First introduced in 2017 in Gran Canaria as a stand-alone store, Spar Natural is a format that offers vegan, organic and free-from products from major brands and an own-label range, which was developed in 2018. The format has since expanded into countries such as South Africa, Italy and Oman as a shop-within-a-shop concept. Though it is not currently available to UK retailers, the format is cashing in on growth trends that are building in importance for many store owners.

Here, we take a look at the Spar Natural store concept and find out three things convenience retailers in the UK can take away for their business.

1 Organic and free-from is basket spend booster

The average basket spend in Spar Natural stores is €15 (£13), more than double the £6.38 average spend in UK convenience stores, as given by the ACS. However, catering solely for this kind of shopper comes at a price, with a monthly turnover of €20,000 (£17,000) for its stores. The format enables retailers to drive high spend, but from a low number of shoppers, however, considering that this figure is from the four stores in Gran Canaria, an island of only 850,000 people, this has to be taken into account.

2 Shoppers will visit for expertise

The stores in Gran Canaria train their staff to be able to advise customers about nutrition. There are also open spaces in the stores for consultation and awareness sessions on a variety of food and drinks topics. Spar Natural has to make sure its staff understand food, health and wellness. In South Africa, 4.5% of one store’s sales now come from the Spar Natural concept, a growth driven by reaching a new customer base.

3 Own brand is key to what your shoppers think of you

There are currently 27 lines in the Spar Natural own brand range, which include healthy snacks, like fruit & nut bars and corn cakes; grocery products, such as pulses grains and pasta; coffee & tea capsules and confectionery.

This range is key to Spar Natural’s original purpose of appealing to tourists in Gran Canaria – largely from Germany and Scandinavia – and helping them find the types of products that they are used to at home. The stores in Gran Canaria are owned by one independent retailer and his family, so by promoting the store’s own label, they have become a trusted destination for this type of shopper.