Sainsbury’s is reporting strong sales of the Vibrandt-designed refillable milk jug, two weeks into its trial of the Green packaging solution.
Sainsbury’s is the first supermarket to stock the jug, which Dairy Crest has trademarked with a view to achieving penetration in food retailers in the UK and overseas.
The milk manufacturer claims that the jug reduces waste associated with milk bottles and cartons by 75 per cent.
Introduced into 35 stores across the South East last Wednesday, Sainsbury’s reported sales of 1500 milk jugs after two days of trading. Some stores reported selling out of the accompanying milk bags.
The jug was branded as Jug It by consultancy Arvan Williams, which works regularly with Dairy Crest. But this is not a first – the milk jug and bag are based on concepts seen in Canada, the US, New Zealand and South Africa.
Dairy Crest reports that Glopack, a Canadian milk jug manufacturer, is ‘very impressed’ by the Vibrandt-designed version. About 60 per cent of all milk sold in Canada is destined for use in refillable jugs.
‘Theirs is a simpler, less user-friendly version, but we have complex consumers in Britain that demand both function and form,’ says Dairy Crest account manager James Tunney, adding, ‘I would be surprised if other UK supermarkets are not talking about taking up the jug.’
The jug, which was created to stand in the footprint of a four-pint plastic bottle of milk, emits an audible click when the top is sealed. A spike pierces the bag when it shuts, producing a seal around the ‘straw’.
Vibrandt believes that the spike-and-seal jug and bag concept has applications beyond milk.
‘This could be the start of something quite important across all sorts of categories, including motor oil or paint,’ says Vibrandt commercial director Tom Lovett.
‘So far it is a trial, and we are encouraging feedback about improvements to the jug that we can make before we roll it out across the Sainsbury’s network in 12 months’ time,’ says Tunney.