In many ways, Waitrose has set the standard for own-brand fmcg packaging. Its head of graphic design, Maggie Hodgetts, has soldiered on quietly for years, bringing in great design groups such as Lewis Moberly, Turner Duckworth and Williams Murray Hamm to create seductive packs, beautifully produced, to tempt customers to buy wares produced by the John Lewis Partnership subsidiary. The work has won countless creative awards along the way.

But it is the decision to broaden the supermarket chain’s appeal by introducing more local stores that has tipped the balance and earned it a place in this year’s Hot 50.

Last summer, for example, Waitrose – hitherto seen as an upmarket supermarket chain – opened its first delicatessen style convenience store format in Cambridge, with interiors by Interstore Schweitzer and wayfinding and in-store graphics by Household.

It is good to see an established champion of good design setting a creative benchmark in what might otherwise be a humdrum sector.

That it is now applying innovation to its store formats is a huge plus.

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