Blog: Dean BestThe world's gone bananas

Dean Best | 20 April 2007

If you are a retailer here in the UK, green is without doubt the colour to be seen in as the summer season approaches. The list of initiatives by our major food retailers as each tries to outdo the other for environmental credentials goes on – and long may it do so.

The latest was an announcement this week from Sainsbury’s. The UK's third-largest supermarket will ban disposable plastic carrier bags in its stores for a single day next week. Instead it plans to give its customers bags made from 100% recycled material - which usually cost 10p - for free.

Inevitably, there are cries from sceptics that these moves are nothing more than window dressing or cynical attempts to cash in on the growing interest in green issues. They point out that there are still major problems to address, not the least of which is the vast quantity of packaging waste created by supermarkets.

So it was with vast dismay that I walked in to my local Morrisons this week to buy lunch and found that the retailer is pre-packing single bananas in cardboard bases and cellophane tops.

Take a moment to think through the ridiculousness of this. The banana by its very nature is one of the few items among Morrisons’ vast array of products that already comes packed up by Mother Nature.

When I pointed this out to the poor girl weighing up the bananas to price up bunches – a bunch of bananas still comes packaging-free – I was met with blank stares. Indeed it took her supervisor to explain to me that it was done because unpackaged, single bananas were far too untidy.

Oh yes! I can now remember my disgust last time I walked into my greengrocer and found all those bananas lying on the shelf unpackaged – it was chaos and they were crying out for the order that all that man-made plastic and cardboard brings.

I shudder to think where it will end, and am fully expecting to find my grapes individually wrapped and the bunch boxed in the latest easy-open Tetrapak.


Sainsbury's pulls the price lever

Sainsbury's, the UK's second-largest grocer, has set out plans for lower prices on a range of products, a move announced amid signs of pressure on its market share....


Intermarche broke rules with Nutella promo, French watchdog says

The pandemonium in stores of Intermarché as shoppers scrambled to grab jars of cut-price Nutella went viral - but the country's competition watchdog has announced the French retailer broke rules on se...


Big Food in investor spotlight this week at CAGNY

The senior management of a number of the major food manufacturers operating in the US will be in Florida this week for a key date on investor calendars....

Forgot your password?