Milk Bags 'Flying off the Shelves' at Sainsbury's

By Thompson, James | The Independent (London, England), April 16, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Milk Bags 'Flying off the Shelves' at Sainsbury's


Thompson, James, The Independent (London, England)


Switching to bags could save 1.4 million kilograms of packaging each year

SALES OF milk in plastic bags have "sky-rocketed" at Sainsbury's since the supermarket rolled out the product nationally in February.

Britain's third-biggest grocer said sales of the two-pint bags, which use 75 per cent less packaging than standard plastic milk bottles, had soared to 110,000 a week. They now account for 10 per cent of all sales of two-pint packs of semi-skimmed milk - twice as many as Sainsbury's had forecast.

Emma Metcalf-King, the grocer's senior dairy buyer, said: "Sales have far exceeded our expectations."

The uplift in volumes of Sainbury's own-label milk in plastic bags could potentially usher in a new era in retailing of the liquid. Glass milk bottles were introduced by Express Dairies in 1880, although they have long since been overtaken by plastic cartons, and other countries, including Canada, China and India have used bags for milk for years. However, Waitrose scrapped a similar trial of milk in plastic bags earlier this year owing to disappointing sales. The commitment of the rest of the grocery industry is unclear.

Sainsbury's is considering rolling bags out across its milk ranges and in different sizes. It sells milk in a bag for 80p - 6p less than the same size milk carton - because it uses less packaging and is cheaper to produce.

The milk bags are part of a drive by Sainsbury's, which has 828 shops, to reduce its packaging by a third by 2015.

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