Centralizing package data for compliance (sidebar)

British retailers save, too

While manufacturers are saving on fees and the costs to calculate them, British retailers plan to save even more using the database of product packaging data. It enables a retailer to look at packaging weights across brands and to compare the weights of packaging of private-label products with that of like competitive brands.

For example, Tesco, the United Kingdom’s largest retailer, asked Foresite to compare everything from tuna cans to strawberry jam jars or, as they call them, “pots.” Could this exercise possibly be worth the time and effort?

“You wouldn’t think there could be much source reduction there, but, yes, there are differences,” says Foresite’s Margetson. For example, the database found that the weight of one size tuna can varied from 35.9 g to 43.7 g. “Then the client can evaluate whether it wants to reduce to the lowest weight,” he says, noting that sometimes a company wants a heavier package for marketing purposes.

Recognizing the lowest weight packages enables the retailer to renegotiate with its packaging suppliers to cut costs. Overall, says Tesco project manager Andrew Pepper, these comparisons have the potential to save Tesco up to $30 million per year in packaging material costs alone.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: Centralizing package data for compliance

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