Bulk foods are more popular than ever. Organic products, many of which are sold by this method, enjoyed a 20 percent year-over-year growth rate according to the most recent numbers. And consumer research conducted by Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine identified bulk natural foods as the second-most desirable “signature product category” sought by customers in a natural foods store.
The opportunity to fill a bag with nuts or dry rice or chocolate-covered raisins is appealing to shoppers for a variety of reasons. Consider:
• They eliminate the need for superfluous packaging.
• They allow consumers to control the quantity of food they’re purchasing.
• They offer more choice than packaged goods.
• When properly displayed, bulk foods promote impulse purchases and introduce an element of adventurous fun to the shopping experience.
• Bulk foods provide consumers with greater value.
For the retailer’s part, bulk foods are a good bet for another set of reasons. When properly merchandised and maintained, bins can:
• yield more profits per square foot than any other category in the store;
• provide an excellent way to differentiate from the competition;
• facilitate the sale of a wide range of products;
• save on clean-up;
• relieve employees from having to serve customers.
The best bulk food displays observe high standards in presentation, aesthetics and healthfulness in order to attract and maintain sales. Specifically, bins should be:
• stylish and visually enhance the product they contain;
• made with materials that guard the freshness and nutritional value of the foods they contain from the damaging effects of fluorescent light and sunlight;
• hassle-free, intuitive and user friendly, so customers feel confident using them, whether in conjunction with scoops or the gravity-dispensing variety;
• automate stock rotation to maintain product freshness and quality.