A group of New World supermarkets have abandoned the use of plastic wrapping for virtually all of their fruit and vegetables in a project labelled ‘food in the nude’. Pioneered by the New World store at Bishopdale in Christchurch, it has led to stunning sales figures.
“We monitor them year on year and after we introduced the concept we noticed sales of spring onions, for example, had increased by 300 per cent,“ says Bishopdale owner Nigel Bond, in a sponsored article in the New Zealand Herald. “There may have been other factors at play but we noticed similar increases in other vegetable varieties like silverbeet and radishes.
“When we first set up the new shelving our customers were blown away,” he says. “It reminded me of when I was a kid going to the fruiterer with my Dad, you could smell the fresh citrus and spring onions. By wrapping products in plastic we sanitise and deprive people of this experience; it (dispensing with plastic) was a huge driver for us.
In New Zealand the days of single-use plastic shopping bags are numbered – most supermarkets no longer providing them at the check-out – while the government late last year agreed to regulations for a mandatory phase-out across all retailers from July 1.
Bond says eight or nine New World supermarkets in the South Island have followed Bishopdale’s example, a move which is part of a suite of sustainable practices adopted by New World owner Foodstuffs.
Bond began discussions with growers and suppliers, most of whom he says were happy to look at ways of providing produce free of plastic packaging (Foodstuffs is also continuing to work with suppliers to look at how it can be reduced across-the-board including areas other than produce).
Although many suppliers are reviewing the way produce is packaged, Bond believes manufacturers don’t always understand what consumers want: “We know, but we are like an intermediary, we sell what they give us. I think manufacturers have a much bigger part to play.”
Source: from a sponsored article in the NewZealandHerald