The Kroger Co. has rolled out products with Loop reusable packaging to 25 Fred Meyer stores in metropolitan Portland, Ore.
Fred Meyer customers at the participating stores can now buy from an assortment of more than 20 food and household products — including such brands as Arbor Teas, Cascade, Clorox, Gerber, Nature’s Heart, Nature’s Path, Pantene, Seventh Generation, Stubb’s and Kroger’s Simple Truth private label — packaged in Loop containers, Kroger and Loop US LLC said yesterday. Plans call for more brands to be added to the Loop product portfolio in the coming months.
Products available via the Loop circular platform, developed by waste management firm TerraCycle, come in refillable glass or metal containers found in branded displays at the participating Fred Meyer stores. After a customer uses the products, they return the empty packaging to the Loop collection bin located at each store. Loop then retrieves the containers for cleaning, refilling and reuse in new shopper purchases. Customers are charged a small packaging deposit upon purchase but receive a full refund once the container is returned.
“Kroger is committed to achieving lasting positive change for billions of people and for our planet. To do this, we’ve developed a shared-value ESG framework that unlocks greater business value as we work collectively to create more resilient, equitable and sustainable systems,” Keith Dailey, group vice of corporate affairs and chief impact officer at Cincinnati-based Kroger, said in a statement. “Our pioneering and exclusive partnership with Loop is an illustration of this commitment, and we are honored to be the first grocery retail partner for Loop in the U.S. and work with Our Brands [Kroger’s own-brand program] and consumer packaged goods partners to advance our mission.”
Kroger and retail pharmacy chain Walgreens announced in May 2019 that they would be the first U.S. retailers to employ the Loop system. The reusable containers began appearing in selected Fred Meyer stores last fall before yesterday’s broader rollout. Walgreens also has tested Loop packaging in selected Duane Reade drugstores pending a wider deployment.
Initially, products with Loop containers were sold only online via loopstore.com in the platform’s pilot phase, but availability is now shifting to physical retail stores. The transition to an in-store retail model began in Paris with Carrefour in December 2020, followed by Loop in-store launches with Japan’s Aeon in May 2021 and the United Kingdom’s Tesco in September 2021. Loop also has formed reusable packaging partnerships with McDonald’s in the U.K. and with restaurant chains Burger King and Tim Hortons in in the United States and Canada, respectively.
“Loop’s goal has always been to grow, scale and be accessible to consumers around the world,” stated Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Trenton, N.J.-based TerraCycle and Loop. “With the world’s largest retailers bringing Loop to physical brick-and-mortar locations, we are giving consumers what they’ve been asking for since Loop was introduced in 2019: the ability to purchase the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers with the convenience of shopping at their local market.”
Other Loop partners include retailers Loblaw Cos., Ulta Beauty, Metro AG, Charlie Banana and Lyreco and CPG brands/manufacturers Crest, Danone, Evian, Fanta, Gillette, Glad, Haagen-Dazs, Kraft Heinz, Mars Wrigley, Nivea, Nutella, Oral-B, Pampers, Perrier, Purina, Sprite, Tide and Tropicana, among others.
“Our focus on innovative solutions as we continue on our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey aligns with Loop’s mission to create a convenient circular packaging platform,” commented Lisa Zwack, head of sustainability at Kroger. “Customers are increasingly seeking out sustainable products and services that fit their lifestyle, and this collection makes it convenient. As the first grocer in America to offer these products, Kroger is pleased to take another meaningful step toward a world with zero waste.”