In a fast-paced industry, the products and technology that stand out as truly innovative are often those that prove to be game-changers in the long term


Nestlé Milkybar Wowsomes

Using an “innovative sugar reduction technique”, Nestlé won the race to bring a lower-sugar chocolate bar to the market. The bar’s “aerated, porous particles of sugar that dissolve more quickly in the mouth” might not sound too delicious, but reducing sugar in confectionery is a focus for all manufacturers. Mondelez is reportedly working on a reduced-sugar product, too. Each Wowsome bar comes in at 18g with 95 calories.

Did you know?

There is a range of sugar-free chocolates designed with diabetics in mind currently available through health food stores. 

Charcoal lattes

When Mital Morar of Ancoats General Stores showed retailers and suppliers around his store last spring, every person was invited to have a barista-made hot drink from the store’s counter. Yet rather than enjoy a coffee or a delicious smoothie, it was the charcoal and turmeric lattes that were a hit. This has since become a major trend, proving that the modern convenience store really can be ahead of the Instagram curve.  

Did you know?

The Chicago Tribune and Germany’s version of Elle magazine have all written about charcoal lattes, making it a global trend. 

Day-part merchandising made easy

In one way, this could be considered a shelf with wheels on, but the breakfast to lunch moveable display, which was premiered at Pete Bhadal’s Londis Woodhouse Street this summer, represents a big step for retail. For years, experts have been speaking excitedly about the way Japanese c-stores transform themselves to the appropriate shopper missions, and now a major UK symbol group has taken a step toward this direction. ​​​​​​​

Did you know?

Despite Japan’s c-stores leading the way in technology, there are actually nearly half as many stores per person than in the UK. ​​​​​​​

Darius Engage

Mo Razzaq wowed the crowds at this year’s Local Shop Summit when he discussed the targeted promotions, interactive displays and sophisticated loyalty system he’s been able to bring into his store this year. Want to take advantage of a promo on his wall? You’ll have to use the QR code first – and by using the Darius data management system, you will swap the information from your purchase for a top-grade promotion. 

Did you know?

The QR (quick response) code first appeared in 1994, but has been used increasingly since the mass adoption of the smartphone. 

Lomond Nom Stop 

For most retailers, moving into food to go can be one of the biggest steps they can take. Lomond: The Wholesale Food Co’s Nom Stop
all-in-one food-to-go system aims to reduce the risk of wastage and expense from equipment. Kitchen equipment, marketing material, branding, a step-by-step guide with crib sheets and food safety requirements, menu display screen, Nom Stop sign and shop fitting – it’s all part of the all-in-one package. 

Did you know?

As more stores embrace the food-to-go trend, many symbol groups consider a compelling offer to be a key part of their store models.