We're making some exciting changes to the refill zones at our sustainability stores in Middleton, Milton Keynes, Toryglen and York – adding family favourites like Cadbury’s Giant Buttons and Maynards Wine Gums as well as Harringtons and Wagg pet food, and introducing a refill price promise that each product will be cheaper than its packaged alternative.
We first introduced refill two years ago and have been continually testing and learning since then, working with customers to find what most appeals to them.
We've partnered with WRAP and Unilever, with funding from Innovate UK, to find out customer barriers to participation, so we could look at ways to increase participation.
Clear pricing was the top priority, emphasised by the cost of living crisis. Other key objectives which were developed based on the barriers discovered – to combat uncertainty and apprehension and make the experience fun and enjoyable – have also led to changes.
At the heart of our new refill offer are greater customer communication and a focus on four key categories – cereals, rice, pasta, pulses and pet food. It means we will now sell 52 of our customers’ favourite products, including some exciting new lines.
Cadbury’s Giant Buttons, Maynards Wine Gums as well as Harringtons and Wagg pet food will all be introduced at our refill stores in Middleton (Leeds), Toryglen (Glasgow), York and Milton Keynes, with shoppers able to bring their own containers or buy a reusable container in store for use.
The stores will adopt the following features and products:
• Four dry refill bays, with cereals including favourites such as Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Bran Flakes and Coco Pops, Asda branded cereal included newly added Extra Special Cherry & Berry Museli and Triple Choco Crisp and Scotts Oats.
• A rice and pasta bay featuring Napolina pasta and Asda branded rice as well as a store cupboard bay which has products such as almonds, Yorkshire Tea, Taylor’s of Harrogate coffee, Maynards Wine Gums, Cadbury’s Giant Buttons, Haribo Jelly Beans and Rhubarb and Custard.
• A pet bay which includes Dreamies Cat Treats, Chappie, Pedigree, Harrington’s dog food, Wagg and Chappies dog food, Iams dog and cat food as well as bird food. (pet food will be installed in Toryglen next year)
• Continuation of Unilever prefill products such as Radox shower gel, Alberto Balsam and Simple hand wash prefills, Persil laundry prefill as well as CIF eco refill at home.
• A new lowest priced reusable bag sold at 10p after customers said that they find bringing back multiple containers too bulky and hard to carry.
Susan Thomas, Asda Senior Director of Sustainable commercial activity, said: “We know the cost of living crisis is having a big effect on our customers, so it is important we recognise this in the refill space through our ‘refill price promise’ and ensure customers are getting an even better deal.
“As well as being cheaper, refill allows customers to buy the exact amount they need, helping them stick to budgets, while at the same time reducing food waste.”
With customers looking at a number of ways they can reduce their environmental impact beyond refill, Asda’s three biggest refill zones in York, Middleton and Milton Keynes will introduce new product ranges to help customers reduce energy at home and save money, promote reusable containers for lunch times, reduce food waste, and shop more sustainably with products such as coffee and chocolate, and which have Rainforest Alliance accreditation.
Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change, WRAP, said: “Reuse and refill will have big role to play in changing our ingrained shopping habits and weaning ourselves off single use plastic - essential in the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The research we conducted in partnership with Asda and Unilever has provided rich learnings that are enabling us to better understand what’s needed to get customers trying reuse and refill and keep them coming back. We know we need to make this an easy and cost-effective process and Asda are showing how this is possible. They should be commended for their leadership on reuse and refill, and we look forward to seeing more action from supermarkets and brands on this critical system change.”