highlights the role that convenience stores can play in meeting the demands of today’s health-conscious consumers.
SPAR Natural was seen to be a pioneering new concept based on the growing consumer demand for healthy choices. Working collaboratively, SPAR Gran Canaria, SPAR Spain and SPAR International developed the concept in response to the growing demand for health and wellness products. With a range of over 4,000 health and wellness products sourced internationally as well as locally, the store clearly differentiates itself from its competitors. With a range of over 4,000 health and wellness products sourced internationally as well as locally, the store clearly differentiates itself from its competitors.
Speaking about the award win, Managing Director of SPAR International Tobias Wasmuht said: “In all 44 countries we operate in, SPAR works with our Partners to tailor our offering to the needs of the local market, while at the same time sharing SPAR’s expertise and international best practice. The NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award illustrates these principles in action. I warmly congratulate Jesus Diaz and the team in Gran Canaria on this win. I would also like to congratulate SPAR Thailand on being nominated as a finalist in this prestigious competition. This exceptional performance in two very different markets illustrates the pioneering retail experiences that SPAR delivers all over the world.”
Judges agreed that SPAR Natural had broken new ground in health and wellness by providing a holistic approach to local customers seeking better health care, a healthier lifestyle and greater access to natural products and solutions for food intolerances. The convenience store communicates its healthy options with icons representing eight categories: Vegan (V+), Vegetarian (V), Organic (O), Gluten Free (GF), Wheat Free (WF), Dairy Free (DF), Lactose Free (LF) and Sugar Free (SF). In addition, store employees are able to share their expertise and answer customer questions about the products.
The design utilizes natural materials and colours, and instore signage throughout sets a relaxed tone that compliments SPAR’s brand proposition, “Life is better with a smile,” and the SPAR Natural slogan, “Eat healthy, live green, be free.”
The winner was decided by the Grand Jury which included leading experts from the worlds of business, retail and design. This year, two of the ten finalists were SPAR stores – SPAR Natural in Gran Canaria and SPAR Ratchapruek in Thailand.