Slowly but surely, plastic is disappearing from the fruit and vegetable shelves at Delhaize. "We are trying to move to a completely plastic-free fruit and vegetable shelf, but that is not yet feasible for certain products, including sliced vegetables," says Sven Van De Voorde, fruit and vegetable purchaser at Delhaize. “The demand for less plastic comes from the Belgian consumer. We notice that the plastic issue is very important to consumers and our customers expect Delhaize to respond to this. ”
“All our apples, except Pink Lady, have already been switched to cardboard packaging. Pink Lady will switch in January and this is a good thing, we are seeing a drop in sales of Pink Lady now that they have the only plastic packaging, "says Sven. “We have also noticed that working without packaging is also not always desirable. We did a trial with "Pick & Mix" tomatoes without packaging, but we saw the sales of tomatoes decrease. Many customers didn't think it was hygienic that every other customer was able to touch the tomatoes. On the other hand, the sale of citrus without packaging was appreciated. "
Organic fresh produce
“Nevertheless, there are always products that cannot do without plastic, because otherwise the food waste will rise drastically. We will also have to communicate this clearly to the customer, because it is not always clear to them,” notes Van De Voorde. “The same applies to organic products. During a trial, we sold individual organic products in a protected area in the store. Although the organic fruit and vegetable products were isolated, customers wondered how they could know for sure that the products were organic. That is why we have opted for completely sustainable packaging for organic fruit and vegetables. "
Van De Voorde is convinced that in the future the fruit and vegetable shelf will look like it did 50 years ago. “I think that we will hardly use packaging in the future. In addition, we will respond much more to the needs of consumers and to the season. I expect that in the future we will no longer extend some products, for example offering sprouts in June. Consumers do not yet understand this, but this understanding will come in the future," concludes Sven.
For more information:
Sven Van De Voorde
Delhaize Le Lion / De Leeuw Comm. VA
+ 32 2 412 21 11