Stage three of the healthy eating programme, which is backed by the Scottish Executive and encourages c-stores to stock fruit, vegetables and other healthier choices, will see the initiative roll out to more stores. It will also develop promotions to encourage impulse sales of fresh produce and involve staff training.
Speaking at the launch of phase three at a Spar store in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scottish Executive Health Minister Andy Kerr said: "I want every community in Scotland to have access to a local convenience store offering healthy, fresh food. The first phases have been a resounding success, with 250 stores signed up. I would urge more stores across Scotland to join and help make the healthy choice the easy choice."
The Scottish Executive is expected to provide funding of about £200,000 for phase three, but participating retailers including Botterills Convenience Stores, David Sands, CJ Lang and Scotmid are yet to find out what the funding will cover.
James Cochrane, services & distribution director of Botterills, said he has seen sales of fresh produce rise 19% since joining the programme in 2004. He added: "We have a meeting next week to determine what's going to happen with funding, but we hope to extend the Healthy Living offer that is already in all of our 45 stores."
Independent retailers who want to get involved and apply for funding should call the SGF on 0131 343 3300.