RIA 2017 winner: Symbol Initiative of the Year

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It was the push by symbol group Simply Fresh into the emerging market of hospital stores that impressed the judging panel and earned it the title of Symbol Initiative of the Year for the second year in a row.

The group opened a store within Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in March last year, with a focus on healthier choices for staff, patients and relatives. At least 50% of food and 70% of drinks have to meet the strict guidelines on salt, fat and sugar laid down by the Scottish government, and several more hospital sites are now set to open by the end of the year.

“I like the way they have been able to adjust their format and their range to suit these locations,” said one judge.

The panel was also impressed with the way the group’s drive into this new market fitted perfectly with Simply Fresh’s healthier eating positioning.

“They are carving out a niche market for themselves,” said one judge. “It’s a very innovative and forward-thinking move.”