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4 Reasons Grocers Should Offer a Bulk Food Department

Bulk Food Department

Traditional packaged goods that are offered on the shelf often determine the amount of product customers buy at the grocery store. In some cases, they may be forced to over-buy ingredients, causing unnecessary waste. Don’t let food companies decide how much trail mix, chocolate covered almonds or ground cayenne pepper a shopper wants to buy.

Let your shoppers decide! By adding a bulk food department, grocers enable shoppers to buy only what they need reducing food waste and single-use packaging. For grocers, this can lead to higher margins and more satisfied customers. It sounds like a win-win… because it is. See how shoppers and grocers can benefit from the addition of a bulk food department.

Witness Higher Margins

Shoppers who buy in bulk save an average of 30% when compared to pre-packaged—11% versus a clear film bag, 31% versus a 9 oz tub and 50% versus a printed, resealable bag. While shoppers spend less, grocers witness higher margins—10% to 30% higher. By purchasing only small amounts, shoppers can try new foods without a large financial commitment. They can also purchase a more diverse product mix.

One key to a successful, profitable bulk department is the right fixtures. By investing in high-quality, durable bulk fixtures grocers ensure dispensers can withstand ongoing customer use as well as bumps and drops that can occur accidentally when refiling.

More Sustainable

Offering package-free bulk departments communicates a commitment to the environment and sustainable business practices. Bulk products require less packaging, which reduces landfill-bound waste and lowers distribution and transportation costs, delivering higher margins for grocers. Shoppers can reuse their own containers to reduce single-use packaging or choose low-grade recycled paper or plastic packaging, which is more sustainable than most pre-packed foods.

Taking sustainability one step further, by choosing gravity dispensers from Trade Fixtures, retailers can place bins into the dishwasher, versus handwashing which is a more time-consuming (and water-consuming) alternative. Research shows dishwashers use half the energy and 1/6 the water compared to handwashing and often cleans more thoroughly.

Maximizes Store Footprint

As smaller footprint stores rise in popularity—especially in denser, urban markets—bulk food departments allow retailers to maximize on minimal space. Bulk foods offer greater shelf density compared to packaged foods, which allows grocers to increase sales per square foot and stock double the amount of product by weight.

Grocers can optimize product mix based on sales, choosing from a diverse variety of unique, healthy, seasonal and local snacks, spices, nuts, beans, rice and much more.

Attracts More Loyal Customers

Bulk food departments can attract customers who prioritize clean, sustainable eating. These shoppers are valuable to grocers and often have larger basket sizes while also choosing higher priced products throughout the store. By adding bulk fixtures like gravity dispensers, scoop bins and fresh nut butter grinders, stores can not only attract more loyal and valuable shoppers… they can retain them as well.

From bulk products to fixtures and nut butter grinders, Trade Fixtures has the tools grocers need to build and maintain a successful, profitable bulk department. Find the right solutions for your store’s needs or contact our team of experts to help.

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