Working with fresh produce presents several challenges for grocery retailers, especially when it comes to display and storage. The aisles need to look attractive to live up to the customers’ expectations. At the same time, the display solutions need to meet the tightest standards for hygiene while protecting the delicate products from damage to optimize quality.
Traditionally, many retailers have relied on plastic, corrugated, or wooden crates for displaying products. Each option has its benefits but often lacks in other vital areas. Plastic containers, for example, are easier to clean and store than wooden trays, but they can convey an industrial look to the aisles. Corrugated is easily damaged and must be either thrown away or recycled after one use. Finally, wood looks rustic on display but is less hygienic and more difficult to clean, and splinters can damage the products.
On top of this, store colleagues need to pay extra care when handling the products while moving them from storage containers to the display. Delicate fruit and vegetables bruise easily, and every movement increases the chances of damaging them, resulting in product waste. The process is time-consuming, with the wasted labor damaging the overall efficiency.
Boost sales with a premium look and feel
To address these challenges, many leading businesses are leveraging retail-ready wood-look polymer crates from Tosca. The innovative containers combine the best features of plastic with the market-fresh feel of wooden trays. This livens up the look of the produce section while helping staff simplify the way the displays are managed.
The wood-look appearance helps give the grocery section a unified look, improving product visibility and providing an elegant way to display them to customers. According to a study by Tosca, a leading provider of reusable packaging and supply chain solutions, 85 percent of customers prefer wood-look crates compared to green or black plastic ones, thanks to the appealing natural look associated with traditional market stalls. The results of a customer survey by a leading Italian retailer supports this, showing that its customers perceive fruit and vegetables to be fresher and of a higher quality when displayed in a wood-look crate – further demonstrated by a 10 percent increase in sales.
The many advantages of pooling high-quality polymer crates
Reusable plastic crates are designed to improve every part of the supply chain, from farm to store. Made of light yet durable polymer plastic, the crates feature enhanced ventilation and softer sides and bottom. This helps protect the freshness during transport, storage, and display, and ensures that the product reaches customers in the best possible condition. Moreover, unlike wood, the non-porous surface of polymer does not absorb moisture or odors and is easy to keep clean, contributing to a more pleasant and safer shopping experience.
The foldable and stackable design helps optimize space during transport and storage, and the Active Lock system helps achieve stable stacking, further protecting the products. The robust construction means that plastic crates do not splinter like wood or bend like corrugated, helping safeguard delicate products better. They are also recyclable, helping retailers address the need for greater sustainability, eliminating the waste associated with single-use corrugated alternatives.
Retail-ready crates and displays give operators a simple way to improve efficiency and productivity. There is no need to spend time unloading products from transportation containers onto the display ones, risking damage due to unnecessary handling. Instead, staff can now take the crates straight to the point of display, freeing up time for more value-adding activities.
When pooled by a service provider like Tosca, crates are cleaned and serviced thoroughly after every use. Pooling also enables more flexible availability depending on season and price security to defend against volatile markets.
In retail, there are as many unique requirements as there are operators. That is why Tosca works on a consultancy level with its customers to help every retailer leverage the benefits of its wood-look crates and displays, even if it means creating a customized solution to meet specific needs.
This was the case for one retailer. The Italian chain wanted to upgrade the look of its display aisles to reflect its image as a premium discount retailer and to bring its new branding in-store. Tosca proposed a tailored solution consisting of its wood-look crates and displays, customized to the retailer’s new color theme. As a result, the new crates helped generate a fresh feel for the grocery displays. They were also much quicker to assemble and move around than the previous ones, enabling the retailer to improve efficiency in the process.
Best of both worlds
With innovative wood-look solutions, retailers no longer need to make a choice between attractive and functional. Tosca’s crates combine all the advantages of its polymer material. With the rustic look of wood delivering customers the best possible shopping experience and high-quality polymer protecting product throughout the supply chain, wood-look crates are the ideal solution to help retailers streamline operation and introduce new efficiency into the supply chain. To find out more about Tosca’s wood-look range and the value we can bring to your business, please get in touch with our local team.
Tosca (www.toscaltd.com) is a global leader in reusable packaging solutions and pooling for food supply chains. Our unique end-to-end pooling capabilities offer growers, suppliers, and retailers a smarter and more sustainable way to move their products from source to shelf. With reusable containers and pallets that preserve product quality and reduce shrink and labour cost, we help these customers build higher performing supply chains.
Tosca's recent acquisition of Polymer Logistics and Contraload now creates one stronger partner with expanded global reach and a more robust product portfolio, capable of serving both upstream and downstream markets.
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