Like trends anywhere else, consumer preferences for grocery fads rise and ebb. However, consumers’ desire for quality and freshness endures, and influences virtually every other grocery industry trend. Without doubt, product quality and freshness will be top of mind for consumers and a top priority for grocery retailers in the new year.
A Food Marketing Institute survey puts into perspective consumers’ emphasis on product quality; 36 percent of shoppers who travel farther to grocery shop do so because of the quality and variety of fresh foods offered by the more distant store. Among those who shop closer to home, 32 percent said they would travel farther if they could find better quality and variety of fresh selections. Another FMI study found that in 2015, “perishable growth far outpaces total store, total edibles and center-store growth, with several of the fresh categories showing volume growth along with dollar growth.”
Product quality and freshness directly affect customer experience and spend, and help your grocery operation differentiate itself from competitors. How attentive is your organization to all the factors that influence the quality and freshness of the products that wind up on your store shelves? Are you overlooking an important element of product quality? Is the packaging your suppliers use to transport product to your store doing an optimum job of preserving quality and freshness?
Quality packaging equals quality product
Reducing product damage during shipping is a win for retailers as well as consumers.
Throughout your supply chain, the quality of product packaging directly influences your success. Retail buyers need to ensure the highest possible percentage of quality product gets delivered to stores so consumers can purchase it. Reducing unsaleable product and cutting costs are key objectives for supply chain managers. Transport packaging affects these success metrics; better packaging means greater product protection, less damage and more saleable product delivered — and ultimately sold.
When transporting perishables, packaging becomes even more important. Perishables like eggs, dairy, produce and meat are high revenue generators for grocery stores. Yet they are also among the most fragile products to transport, as well as the products consumers want to look pristine. Numerous studies (and plenty of actual industry experience) have shown grocery retailers that consumers want to purchase produce that is unblemished, eggs that are clean and without cracks, and meat that looks fresh. When transport packaging fails to properly protect perishables, your operation loses money.
RPCs have a proven track record of protecting perishables, preserving quality and freshness, and helping reduce losses caused by damaged and unsaleable product. In fact, in its Sustainability Playbook, Walmart noted that converting from corrugated packaging to RPCs reduced damage rates and prevented by 37 million eggs from being thrown out.
Rigid, reinforced walls with greater structural integrity than corrugated cardboard ensure less damage to product shipped in RPCs. In fact, RPCs can reduce egg shrink by 50 percent or more. RPCs also enhance freshness, with a structure that enhances airflow to allow product to cool faster.
No matter the size of your grocery operation, transport packaging is key to your success in delivering quality and fresh product to consumers. RPCs can help you achieve that.