RPC News: Walmart and Carrefour Adopt the Market Place Wood-Effect Crate
What do Europe’s largest retailer and the largest global retailer have in common?
No surprise, both are looking for an edge in creating attractive fresh produce presentations. With this in mind, Carrefour and Walmart have both signed long-term agreements with Polymer Logistics, a leading retail-ready packaging pooler and innovator of the Market Place wood-effect crate. Both chains now accept the Market Place crates, and have begun actively phasing it into their supply chains, according to Polymer Logistics.
That attractiveness is important. With the produce department typically located at the front of the supermarket, improvements in the produce area can drive additional traffic for the store overall.
“The wood-effect crate makes produce look great,” emphasizes Susie Cuevas, Director of Sales for Polymer Logistics, speaking to Reusable Packaging News. “We have trialed it in the dry commodity racks, demonstrating how the display changes the entire department’s ambience to one that is soft and inviting. We also successfully trialed the wet veg refrigerated areas. The change also had a significant positive effect on consumers. The area looked much cleaner and the product stood out well.”
Gian Paolo Mezzanotte, Managing Director for Polymer Logistics in Italy, notes that Carrefour has identified the Market Place crate as an opportunity for differentiation. “We can really say that the new wood-effect RPC is definitely catching the interest of many retailers wishing to differentiate and offer new shopping experiences,” he observes. “This is something that the market is looking for and which shoppers are clearly expressing a great appreciation.” He says that Carrefour Italy already wanted to start introducing it as display at its new “Gourmet” market format outlets, even before the next pooling roll out into all stores of the chain that will start by the end of this year.
“Along with all long time well proved advantages that the plastic RPC offers in terms of product hygiene, shelf life, carbon footprint, and so on, we can also communicate values and beauty,| Mezzanotte continues.
Asked about any complexity involved with introducing the new crates, Cuevas states: “There are no disruptive changes nor high operational costs to the industry by adding the wood crate into the supply chain.” Based on conversations with retailers, she expects them to transition to the wood-effect crates as a standard for those retailers.
Market Place crates were first introduced at the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin in February 2014, followed by exhibits at the United Fresh and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) trade shows in the US.
Polymer Logistics emphasizes three key points:
- The wood-look fresh image catches the eye of the consumer
- Improves produce quality perception leading to increasing sales
- The wood-effect crate cost is comparable to other industry plastic crates
As retailers continue to push for efficient products, Polymer Logistics’ Market Place crate program focuses on being able to provide the new wood-look pool, keeping the same operational costs and processes as the legacy RPC pool without any industry interruptions. With acceptance from Carrefour and Walmart, in addition to keen interest from other major retailers, Polymer Logistics is confident that the Market Place wood-look crates will gain increasing traction as a means for retailers to increase the attractiveness of fresh produce displays.