London Grocer Thornton’s Budgens Goes Unpackaged

Earlier this month, London grocer Thornton’s Budgens has introduced its ‘Unpackaged’ private brand collection of 200 plastic-free products in collaboration with environmental group A Plastic Planet. Last year the retailer worked with A Plastic Planet to introduce the plastic-free merchandising areas in its Belsize Park, North London store. The areas include 1,800 products packaged using innovative alternatives, including coconut bowls and beechwood netting.

The line debuted October 23 with an opening ceremony attended by Academy Award-nominated actress Dame Janet Suzman.

The Thornton’s Budgens store now sells loose legumes, beans, grains, and seeds, as well as allowing customers to fill up reusable glass jars with milk, peanut butter, and orange juice. Other products available include soaps, refillable shampoos, and shower gels. The store also features an extended range of vegan and gluten-free foods packaged in plastic-free materials, as well as Fairtrade coffee served in plastic-free cups.

Andrew Thornton, the founder of Thornton’s Budgens

Andrew Thornton, the founder of Thornton’s Budgens, believes the move will be replicated supermarkets around the world. Thornton said: “Last year we were blown away by the international reaction when we launched our Plastic Free Zones. The new Unpackaged range represents the evolution of this. Our shoppers love our plastic-free packaging. But this is just the beginning. There is no end to our plastic-free ambition. I passionately believe the future of supermarket shopping in the 2020s will be without the toxic material that has done such damage to our planet and ourselves.”

Previous article“What’s Next in Fresh” Private Brand Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Next articlePB Careers: JCPenney – Director of Responsible Sourcing
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.