- The sustainable retail concept allows customers to fill up their own containers full of cereal, pulses, pasta, rice and other raw and ambient foodstuffs using dispensers and weigh their goods before taking them to the till to pay
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Catherine Conway, the founder of Unpackaged developed the retail offering specifically for farm shops, delis and independent retailers. Unpackaged offers a series of refillable dispensers for shoppers keen to keep their footprint low. According to the creator, the scheme has been inspired by a more traditional way of shopping, where goods are measured and weighed and do not come in hard-to-recycle plastic packaging.
Catherine said, “With bulk, the customer is offered alternative packaging – often more plastic bags, whereas refill shopping is all about enabling customers to bring their own containers. To do this, we give them the ability to tare and deduct the weight of any container they bring from the overall weight of the goods they are buying, so it’s self-service, easy to use, and complies with all legislation on weights, measures and labelling.”
Catherine is launching Unpackaged at the Farm Shop & Deli Show at the NEC from the 16th to 18th April. Find her at the Bizerba stand, No. W270/W280 at FoodEx (one part of the show). She is also taking part in a panel debate on Monday 16th April on how to reduce plastic waste.
Catherine continues, “Earlier this year I launched my concept into Planet Organic shops across London. Moving into farm shops and delis is huge jump for me. More and more people in towns, villages and rural areas are committed to supporting these kinds of shops and it’s a huge achievement for Unpackaged At… to be here.
Independent retailers have a huge opportunity to beat the big supermarkets to reducing waste – and shopping ‘by refill’ ensures repeat business! Without getting sentimental, the ‘old’ way of shopping was much, much kinder to our environment. Supply chain was a simpler affair, and bulk offerings allowed shoppers to choose how much they wanted, thus cutting down on packaging and food waste. I’m incredibly proud today. It’s a massive step in the long journey towards a truly zero waste weekly shop.”
Retailers which sign up to Unpackaged receive an easy-to-install unit holding 10 gravity and 15 scoop bins and a high-spec weighing scale, as well as retail support.
Additionally, Unpackaged has partnered with Grenke to offer a finance package for retailers, enabling them to pay a quarterly rental for their Unpackaged unit.