How does the UAE compare to the other markets, when it comes to Zero Waste Shopping?
Interview with Andrej Isoski, Commercial Director Middle East, HL Display (HL)
HL offers the merchandising solutions to reduce waste. Have the retailers in the UAE shown the interest about these solutions?
Yes, indeed! Leading retailers have all interest to reduce waste and offer shoppers to chose. Food retailers like Carrefour and Lulu have started in 2020 to use our solutions, but also many other UAE retailers like Spinneys, Grandiose, Geant have been offering their shoppers the option to buy loose products and therefore have less packing
HL is a leader in offering the loose product merchandising solutions. We can see these more and more in the UAE market.
From specialty stores to grocery chains, the trend towards packaging-free merchandising – displaying and dispensing loose product and solutions such as bulk bins – has gained popularity across multiple markets and categories.
In order to stay ahead in today’s challenging retail environment, more and more grocery retailers choose to display and dispense products such as nuts, grains, candy and cereals in solutions for packaging-free merchandising.
Andrej Isoski, Commercial Director Middle East, HL Display
Why retailers and brands should consider packaging-free product display?
I will give you five reasons why packaging-free merchandising is growing in popularity.
1. Packaging-free merchandising helps to reduce packaging waste. With sustainability top of mind for many, this can positively differentiate one store from another in the eyes of the shopper.
2. Packaging-free merchandising addresses the emerging consumer trend of personalisation. Research shows that 57% of shoppers expect products to be customized to fit their needs. Merchandising products in bulk allows shoppers full control to choose their personal product mix and quantity.
3. Packaging-free merchandising can be used to highlight organic alternatives. Organic food sales have grown rapidly since 2010. Displaying organic products loosely creates a more authentic display and differentiates them from the balance of the assortment.
4. Packaging-free merchandising drives value perception. According to research, shoppers perceive loose products often to be more affordable than packaged alternatives, but even premium product ranges can be merchandised loosely. No matter which price points shoppers choose, controlling their own products mix allows them to purchase products fitting their budget.
5. Packaging-free merchandising improves the shopping experience. Not only do shoppers enjoy the aspect of an engaging experience, research shows that shoppers who interact with a product are more likely to purchase it.
HL is present in the other countries in the GCC. How does the UAE market compare with the others?
In the region, we see that awareness is speeding as recently we have supported with our Gravity and Scoop Bins the newly opened Zero Waste Store in Oman. But I am happy to share also the fact that Saudi Arabia Food Retailers are also entering in to loose packaging and there are ongoing projects as we speak… will share more at a later stage.
Can you tell us about different international examples and successful case studies when it comes to Zero Waste shopping?
At this point I would proudly like to mention, that we have already won numerous awards. The latest award we received just this autumn, it is the ”Best Retail Case Germany”. We received the award for our bins at the German retail chain “tegut…” who is currently continuously equipping its bulk selling stations in numerous stores with our bins in order to meet the great consumer interest in unpacked food. Our bins at “tegut…” ensure great product visibility for rice, cereals, pasta, nuts etc. Not only do the bins provide more visibility, but customers can also use them to buy exactly the quantity they need and want without packaging. This contributes to less packaging waste, because “tegut…” customers can also bring their own containers for this purpose. Ou bins at “tegut…” thus make it easier for customers to make sustainable and environmentally conscious purchases.
Germany has a lot of initiatives!
To convey the character and aesthetics of a fresh market store, the German ”REWE Marktliebe” in Düsseldorf, Germany test piloted a pick-and-mix merchandising solution for bulk goods. Comprising of cereals, dried fruits and nuts, the packaging-saving bulk bins allow shoppers to fill their own bag with goodies.
In the German city of Kulmbach, the retail chain ”Edeka” has opened the largest unpacked station in the German food retail. There you can buy unpacked goods such as nuts, muesli, cereals, pasta etc. from our gravity and scoop bins.
France is a leading market in Europe!
Chain store ”Carrefour” installed our packaging-free merchandising solution across 347 stores in France. As part of the new ‘Bio’ concept for organic products, ”Carrefour” selected us to partner with them to develop their bulk food displays for nuts, seeds, cereals and more.
The Czech market is very dynamic!
”Globus” Fresh Produce Category Manager said that the retail chain’s new fruit and nut display with our HL bins exceeded his expectations. The bulk bins have been rolled out successfully in 15 stores across Czech. “Globus” is extremely satisfied with the response from their customers.
Switzerland is showing good moves!
After one test market, ”Coop” Switzerland installed bins in more than 750 stores, creating a better shopping experience and receiving positive feedback from shoppers. The responsible category buyer was very happy about the outstanding sales after the installations.
The UK has taken important steps lately!
Those are just few of plenty examples, let me just mention the latest one in the end: This October, the UK retailer ”Asda” opened its new trial location in Leeds, UK. With our bins, the store is encouraging more sustainable shopping habits by helping shoppers to reduce, reuse and recycle – a topic that is of great importance to Asda’s shoppers: according to the grocer’s own research, 80% of their shoppers believe supermarkets have a role to play in the reduction of single use plastics.
Our mission is to make retail an experience, not just a transaction. Our vision is to be the preferred partner for innovative and sustainable solutions. Thanks to more than 1000 dedicated team members worldwide, our solutions are installed in 295,000 stores in over 70 countries.