>>THE ISSUES THAT MATTER, FROM THE PEOPLE INVOLVED
Charcoal, compost and cat litter are not the sorts of products that we write about all that often in The Grocer. But they play a star role in our feature on page 46 which explains how retailers can benefit from the retail ready packaging revolution sweeping the grocery sector.
You can understand why retailers are keen to find better ways of dealing with bulky, dirty and difficult-to-handle products. And the way in which Tesco, for instance, is working on solutions in these areas provides a cracking advert for RRP.
Now, I realise that not many of you are suppliers of charcoal, compost or cat litter. But I bet most of you are being affected by RRP as it starts to impact every part of the store. From the wine fixture to the pizza cabinet to the canned goods aisle, you will see a plethora of retail ready packaging solutions popping up.
It’s easy to see why retailers love these solutions as well: they boost on-shelf impact, improve availability and make life easier for store staff. The downside is that RRP can create additional costs and operational headaches for suppliers and I can understand why some of them are nervous at the speed at which it is being rolled out.
Nevertheless, it does strike me that there is an opportunity here for suppliers - particularly when you consider the money that it being wasted elsewhere.
As we highlight in another feature this week, on page 48, at least £400m is being wasted every year by branded suppliers on display materials that never see the light of day. The reason? Store managers complain that much of the stuff being shipped to them is either unsuitable, too time-consuming to erect, or too easily damaged.
Suppliers who are able to think more strategically realise that they can reinvest the cash wasted on such materials in RRP solutions that keep retailers happy while maximising their impact on shelf at a time when most supermarkets are enforcing clutter-free policies that reduce the amount of secondary siting.
Speaking as a consumer, one brilliant example of how that can be achieved is to be found in - of all places - the canned goods aisle. There you will see HP’s baked beans range merchandised in colourful, impactful, branded dispensing units. To me, it seems they are getting maximum bang for their buck - and keeping big retail customers happy.
Don’t waste that space