‘NUDE’ fresh produce. JOHANN BOTHA
Pick n Pay is piloting a new packaging-free zone. The “pick and weigh” shopping experience will give customers the opportunity to buy a wide range of products without any packaging.

The trial is taking place at Pick n Pay Constantia store in Cape Town.

There will be 88 dry grocery products across 15 different categories from which customers can choose.

These include baking products, cereals, dried fruit, flour, grains, ground coffee, nuts, pasta, pulses and beans, rice, seeds, spices, olive oil and vinegar. Each category will have a range of products, including gluten-free options.

Customers will be encouraged to bring their own reusable container, but the store will offer free paper bags, and a range of reusable containers that can be purchased.

“This is an innovative concept for a traditional supermarket, and we are really excited to help our customers reduce their packaging footprint,” said Paula Disberry, retail executive: commercial at Pick n Pay.

She says that all the products are sourced directly from suppliers and are delivered to the store in large reusable containers before being decanted into containers in the packaging-free zone. This means that no packaging is used in delivering the items to the store.

During the trial, Pick n Pay hopes to identify the top 20 or 30 products and roll out packaging-free zones to more stores across the country.

Disberry believes customers will embrace the opportunity to purchase packaging-free products, judging by the positive reaction to the “nude” fruit and vegetable produce wall trial Pick n Pay ran in July this year to measure customers’ readiness to switch from pre-packaged food to loose products. 

“The number of stores offering customers a ‘nude’ fruit and vegetable produce wall has more than doubled since our trial was launched, from just 13 stores to 29.”

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