1HQ’s milk jug meets with mixed supermarket success

Supermarket Waitrose has dropped the Jugit refillable milk jug, designed by 1HQ, due to poor demand.

Meanwhile rival grocer Sainsbury’s, which uses an updated model of the Jugit, has seen sales of the product ’sky-rocket’.

The Jugit jug-and-pouch system has been trademark by Dairy Crest, which claims that it reduces waste associated with milk bottles and cartons by 75 per cent.

Waitrose says it will stop selling the product – which it introduced in summer 2007 – due to ‘poor demand, leading to high levels of milk being wasted’. Miles Hawley, of 1HQ, says Waitrose has been using a ’prototype’ of the system. He adds, ’The new Jugit [used by Sainsbury’s] is a lot easier to use, looks better and is much easier to manufacture.’

A spokeswoman for Waitrose says of the decision to delist the Jugit, ‘It was a very hard decision to take but we believe it’s totally unacceptable for food to be wasted in this way, so instead we will continue our work to minimise packaging in other ways.’

She adds, ‘For example, we have increased the recycled content in our standard plastic milk bottles, which will mean that hundreds of tonnes of plastic are reused every year.’

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s – which introduced the jugs in summer 2008 – says sales have climbed to 110 000 a week. The retailer says milk bags now account for one in every ten two-pint semi-skimmed units sold – twice as many as Sainsbury’s initially predicted.

Emma Metcalf-King, Sainsbury’s senior dairy buyer, says, ‘Sales have far exceeded our expectations.’

She adds, ‘Milk sold in bags is already a regular choice for 60 per cent of consumers in Canada, Poland, South Africa and China, and we believe it could become just as popular in the UK. As soon as people try it, they realise how easy it is to use.

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