Walmart plans to transition to wood-grain reusable plastic containers for transporting and merchandising produce at all U.S. stores, VP of produce Dorn Wenninger announced at PMA’s Fresh Summit show in Atlanta on Saturday.
The change from black RPCs is part of several improvements Walmart is making in the produce department, Wenninger said.
“It’s on trend, it’s on trend with farmers’ markets, it’s on trend with all the work that Walmart is doing to increase our local purchasing, to increase our sales of our organics, and to increase our freshness and quality overall,” said Wenninger.
“And so for me, if nothing else, that’s why I’m so committed to this crate and to the wood look, is because it creates a better experience. It signals to our customer that Walmart is making changes.”
The retailer has trialed the wood look RPCs at various stores over the past nine months. Walmart hopes to roll out the new crates to all stores on an accelerated timeline, thanks to a partnership with IFCO announced at the show. The retailer will continue to work with other RPC suppliers, including Polymer Logistics.
Customers who have seen the new wood look RPCs like them, even if they can’t tell what’s changed, Wenninger said.
“I’ve had customers tell me that – they thank me for increasing our assortment, and we haven’t changed our assortment at all.”
Walmart will continue to have different types of merchandising options in the produce department, including RPCs, cartons and hand-stacked produce.
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