The idea was sparked by the trend in reusable shopping bags, Laflamme says. “With reusable shopping bags now the norm, we thought, why not do the same for our egg cartons?”
He discloses there were two major concerns, the first of which was transporting, protecting and presenting the loose eggs. The brand closely worked with the co-op to ensure the packaging meshed with their operations.
The other concern was convincing retailers to supply the space for the educational display that houses the reusable carton. However, buy-in was gained because “this was perceived as very exciting innovation in a category that has traditionally been starved for innovation,” he reports.
“We designed it so that it fits in the facing of a traditional egg carton,” Laflamme says, “and it is recycled by the stores after use. Eventually, we would like to make all aspects of this program reusable including the egg shipper.”
Payback after six refills.
While the reusable carton is the centerpiece of the program, the bulk display packaging plays an equally fundamental role. Made of recycled cardboard corrugate, it has a tearaway front panel that enables consumers to easily access the bulk eggs.
The loose eggs are sold at a discount, allowing the reusable carton currently priced at $2.99 apiece to pay for itself over time, further incentivizing shoppers to participate. “Consumers recoup the carton’s cost after six trips,” Laflamme points out.
When asked who their target consumer is, Laflamme responds, “Everyone! Eggs are one of the most widely consumed, affordable and nutrient-dense foods on the market. The more people we can convert to choosing reusable cartons to lessen our environmental impact, the better. Until then, we encourage consumers to recycle their cartons or participate in our carton Take Back Program.”
The brand is already positioned to convert mores consumers to refill cartons. After receiving strong, positive feedback already, the brand is hatching bigger plans, Laflamme says. “We plan to expand this program throughout 2020 to reach even more consumers and amplify the program's impact nationally with major retailers clamoring for this type of sustainable innovation."