Moves made to rid cereals of their box

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 22nd June 2009

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has rid their private label cereal of cardboard boxes, a move which could be followed by some of the sector’s heavyweights.

Cereal Aisle

The decision will help to cut packaging on its entire range of products by a third, with the retailer to simply use recyclable plastic packaging commonly used by potato chip makers.

Australia’s Sanitarium and the world’s largest cereal maker, Kellogg’s, have both indicated they were also contemplating the idea as consumers become restless regarding excessive packaging. Concerns remain about whether cereal would be crushed without the protection of the box, however.

Sainsbury’s made the move after a survey of 1,000 customers showed a perception that cereal was one of the most over packaged products. Consumers questioned the need for the box when there was a plastic bag inside.
Kellogg’s told the Times Online that boxless packaging was “one of a number of options” it was contemplating to reduce waste, while Nestlé reportedly said that it was not currently considering such a move. Sanitarium, the maker of Weet-Bix, advised that a number of ideas were in the works for packaging changes.

“We’re continually assessing new packing technologies to look at ways of minimising environmental impact,” a spokeswoman for Sanitarium told The Australian.

As for the most over packaged products in the supermarket according to Sainsbury’s customers… fruit and vegetables.

The chain has a plan for that too, with heat-sealed film to replace the lids of plastic punnets containing strawberries, apricots and plums, and cherry tomatoes and blueberries to be sold like nuts and taken out of plastic trays.