Posted: 28/10/2019

GlobalData survey shows consumers keen to use food refill services

The latest report from GlobalData has shown that 71.3% of UK consumers are willing to use food refill services.

The data and analytics company found from its monthly survey that these practices were in line with a greater willingness among UK shoppers to buy unpackaged food.

“Amid growing awareness of the harmful affects of single-use plastics on the environment, retailers are keen to prove that they are acting responsibly and responding to consumers’ concerns,” said GlobalData retail analyst Hannah Thomson. 

“After initial set-up costs, retailers could benefit from selling certain goods unpackaged and removing packaging costs.”

The new data which was released in September follows news reported by FFD last month that Waitrose plans to extend its Unpackaged trial concept and roll out the trial to three other stores.

Faversham-based Macknade fine food hall has also recently unveiled its ‘Unpackaged at Macknade’ concept. 

The new section features dispensers for customers who want to reduce excess packaging. They can bring in their own containers and choose from loose grains, pulses, rice, dried fruit, nuts and pasta.

“Our customers can now sample premium products in smaller quantities,” said managing director, Stefano Cuomo. “We have a large dispenser unit with 30 products. It has been so popular with customers that we are already looking to increase the range.”

Respondents who told GlobalData they would not use a refill shop, cited an unwillingness to take containers to a store.

“Encouragingly for retailers,” said Thomson, “the least-cited reason for not wishing to buy unpackaged items is a preference for branded products. 

“This leaves retailers free to switch suppliers in search of the best margins, and should give them the confidence to use suppliers which are able to deliver in bulk instead of in packaging.”

This story appeared in the October-November issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

Read more of the latest news from Fine Food Digest here

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