Shifting Shopper Perceptions
Sustainability and single-use plastic waste reduction is on shoppers’ minds while retailers strive to balance the need for practicality and cost efficiency. Whereas reduced plastic packaging and increased recyclability are now top three concerns of shoppers in many markets, retailers must wait for the packaging industry to respond to shoppers demand for change.
Supermarket shoppers are now putting environmental considerations around single-use plastic waste ahead of actual price of goods when shopping.
Positive Feedback from Shoppers & Press
Retailers are receiving positive accolades from both industry press and shoppers on their efforts to address plastic waste, including cutting back on single-use plastics in their stores and rolling out new sustainability initiatives.
5 Visible Steps to Reduce Plastic Waste in Your Market
1. Implement In-Store Food Waste Composting
Composting food scraps and service ware in your deli department is not as challenging as it sounds. Check out our recent blog post compostable sample-ware products, like pleated paper soufflé cups, EcoTaster sampling spoons, wooden toothpicks, parchment paper squares, etc., allow your deli staff to avoid time-consuming sorting and separating. These types of in-store changes will be visible to shoppers.
2. A Fresh Look at Bulk Bin & Other Departments for Plastic Reduction
Shoppers are reacting positively to stores replacing plastic bags with recyclable paper and ‘Bring Your Own Container” zero waste initiatives. Whole Foods Markets and Morrisons are now offering brown paper bags in their produce and bulk foods sections and getting praise from both shoppers and press. In another bold zero waste move, Morrisons recently announced that shoppers can now bring their own zero waste containers to the meat or deli department in return for extra loyalty point
3. Cutting Distribution Costs, Carbon Footprint & Reducing Plastic Packaging By Supporting Local Farmers & Specialty Food Makers
Shoppers just feel better about supporting their local farmers and merchants vs. purchasing their family food online or purchasing food from other regions or countries. Inviting local farmers and artisan food makers to your markets to promote and sample local offerings and seasonal flavors is another way to highlight your markets’ sustainable efforts.
4. Reduce Food Waste & Excite Shoppers with In-Store Sampling
Costco and Target were able to reduce their in-store sampling costs by streamlining their three waste can system to just one single composting bin by switching to compostable sample ware. By eliminating the need to sort food waste from plastic sampling cups and spoons, in-store sampling becomes less costly and labor intensive. Shoppers are asking for plastic-free options when sampling at the deli or picking up grab-&-go meals.
5. Letting Shoppers Know…
Make sure your stores are communicating and advertising your stores’ sustainability efforts (both in-store and online) to reduce single-use plastics and food waste. Adding signage to the front of store and in the deli, produce, bulk/spice sections will help educate your shoppers about sustainability initiatives and changes being implemented to address shopper concerns about plastic waste.