Reusable Packaging: Customer Engagement Should Be Fresh & Easy

Sure, customer engagement can be easier for a consumer product such as a reusable shopping bag than for reusable transport packaging, but how many examples do we see of accounts jumping ship because customers just aren’t passionate about the product and the value proposition?

It kills me when economists talk about pallets and reusable packaging being a derived demand – a necessary evil that customers need only because they have to ship the goods associated with that packaging. Even worse, reusable packaging can be “fungible.”  How unsexy is that?

What really is wrong with a little sizzle, and a little customer engagement?  For example, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market just debuted the winning design from its first-ever Design-A-Bag contest in its stores. The new reusable bag retails for  79 cents and has been a big hit with customers with thousands already sold. reusable fresh & easy bagThe bag’s creative design was hand-drawn by Los Angeles resident Josephine Close, who received a year’s worth of free groceries for winning the contest.*

The Design-A-Bag contest generated more than 1,300 submissions from customers and 24,000 votes by “friends of fresh&easy” customers who have signed up to receive the latest news about the company along with exclusive offers at

“We set out to design a desirable and affordable bag people actually want to use and re-use, and we turned to our customers for inspiration,” said Roberto Munoz, Fresh & Easy Director of Neighborhood Affairs. “Based on sales of the bag already, we know customers like the design and the price point.  We hope this new bag will continue to encourage customers to use fewer single-use bags in exchange for reusable options.”

In the reusable transport packaging space, vendors do drive potentially engaging attributes such as sustainability and safety, but I personally am still having trouble really embracing these benefits because of the level of greenwashing we’ve experienced in the marketplace.

Mind you, I shouldn’t talk. I can’t really say that I’ve tried to make particularly engaging – at least not yet. Maybe I need to run a poll, like have readers vote on whether CHEP should bring back the CHEPmunk. Now there was some celebrity marketing.

More information on Fresh & Easy’s Design-A-Bag contest can be found at

*Valued at $5,000

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