Waitrose expands refillable range due to customer demand – 13 more products added
Waitrose detail recipe for honey roasted parnsips and carrots
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Earlier this year, Waitrose became the first major UK supermarket to integrate unpacked items into its regular aisles. It came after trialling the scheme in some of its shops in 2019.
Now, Waitrose has expanded the initiative to include 13 more products.
The products are part of the food retailer’s Unpacked scheme, which allows customers to fill their own boxes and containers with food.
This means reducing the use of plastic packaging.
The new products in the range include loose tea, popcorn, and dried fruit.
These ingredients are kept in big refillable containers and cost between £1 and £2 per kilogram.
Unpacked products are available only at four Waitrose shops across the UK, but the retailer has said there are potential plans to expand the range to more stores in the future.
Waitrose said it has seen an increasing demand for package-less items at its Unpacked shops.
Sales of the refillable products have risen almost nine percent over the past six months.
The most popular products in the range include frozen fruit and vegetables, washing-up liquid, pulses, pasta, and grains.
The new refillable products will be cheaper than their plastic-packed equivalents.
Waitrose hopes that lowering the prices will encourage more people to opt for the more environmentally friendly versions instead of the foods in their packaging.
Marija Rompani, Director of Ethics and Sustainability at Waitrose, commented on the Unpacked scheme’s success.
She said: “We are really beginning to find some momentum with customers demonstrating that this is how they might be prepared to shop with us in the future and we are especially encouraged by the response to moving the concept in-aisle to make it more of the norm when visiting us.
“We know there is much more work to do, but the reaction of customers right now is giving us the confidence to continue moving forward with Unpacked,” Ms Rompani added.
Earlier this year, in January, Waitrose integrated its Unpacked range into its main aisles instead of placing the refillable containers in a separate area of the shop.
This move took place in the retailer’s Oxford branch, and Waitrose said it boosted the sales of the plastic-free products by 20 percent.
As well as Oxford, the other locations where the Unpacked scheme is available are Wallingford, Abingdon, and Cheltenham.
However, customers in other parts of the UK could see the products appear in their local Waitrose store soon.
As well as its Unpacked initiative, Waitrose has been trialling other schemes to reduce its use of plastic packaging in stores.
Last month, the supermarket launched the trial of soft plastic packaging recycling points in 37 of its stores.
Customers can recycle flexible plastics such as carrier bags, bread packaging, toilet roll wrapping and pet food pouches.
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