Case: REMA 1000, Denmark
DOWNSTREAM: Advertising and Marketing
Who: REMA 1000
Objective: Eliminate volume discounts in order to reduce food waste in households.
Description of initiative: REMA 1000 has changed marketing of product discounts. Since October 2008 volume discounts have been eliminated. No more having to buy too much - to shop cheap. The idea is that consumers only buy what is needed and not an extra amount that will not be eaten or used. This would avoid food waste and packaging waste. Therefore the price reduction is per product.
In 2008 there was a discussion on how much of the food that is thrown away as waste in Danish households, could actually have been consumed instead of wasted. This made REMA rethink their sales campaigns. The wish was to sell the products in a more transparent manner, where goods were not imposed on consumers, when they did not need them. Denmark has 1.5 million single households and for many of those it is not practical to buy 10 bananas on sale. Many consumers get annoyed that they can only obtain a good price if they buy large quantities – if they only buy 1 piece, they feel cheated, as they do not obtain the sales price.
The REMA 1000 shops have developed into local convenience stores, where customers shop several times every week. It is therefore not necessary to purchase large quantities of the same item. They can buy fresh goods next time they go to the store and need the specific item. This mentality together with the vision that the customer is entitled to a transparent price was the background for REMA changing their sales campaigns from “take 3, pay for 2”, at a reduced price for the specific item.
Effect of initiative: The reaction of the customers has been positive, both in the store and by written approaches. No negative reactions have been received. Some employees were sceptic in the beginning but now they find it a brilliant idea. The turnover on campaign goods has decreased in the short run, since the customers do not have to buy three bottles of wine to obtain the campaign discount, but can be satisfied with buying one only. However, it has not affected REMA’s total turnover.
Time period: From week 43 in 2008 and ongoing
Future work: REMA 1000 wish to maintain the initiative to market their campaign goods based on unit prices, because in the long run they feel it is ‘the right thing to do”. It is part of REMA 1000’s focus on responsibility and harmonizes with the Reitan group’s vision to be Scandinavia’s most value oriented organisation.
Contact person: Anders Jensen, REMA 1000
Link: (in Danish) REMA 1000 - Meget mindre madspild