UK – British supermarket chain Asda has announced a ‘refill price promise’ which guarantees that each of its refill products will be cheaper than standard packaged alternatives as part of its effort to reduce its packaging.

The supermarket first introduced refill two years ago and has been continually testing and learning, collaborating with customers to find what most appeals to them.

Asda has partnered with WRAP and Unilever, with funding from Innovate UK, to find out customer barriers to participation, so it could look at ways it can increase participation.

The research found the top priority to be clear pricing, while other key objectives now look to combat uncertainty and apprehension, as well as to make the experience fun and enjoyable.

As a result of the customer feedback, its refill stores in Middleton, Toryglen, York and Milton Keynes will be adopting four dry refill bays with its cereals including Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Bran Flakes and Coco Pops as well as a range of Asda branded cereal.

Napolina pasta and Asda branded rice will be added to the rice and pasta bay while store cupboard items include Cadbury’s Giant Buttons and Maynards Wine Gums.

The pet bay will include options such as Dreamies Cat Treats, Chappie, Pedigree, Harrington’s dog food and bird food.

As well as the revamp, Asda has lowered the price of its reusable bag to £0.10 (US$0.12) as shoppers claimed to bring back multiple containers was too bulky.

Susan Thomas, Asda’s Senior Director of Sustainable Commercial activity, said: “We know the cost-of-living crisis is having a big effect on our customers, so it is important we recognize this in the refill space through our ‘refill price promise’ and ensure customers are getting an even better deal.”

“As well as being cheaper, refill allows customers to buy the exact amount they need, helping them stick to budgets, while at the same time reducing food waste at home.”

Wrap director of collaboration and change, Catherine David added: “Reuse and refill will have a key role to play in changing our ingrained shopping habits and weaning ourselves off single-use plastic – essential in the transition to a circular economy for plastics.

“The research we conducted in partnership with Asda and Unilever has provided rich learnings that are enabling us to better understand what is needed to get customers trying reuse and refill and keep them coming back.

“We know we need to make this an easy and cost-effective process and Asda is showing how this is possible. They should be commended for their leadership on reuse and refill, and we look forward to seeing more action from supermarkets and brands on this critical system change.”

Earlier this year, Aldi announced plans to remove ‘best before’ dates from the packaging of some own-brand fresh products to help reduce domestic food waste.

The retailer will remove the dates from the labeling of around 60 fresh fruit and vegetable products, including apples and pears, citrus fruits, potatoes, carrots and onions, by the end of this year.

The announcement is part of Aldi’s efforts to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

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