Co-op and Unilever pilot refillable packaging models in stores
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Co-op and Unilever pilot refillable packaging models in stores

08 Nov 2021 (Last Updated November 8th, 2021 09:12)

The test is intended to help both groups better understand how refillable and reusable packaging works in a store setting.

Co-op and Unilever pilot refillable packaging models in stores
Unilever and Co-op pilot two refill packaging options in stores. Credit: Ben Terrett / Flickr.

UK-based consumer goods company Unilever has partnered with consumer co-operative Co-op to pilot two refillable packaging concepts in a store environment.

The Refill On the Go and Return On the Go models are being tested as part of efforts to provide shoppers with efficient alternatives to plastic.

As part of the trial, some of Unilever’s brands, including Persil, Simple, Radox and Alberto Balsam, will be sold in returnable stainless steel bottles.

The Return On the Go scheme is being trialled near Wolverhampton, while the Refill On the Go concept is being piloted at Co-op’s store in West Yorkshire.

Unilever UK and Ireland general manager and executive vice-president Sebastian Munden said: “Our trials with Co-op include our first test of refillable products in a smaller convenience store setting, helping us to further build our understanding of how refills work in different store sizes, locations and shopping missions.

“There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ for reuse and refill. Offering a range of our trusted brands and products in refillable stainless steels bottles, we continue to test different models, store formats and locations across the UK to see how shoppers respond, what works best and what we need to adapt and change.”

Co-op format development head Ian McCutcheon said: “We are continually working to develop new ways to provide added services and choice conveniently.

“The refillable packaging trials with Unilever are designed to test and learn from consumer behaviour while providing easy and quick ways for shoppers to cut their plastic consumption.”

The trial is designed to study customers’ reactions to refillable and reusable packaging.

It will be extended to the Co-op store in Marsh, Huddersfield, later this month.

In July, Co-op launched an in-store recycling scheme for plastic bags and product wrapping.

Earlier this year, the group committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040.