Reusable Packaging and Retail Ready Packaging: Comments from Stewart Samuel of IGD

In our post on reusable packaging and its role in the UK’s retail ready packaging movement, we interviewed Angus Wolfendale, MD of Foxwood. Following a query to IGD, Stewart Samuel of that organisation was kind enough to weigh in below on the specific topic of reusables within the scope of retail ready packaging.

RTP (Reusable transport packaging) has an important role within the context of RRP. Within IGD’s definition of RRP, we include shelf-ready solutions, replenishment ready, display ready and infrastructure based solutions.

Within these two latter groups, RTP is an essential component as they typically enable one-touch replenishment, e.g. product can move on a pallet base throughout the supply chain and be moved directly into place on the sales floor with minimum contact points. We have seen a great deal of innovation in this area with the development of half pallets and quarter pallets which have enabled a greater range of products to utilise these types of solutions. Within hypermarket format stores it is not unusual to see tea, coffee, and bleach for example to be displayed in this way.

The other key benefit of RTP is that it can help drive retailers’ and suppliers’ sustainability agenda. Many current solutions have removed the need for any secondary packaging, eliminating corrugate in many cases from the supply chain altogether.

One area of opportunity is to develop RTP solutions for fresh foods, particularly for shelf ready solutions. To date most RTP solutions are for larger, bulkier products, but given the sustainability agenda there is an opportunity to replace much of the corrugate that is currently being used.

This article was originally posted in November 2010

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