franprix and top brands test sale of branded food products in bulk with logistics support from FM LogisticGroup
25 February 2021 - French retailer franprix and 12 renowned food brands are experimenting with the sale of branded food products in bulk with logistics support from FM Logistic and Bulk & Co, a company specialising in bulk ray arrangement and equipment. The experiment is called Les marques toutes nues (“Brands strip naked”).
Until May 2021, four franprix supermarkets in Paris and the greater Paris area will allow consumers to stock up on pasta, rice, peanuts, sweets, coffee and other non pre-packaged items, bringing in their own containers to fill or using the bags the stores provide.
The difference with other French bulk food stores is that all the products are from well-known brands and manufacturers, namely Ancel, Bénénuts, Carambar, Carte Noire, Ebly, Kellogg’s, Lutti, Panzani, Taureau Ailé, Uncle Ben’s, Vérival, Vichy and franprix’s own brand. ILEC, a professional organisation representing 87 consumer products manufacturers, has played a coordinating role for the brands.
The assortment includes between 24 and 36 types of products, depending on the store’s size. franprix and the involved brands have committed to selling the products cheaper or at the same price as their packaged equivalents.
The experiment is made possible by the implementation of a specific logistics process for bulk food products, including warehousing and handling in a clean room at the FM Logistic warehouse in Mormant, south east of Paris. FM Logistic is responsible for receiving the products from production plants, filling them into specifically-made cardboard hoppers, and distributing them to franprix stores.
The goal of the experiment is to test the business model by measuring customer feedback. Longer term, the objective of franprix, ILEC, the involved brands, FM Logistic and Bulk & Co is to encourage more responsible consumption and to reduce waste as much as possible.
The market for package-free products is growing fast in Europe, particularly in France, driven by the push for sustainability. Sales of package-free food products (excluding fresh food) reached €1.2 billion in France in 2019, up 40% from the previous year, and are expected to reach €3.2 billion in 2022, according to Reseau Vrac, a professional organisation.
With 900 stores spread over France’s Île-de-France region, the major cities along the river Rhône corridor and the Mediterranean Arc, franprix, a subsidiary of the Casino group, is the proximity retailer for large metropolitan cities. franprix is very attached to the human side of commerce. Its stores are part of the daily lives of its customers. franprix offers a comprehensive food assortment that meets the expectations of city dwellers looking for quality, innovation, authenticity and taste.
The brand also offers local services to make the daily lives of its customers easier. Its store concept, which combines a point of sale and a living space, has received several recognitions and awards in France, including the LSA Innovation Trophy and the ‘Janus du Commerce’ in 2019. In 2020, franprix received the TOP / COM award for its bibi ! customer relationship programme and the Sustainable Commerce Award from ESSEC (a top French business school) for its management of unsold food in association with France’s NGO Phénix.
The Institut de liaisons des entreprises de consommation (Ilec - Institute of consumer goods companies) brings together 87 companies manufacturing consumer brand products. It represents national as well as international brands, both in the food and non-food sectors. Ilec members account for nearly two-thirds of the consumer goods sector’s revenues in large and medium-sized stores, including more than €20 billion of turnover for the French agricultural sector. Through their thousands of manufacturing, logistics and services facilities, these companies together employ more than 500,000 people in France.
About FM Logistic
Founded in France in 1967, FM Logistic is an independent, family-owned company that provides supply chain solutions to a broad range of companies in the FMCG, retail, beauty & cosmetics, industrial manufacturing, and healthcare industries. It is active in 14 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It achieved revenue of €1.43 billion in the fiscal year to March 2020 and has more than 27,500 FTE employees.
Created in France in 2014, Bulk&Co aims to accelerate the move to zero waste. The company designs and develops containers and display equipment for stores selling consumer products in bulk. Its ambition is to enable the sale of all types of consumer goods without single-use packaging. Its last innovation is a dispenser designed for powdered products, such as spices, herbs, chocolate or cosmetics.
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