Fascia pioneer Spar to use fortnight event to highlight its work with regional food and drink suppliers.
SCOTTISH Food and Drink Fortnight (SFDF) will be used by symbol group Spar as a chance to spotlight the many connections it has built with specialist local food and drink suppliers.
POS material and advice will be available to CJ Lang-owned stores and to indpendent Spar retailers for the event, which runs 6 – 21 September.
Gerry Welsh, marketing manager at Spar Scotland, sees the event as a great opportunity to highlight one of the group’s strengths and mark out its local connections as a point of difference from the competition.
“We are always on the lookout for new and innovative local products,” Welsh said.
“We are particularly keen to be speaking to smaller regional suppliers, including butchers and bakeries, as stocking these types of ranges allows us to differentiate our offer from other convenience stores in the area.”
Regional arrangements can, he added, be made on a store-by-store basis.
“Many of the suppliers deliver direct to the stores and not just to our depot here in Dundee. In total, we deal with over 30 local butchers and just approaching 50 local bakers across Scotland.”
Spar recently ran a Meet the Buyer day, in conjunction with Scotland Food and Drink, and the group now lists many of those suppliers’ lines, including bakery products, soft drinks and grocery items.
Welsh highlights one recent success story, Skinni Fat-free Sausages and Burgers, from Prestwick-based food products manufacturer West Coast Fisheries & Butchers.
Since listing the lines in January they have continued to sell well in their Ayrshire heartland and are beginning to make an impact in the rest of the country.
“There has been tremendous interest in our shops and on Facebook,” he said.
Welsh reckons a strong range of Scottish products can cement a store’s reputation as a fixture in the community.
“We see from research that shoppers rate local products highly, as a key part of being a community store. Locally sourced foods are most positively perceived by women and ABC1 consumers.
“Most shoppers also view local sourcing as supporting the local economy and perceive these products as being of better quality. Spar retailers in Scotland have been supporting local suppliers for generations and Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight helps us shout about it,” he said.