ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For the holiday shopping season, Wegmans Food Markets here is promoting gift items with sustainable characteristics.
From the retailer's “Celebrate” catalogs, Mary Ellen Burris, vice president, public affairs, highlighted several products in her website column last week. For example, she mentioned MiYim Certified Organic Toys, noting that while they are made in China, they are created and held to “rigid toxicity standards” by a 30-year-old company, Hosung, Brooklyn, N.Y. Prices range from $9.99 for a rattle to $24.99 for a bear or puppy.
Also, she reported that World of Good, Emeryville, Calif., and Wegmans collaborated on ceramic Fair Trade Tea mug gift sets. The two mugs are made by an Indonesian craft producer, imported by a not-for-profit company, and sell for $19.99. She also listed candles, kimono robes, and a salt-and-pepper mill set.
Wegmans declined to comment for this story.
“Being able to offer up that kind of approach is not only differentiating for a brand, but it ensures increased engagement among the consumer base,” said Robert Passikoff, president, Brand Keys, New York.
While Wegmans “has always been ahead of the curve,” other supermarkets could also do this, he said.
“It's pushing the envelope, but somebody has to push the envelope,” said an industry veteran. In terms of sustainable products, “nobody has really been able to get beyond light bulbs and recycled paper.”