June 25, 2021
Grocery stores are finding that consumer packaged products (CPGs) sold in refillable containers are, in some cases, even more popular than their traditional disposable alternatives.
Asda in the UK ad It is expanding a successful pilot program that tested consumer responses to placing popular CPG staples, such as tea, Kellogg cereal, Quaker oats, laundry detergent and shower gel, in refillable containers.
During the initial phase of the pilot, launched in October, Asda found that customers not only went to its stores from outside their marketing areas to purchase refillable items, but also purchased certain products. at a higher rate than their packed counterparts.
Other UK-based retailers including Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have all experimented with a variety of refillable offers. Sainsbury’s is considering introducing one.
The trend of refillable basic shopping is sweeping through UK grocery stores at a time when environmental sustainability is also popular among consumers in the United States. Among the environmental issues in the grocery world is the use of excessive packaging for CPG products as well as e-commerce delivery boxes, something that customers have become very aware of since online grocery shopping. has seen an unprecedented adoption rate during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
CPG brands and grocers large and small in the United States have attempted to address these concerns in recent years.
In a 2019 survey, 85% of CPG brand manufacturers said they have invested funds to make packaging more recyclable.
A startup called Zero Grocery in Berkeley, Calif., Is trying to solve the problems with CPG packaging and delivery boxes in one fell swoop by delivering products in reusable jars and other containers.
Others in space are trying similar approaches on a larger scale. A âcircular deliveryâ startup called Loop has teamed up with Kroger, Walgreens and others to sell and deliver merchandise in reusable packaging.
The pandemic, however, briefly derailed progress in reducing packaging waste in the United States.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you seeing in-store refills of popular CPG products spreading across the United States? What do you see as the opportunities and challenges around such an introduction?
“The first grocer who makes it cool will win.”