Many New World stores – a chain of grocery stores in New Zealand – have stopped using plastic packaging and foam trays for vegetables and fruits. The result? The sale of the fresh produce has gone through the roof, jumping by a whopping 300%!
Nigel Bond, who owns a New World store in Christchurch, told the NZ Herald that removing packaging totally changed the shopping experience. In his words, “When we first set up the new shelving our customers were blown away. It reminded me of when I was a kid going to the fruiterer with my Dad, you could smell the fresh citrus and spring onions. By wrapping products in plastic we sanitize and deprive people of this experience; it (dispensing with plastic) was a huge driver for us.”
This is an interesting aspect of zero waste shopping that isn’t recognized as often as it should be – how the absence of packaging enhances one’s interaction with the food and makes a person more inclined to buy a bunch of radishes, some spicy herbs, or a gorgeous shiny eggplant, just because it feels or smells wonderful in one’s hand. This also has the potential to improve diets significantly.