Have you heard about “Food in the Nude“? A New Zealand grocery store is attempting to slash its plastic use creatively with a new “Food in the Nude” project and it’s about serving produce without a pile of packaging. According to SUPERMARKETNEWS, the New World Bishopdale market has installed a refrigeration shelving system for displaying vegetables and fruit without plastic packaging – and they’re having a bit of fun while they’re doing it. Customers are now able to purchase fresh, delicious fruit and vegetables, “nude”.
Nigel Bond, owner of one of the stores says their new shelving system reminded him of when he was a kid going to the fruiterer with his Dad and one could smell the fresh citrus and spring onions. He says by wrapping products in plastic we sanitise them and deprive people of this experience.
“When you take on these projects they can be a disaster and lead to customer pushback but in my 30 years in the supermarket industry this simple change has resulted in the most positive feedback from customers I have ever received.”
Bond says he and store manager Gary May first came up with the idea over two years ago: “At the time we noticed an increasing amount of fresh produce was being supplied in plastic wrapping. We thought this was crazy and vowed and declared to do something about it.
“I went on a study tour to the United States and saw what the Whole Foods supermarket chain is doing over there,” he says. “They have a massive range of fresh food and their merchandising is almost an art form.”
“Vegetables are 90 per cent water and studies have shown that misted produce not only looks better, retains its colour and texture, but also has higher vitamin content,” Bond says. “We’ve also installed a reverse osmosis system that treats the water by removing 99 per cent of all bacteria and chlorine, so we are confident the water we’re misting with remains pure.”
Although some of the produce such as berries, grapes and some tomatoes still comes in plastic containers, most of this packaging is recyclable, Bond said.
He says Foodstuffs is also trialling paper alternatives to foil seafood bags and fibre-based deli trays.
“A change like this means we have to look at the whole system. We’re working closely with our suppliers to look at how we can reduce packaging throughout the supply chain and in areas other than produce. The knock-on effects on our stores, our customers and the environment will be really positive as we all get to grips with a new way of working and shopping.”.
And you? What have you done to reduce the plastic pollution? Check this post about 10 Easy ways to live a more Eco-friendly lifestyle and help us to reduce the trash.