Sainsbury’s has responded to consumer pressure over packaging by removing the cardboard box from its Basics cereals range.
Basics Rice Pops is the supermarket’s first product to be packaged in a printed bag, and the retailer is looking to roll the packaging out to the rest of the range, following a two-month investigation into which packaging particularly frustrated consumers.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said packaging was the biggest environmental concern for its customers and cereals were high on the list of bugbears. “People can’t understand why it’s bagged and boxed,” she said.
Sainsbury’s: no box for Basics Rice Pops
She said that the retailer was taking a number of measures to address consumers’ concerns, such as introducing the two-pint Jugit milk bag, but that protecting products remained the priority.
BPIF Cartons described using only a bag to package cereals as an extraordinary weight-driven move that showed little understanding of the complete environmental picture.
In a statement to Packaging News, chairman Chris Dew said cartons protected a fragile product and helped support and promote the brand. “Cereals, unlike crisps that are sold in larger unit sizes, will be crushed amongst the general shopping without a protective carton,” he said.
Dew added the move also completely ignored how consumers felt about cartons and the environmental benefits they provide. “Cartons are recyclable and made from a sustainable material,” he said.
Cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has not ruled out following Sainsbury’s example, but said it would not change packaging if it compromised the product safety or risked damaging the cereal.
In a statement, Kellogg’s said it was working with Wrap to determine future packaging targets that would be based on carbon impact rather than weight.
“This will help to define what packaging is appropriate in the future while providing the consumer with safe, long shelf-life, and undamaged cereals,” Kellogg’s said.
Sainsbury’s is committed to a 33% packaging weight reduction by 2015, accounting for 50,000 tonnes of packaging.
TOP 10 ‘PACKAGING BUGBEARS’
1 Fruit and vegetables: bagged and boxed
2 Meat packaging: hard to recycle
3 Yoghurt pots: multipacks don’t need further packaging
4 Cereals: bagged and boxed
5 Pizza: packed in several thin layers
6 Ready Meals: don’t need outer cardboard wrapper
7 Milk: needs to be more recyclable
8 Multi-pack cans
9 Crisps: too much waste in multipacks
10 Tomato puree: no need for box around tube