SPAR Slovenia teamed up with the Formitas advertising agency and Pro Plus media house to run the third season. With entry open to anyone, many applications were received from which 20 start-ups were selected to compete. Eight of these were given the chance to sell their products in SPAR Slovenia’s INTERSPAR Hypermarkets, with one being awarded as the winning, Hit Product of 2018.
The business ideas included cheese spreads with fruit or nuts, cereals made from natural ingredients, frozen dessert popsicles, a pancake mix, organic granola, a food supplement for skin, hair and nails, a natural shampoo and conditioner, and a natural cleaning spray for pets.
In addition to the winner, La Popsi frozen dessert popsicles, seven more start-ups signed a contract with SPAR.
La Popsi creators, Neža and Karmen, were absolutely delighted with their win: “This project offers us a stepping stone and we jumped as far as we could. We did not expect to win as we were aware that each of the contestants gave their utmost. In the end, it is the shopper who decides. We are overjoyed that customers favoured our La Popsi popsicles so much.”
Neža and Karmen’s story proves that with dedication and the right approach one can go a long way. Many of the young start-ups, no matter how small their size, are market leaders in their product groups. Some have teamed up with SPAR Slovenia to create new categories that have huge potential. It is truly inspiring to see how successfully these small businesses have positioned themselves, performing so well alongside the big players.
Commenting on the successful third season, Managing Director of SPAR Slovenia, Igor Mervič said: “We have obtained some fantastic, innovative products that are ranking high in our range, with the winning products from the previous two seasons remaining in the top segment of their categories. It is indeed encouraging for local entrepreneurs, and I am pleased that we have created success stories in business and personal life.”
After three exceptional years, there are nearly 100 products created by more than 20 entrepreneurs sold under the Start it up, Slovenia! brand in INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in the country. According to Aleš Muhič, Marketing Director of Pro Plus media house, the products can do well in markets beyond the Slovenian border: “Our commitment made at the launch of the Start it up, Slovenia project was to offer young entrepreneurs a one-off business opportunity. I hope that the winners and the entrepreneurs awarded with a contract with SPAR Slovenia will spread their products all over Slovenia and expand across the borders.’’
Source: SPAR Slovenia
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About SPAR Slovenia
SPAR Slovenia, operated by ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG), was founded in 1992. ASPIAG is a subsidiary of SPAR Austria AG and was granted the licence to operate the brand in Slovenia by SPAR International. SPAR Slovenia has become a key employer in the country, with a Distribution Centre, bakery and corporate-owned stores providing employment opportunities.
The first SPAR store opened in the capital city, Ljubljana, in 1992. Three store formats are operated in Slovenia: SPAR, SPAR Supermarkets and INTERSPAR Hypermarkets. The brand is one of the most trusted companies in the country with Nielson research placing SPAR first in terms of freshness, quality and range. The SPAR Bakery, which has been continually developed, has played a key role in the overall fresh offer and has received great customer feedback.