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As consumers' expectations for businesses to provide sustainable products and services continue to increase, so too does their demand for businesses to be able to offer them these things. Implementing consumer-facing services and operational solutions that support a circular economy where goods are reused, recycled, repurposed and remanufactured. Stores are taking steps towards creating a circular system by implementing services like reuse and recycling programs, composting and waste reduction initiatives.
To help meet these standards and offer opportunities for greater consumer involvement, grocery stores are directly engaging their shoppers by offering them incentives to recycle and refill products at their local store. Packaging, particularly within the CPG space, is a huge source of landfill waste, and even with better recycling efforts and materials, the onus still falls on the consumer to deal with properly discarding bottles and boxes once a product has reached the end of its usable life. To combat this issue and differentiate their stores, particularly from increased e-commerce competition, supermarkets are experimenting with novel and innovative formats that expand beyond the typical offerings of a bulk aisle, encouraging customers to shop with refillable cartons and containers.
Loop is a global shopping platform geared toward eliminating waste while also providing convenience for consumers. Loop allows customers to easily purchase popular everyday products in reusable, durable packaging, which they can return for cleaning and reuse once they’ve enjoyed the contents. While recirculated packaging is most common in food and beverage categories, it is also seeing increased use in personal care and household items.
Offering customers more sustainable choices is one of Kroger’s ESG strategy, Thriving Together’s key objectives. The reusable packaging and recycling initiative with Loop kicked off at a few dozen Kroger-owned Fred Meyer stores in Portland. The sustainably packaged products are placed in a designated area, which also serves as a collection site after the products are consumed. Loop recovers and sanitizes the packaging, so products can reach the stores again. The initiative allows consumers to shop more sustainably in a convenient manner.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, The Grocery Store Playbook.