Making space work

I am very proud of the innovations we have made to improve the sustainability of what we do at Westaway Sausages. Here is another game changer we have developed.

As always, we have needed a partner to turn a concept into reality so huge thanks to the team at the Smurfit Kappa Experience Centre in Bristol.

If you focus on making shelves work IRI the data analytics and research company, has shown that butters, fats, and cheese with approx. 13% of total shelf space give best shelf utilisation. The differing density and value are explained here.

Butters by nature of their shape lend themselves to highly efficient blocks of packaging. This means more product per pallet, more per lorry, better use of cold store and better use of chilled display.

This is important as refrigeration systems account for some 45% of the electric energy used in retail, and nationally they consume around 1% of the country’s electricity. DEFRA has suggested that the whole retail food sector uses around 3% of the entire annual UK energy output.

Our approach

We looked to the various retailers to evaluate how they displayed chilled sausages. There was wide variation in shelf heights in our survey, and sometime the formats varied even within the same facia.

Some of the best density / value figures came from Aldi. In their stores we noted on a 1200mm run the fill capacity of Aldi 400g sausage packs was 192. But there was empty space to the rear and above the packs. We checked the Aldi Golden rules and with the help of Smurfit Kappa designed packaging that complied with their guidance and gave an extra 48 packs on the same run.

Clearly this gives better use of chilled display space, and offers potential to show a significant saving in electricity use.

The whole package

We are delighted how this pack design shows our brand values. It invites consumers to think about the unique recycling and composting features of our packaging. Furthermore, the double height facing has cut our outer case cardboard use by 26% (the world needs more cardboard now!), and the design will save our retailers on logistics, storage, and operating costs.

One day all packaging will look like this.