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FreshStop and Food Lover’s Market represent SA at the 2017 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Awards

| Awards and achievements

South Africa was well represented at the prestigious NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award 2017 as two of our most prominent SA brands, FreshStop and Food Lover’s Market, were among the 10 finalists from nine different countries.

FreshStop and Food Lover’s Market, were among the 10 finalists from nine different countries. Competition was strong with companies from Norway, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands selected by convenience and fuel retailing industry peers as finalists. 

FreshStop’s finalist entry, FreshStop at Caltex Caledon, was its first motorway flagship store located on the busy N2 commuter highway outside of Caledon in the Western Cape; and the Food Lover’s Market entry was the very popular Food Lover’s Eatery located in the Cape Town CBD. 

Now in its 9th year, the International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award recognises excellence in convenience and forecourt retailing on an international stage by celebrating the best convenience retail formats from around the world. This year the winner of the International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award was Spar Natural, a convenience store in Gran Canaria in Spain. Also garnering honourable mentions from the Grand Jury were Maxol’s M3 Mulhuddart for large format location and Lekkerland Frischwerk for small format location.

The Spar Natural format recognises 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. 
FreshStop’s focus on creating an innovative convenience shopping experience that meets and exceeds the needs of its local customers can be seen in the number of new lines that were launched at their FreshStop Caledon store in October 2016. New brands such as Crispy Chicken, Grill to Go and Angelberry frozen yoghurt outlets were introduced, as well as the largest Seattle Coffee Company bar to date that complements FreshStop’s newest in-store brand, Doughnut Delite. 

“Our focus was very much on convenience and ensuring that our customers could be in and out of the store in ten minutes if they were in a hurry to get back on the road. However, it was also an opportunity for us to expose all our new innovations in convenience food,” says Joe Boyle, Director of FreshStop, the largest and fastest growing 24-hour convenience retail brand in South Africa. 

The store also features fresh stop's first ever FreshStop Diner, which has the look and feel of a modern American diner and offers customers free wifi and power point sockets. FreshStop at Caltex Caledon also integrated healthy food options into the store with a Biltong Bar, Health Juice Bar, a Hydro Zone, a Panini Bar, and the ‘We ♥ Health’ grocery display offering a myriad of healthy products. In addition, an expanded range of on-the-go medical and health products, as well as household essentials such as batteries, are available at the Health Essentials counter located at the cashier station. 

The opening of the Caledon store created 66 new jobs for people mostly from the area, which gave a much-needed boost to the local community, uplifting not only themselves but also their families and the community at large. 

“Having been the winner of this award in 2013, we were honoured to be a finalist this year alongside other top international convenience retail brands. As part of the Fruit & Veg City Group, we couldn’t be more proud to have competed against our sister brand, Food Lover’s Market, and to have two such strong brands represent South Africa”, adds Boyle. 

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