There’s something very appealing about an egg. Perfectly formed, versatile and hailed as a superfood, it’s no wonder they’re part of everyone’s weekly shopping basket.
But they do have an obvious fatal flaw if they’re not well protected on their journey to the consumer – the high risk of breakages that pose hygiene risks and can be off-putting to customers. No-one will buy eggs in a box that’s come into contact with raw egg, even if the eggs in that box are intact.
Looking to provide a higher level of protection and reduce breakages and wastage, a well-known UK’s retailer carried out a six-month trial using rising base ambient shippers from Polymer Logistics. These innovative multi-purpose containers not only protect the fragile produce through the supply chain, but they stay looking full via a spring-loaded floor that rises automatically as the egg boxes are shopped.
The retailer first approached Polymer Logistics about reducing damages and waste in 2012 at a Polymer Logistics Open Day. The Egg buying team could see its potential straightaway.
“It’s such a neat and obvious combination,“ said the retailer’s egg buying team. “As part of delivering the best possible shopping experience for customers, we were attracted by the idea of making the eggs on display more visible and easier to select, as well as the potential commercial benefits of reduced wastage and replenishment costs.”
The disadvantages of merchandising eggs in the conventional way start before they even get to the shelf. Transported to store on a pallet and afforded little product protection, there’s a much higher chance of breakages. Furthermore, when they arrive at store, they’re then typically handled twice – first to unload them from the pallet into a roll cage, and then to transfer them from roll cage onto shelf, again with the risk of damage.
Once they’re on the shelf, the eggs at the front may be easy to select, but the ones at the back are harder to reach and are more likely to be left by customers – especially if they’re perceived as “old”.
With Polymer Logistics rising base ambient shippers, egg cartons are loaded by the packers directly into the shippers – “retail-ready” for when they arrive at the store with no further handling. Once in position, as egg boxes are selected by customers, the cartons underneath rise up and remain nicely presented, even when only a few remain.
The robust multi-purpose bins replace one-trip packaging – so they’re also more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective.
The retailer’s six-month trial proved highly successful. The stores involved reported 30% fewer breakages, less product wastage, less cardboard waste, and savings in replenishment costs.
The mentioned retailer is currently rolling out the units in its stores nationwide.
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