The Kroger Co., which recently released its annual Environmental, Social and Governance report highlighting steps taken to reduce its environmental impact, is set to test reusable packaging at Fred Meyer stores in the Portland, Ore. area. The pilot test with Loop, a circular economy platform centered on reusable packaging for branded products, will launch in October at several locations, according to reports this week.
Part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan, the partnership with Loop is geared to reduce the amount of single-use packaging. Participating brands will offer products in reusable containers that will be merchandised in dedicated displays. “Upon launch, our customers will be able to shop for these exciting products in select stores and then conveniently return empty packages to these locations. Once returned, packaging is washed by Loop, refilled by brand partners and put ‘back in the loop’ for our customers to enjoy,” the retailer explained on its website.
Kroger, which first announced an exclusive grocery retail partnership with Loop in 2019, is also working with Loop’s parent company TerraCycle on recyclable packaging for its Simple Truth private label brands.
Loop reported this week that in-store testing of its reusable packaging program will take place at the Kroger-owned stores and with other retailers including Tesco in the United Kingdom, Carrefour in France, AEON in Japan and Woolworths in Australia.
“Loop’s goal has always been to grow, scale and be accessible to consumers around the world,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of the Trenton, N.J.-based Loop and TerraCycle. “With the world’s largest retailers bringing Loop to physical brick and mortar locations, we are giving consumers what they’ve been asking for since Loop was introduced in 2019 – the ability to purchase the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers, with the convenience of shopping at their local market.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger, which employs nearly half a million associates who serve 11 million-plus customers daily through a digital shopping experience and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.