Asda launches refill dispensers for cereal, teabags, coffee and pasta

Asda launches refill dispensers for cereal, teabags, coffee and pasta

Asda launches refill dispensers for corn flakes, teabags, coffee and pasta in sustainability drive to cut down on plastic waste and packaging

  • Refill station products include PG Tips, Quaker Oats, Vimto cordial and Persil 
  • Asda is using its store in Middleton, Leeds, to test which items appeal most
  • Store will let shoppers buy household essentials by bucket load, if they choose
  • It will also offer 53 fresh produce lines sold loose rather than in bags and trays in a return to traditional greengrocer approach

Asda has unveiled refill dispensers for Kellogg’s corn flakes, PG Tips teabags, porridge, coffee, detergents, rice and pasta in a backlash against waste.

The supermarket chain, which is trialling the refill stations at its store in Middleton, Leeds, will allow shoppers to buy household essentials by the bucket load, if they choose, as an alternative to wasteful plastic and packaging.

Consumers are increasingly infuriated by having to fill their bins with packaging that ends up in black bin bags before being dumped in landfill or burned for energy.

The ‘big four’ supermarket has opened the trial ‘green store’ with a focus on people buying household essentials from refillable hoppers.

There are 15 refill stations offering Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta.

Also available are popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, Persil laundry detergent, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox. 

Asda has unveiled refill dispensers for Kellogg’s corn flakes, PG Tips teabags, porridge, coffee, detergents, rice and pasta in a backlash against waste

The supermarket chain, which is trialling the refill stations at its store in Middleton, Leeds (pictured), will allow shoppers to buy household essentials by the bucket load, if they choose, as an alternative to wasteful plastic and packaging

There are 15 refill stations offering Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta

Asda will use the Leeds store – for a minimum of three months – to test and learn which elements of its new offer appeal most to customers and can be developed at scale to be potentially rolled out to more locations

In other initiatives, outer plastic wrapping is being removed on several popular Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks including beans and soups

The trial store (above) will also offer 53 fresh produce lines sold loose rather than in bags and trays in a return to a traditional greengrocer approach. Importantly, it guarantees these will be no more expensive

Asda will use the Leeds store – for a minimum of three months – to test and learn which elements of its new offer appeal most to customers and can be developed at scale to be potentially rolled out to more locations.

The trial store will also offer 53 fresh produce lines sold loose rather than in bags and trays in a return to a traditional greengrocer approach. Importantly, it guarantees these will be no more expensive.

What’s available in refill dispensers at Asda?

  • Kellogg’s cereals (Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Frosties, Granola and Coco Pops)
  • PG Tips teabags
  • Quaker porridge oats
  • Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans 
  • Vimto cordial 
  • Asda’s own brand rice and pasta  
  • Persil laundry detergent 
  • Popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox. 

In other initiatives, all plants and flowers are being sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping.

Outer plastic wrapping is being removed on several popular Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks including beans and soups.

The store will also provide recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes.

Asda will introduce a so-called reverse vending machine to take cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles alongside a hanger recycling facility.

All the major supermarkets are taking similar initiatives including Waitrose, which has pioneered the idea of using refill hoppers as an alternative to conventional packs.

The move by Asda is evidence as to how big businesses, including manufacturers and supermarkets, are taking radical steps to reduce waste as championed by the Daily Mail’s ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign.

Lead plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, Nina Schrank, said: ‘Asda’s new sustainability store reflects what people are looking for – the opportunity to go plastic free. 

‘By offering innovative refill stations, loose fruit and vegetables and plenty of sustainably sourced household goods, they have bought what used to be a niche shopping experience into the mainstream, all under one roof.

‘We hope that this store is the first of many; we need to see so much more of this from across the supermarket sector. UK consumers want to ditch plastic. 

The store will also provide recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes

Asda will introduce a so-called reverse vending machine to take cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles alongside a hanger recycling facility

A member of staff stacks loose tins on the shelves in the supermarket as Asda launches a new sustainability drive

‘The supermarket sector needs to listen to its customers and shift to plastic-free groceries and re-use and refill options both in-store and throughout their online delivery operations.’ 

Christina Dixon, Senior Ocean Campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency, said: ‘To beat plastic pollution, we need bold system change and innovative approaches to re-use and refill, so we hope the lessons from this store can be scaled across the country and inspire sector-wide change to shift away from unnecessary and single-use plastics.’ 

Asda chief executive, Roger Burnley, said: ‘Today marks an important milestone in our journey as we tackle plastic pollution and help our customers to reduce, re-use and recycle. 

All plants and flowers at the supermarket are being sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping

The move by Asda is evidence as to how big businesses, including manufacturers and supermarkets, are taking radical steps to reduce waste as championed by the Daily Mail’s ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign

‘We have always known that we couldn’t go on this journey alone, so it is fantastic to work in tandem with more than 20 of our partners and suppliers, who have answered the call to test innovative sustainable solutions with us.

‘This is an issue that matters greatly to our customers – our own insight tells us that more than 80% believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in stores.

‘We want to give them the opportunity to live more sustainably by offering them great product choices and value, underpinned by a promise that they won’t pay more for greener options.’

Self-made billionaire petrol station tycoon brothers from Blackburn agree deal to buy Asda from Walmart for £6.8bn – bringing supermarket giant back under British control

Two self-made billionaire petrol tycoon brothers have agreed to buy Asda from Walmart for £6.8billion to bring the supermarket back under British control.  

Mohsin Issa, 49, and his brother Zuber, 48, from Blackburn, stunned the City by being named as lead bidders to take over the retail giant alongside private equity firm TDR Capital, and concluded the deal earlier this month. 

The new owners have committed to keeping the retailer’s headquarters in Leeds and said they will invest to grow its convenience and online operations. Walmart will retain a minority stake in Asda as part of the agreement.

Mohsin Issa, 49, (left) and his brother Zuber, 48, whose parents came to Britain from India ‘with nothing’, emerged as the winners of the battle to buy Asda 

It is the latest stage in the brothers’ extraordinary rags to riches story, which saw them turn a single petrol station in Bury into an empire of 5,900 branches.

The duo, whose parents came to Britain from India ‘with nothing’, built EG Group – previously known as Euro Garages – from one site bought for £150,000 in 2001 into a £9billion giant employing 44,000 staff.  

The deal came more than a year after a proposed merger between Asda and UK supermarket rival Sainsbury’s was torpedoed by regulators. 

Asda has seen its fortunes improve recently with trading strengthening through 2020, as shoppers have spent more money on groceries during the pandemic.

In the quarter to June, Asda saw online sales double but the new owners will be tasked with expanding its digital business further to take advantage of soaring demand and make ground on rivals, such as Tesco, who have a larger slice of the market.

The new owners will also face the challenge of keeping prices low amid tough economic conditions for shoppers and potential new tariffs on EU-imported foods, with the other big four supermarkets all announcing a raft of price cuts in recent months.

The road in Blackburn where the brothers grew up. The duo built EG Group – previously known as Euro Garages – from one site bought for £150,000 in 2001 into a £9billion giant employing 44,000 staff 

EG Group has sealed the deal after its offer was favoured by Walmart ahead of a move by US private equity firm Apollo.

A third bid from Lone Star Funds, fronted by former Asda executive Paul Mason, was dropped several weeks ago after failing to meet the price of its rivals during the latter stage of bidding.

Walmart sought a sale after the UK’s competition regulator blocked its merger with Sainsbury’s amid fears the move would push up prices and reduce product quality.

The US grocery started new discussions over a sale of Asda in February, but saw these halted due to disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the auction process restarted in July as Walmart sought to exit the UK, 21 years after first purchasing the Leeds-based retailer.

Blackburn-based EG Group, formerly known as Euro Garages, already runs forecourt convenience stores for Spar and French hypermarket chain Carrefour.

The deal will have to pass through regulators, although it is expected to be given the green light.

At the end of September, EG Group announced a trial involving three ‘Asda on the Move’ convenience stores at its petrol forecourts.  

The Issa brothers are now worth an estimated £3.56bn, including a £25m Kensington townhouse and a private jet that is kept in a hangar at Blackpool Airport alongside Donald Trump’s personal helicopter.  

They are also building five identical mansions just three miles from the £115,000 Blackburn two-up two-down where they were raised. Mohsin is expected to live there with his wife, Shamim with whom he shares two grown-up children.  

As the children of immigrants who moved to Blackburn from Gujurat, India, in the 1970s, Mohsin and Zuber Issa – who were born in the former mill town – quickly learned the importance of hard work.

Their first experience of business was selling petrol from their parents’ filling station, where they would have their big idea that would revolutionise the industry and make their millions. 

Petrol sales were in decline and fuel duty on the rise, cutting into already wafer-thin fuel margins and leading to hundreds of operators leaving the market.

At the time most garages – if they sold food at all – offered a measly selection of pre-packaged sandwiches, crisps, sweets and chocolate.

But the Issas realised fuel sales still had a purpose in creating a captive market at petrol stations, who could then be offered appetising food rather than the gruel offered elsewhere

The brothers struck franchise agreements with brands including Starbucks, Subway and KFC, before embarking on a buying spree to snap up sites that had previously become vacant.

They now own Europe’s largest forecourt operator, Euro Garages, which in 2019 reported revenues of more than £17.9bn.

The firm is now the largest Subway franchisee in Europe and earlier this year bought a group of 146 KFC stores.

Asda pledges zero carbon emissions by 2040

Asda has today committed itself to generating zero carbon emissions by 2040, joining rival Sainsbury’s in making the pledge.

It also committed to reducing waste by 50% and having a net ‘regenerative impact on nature’ no later than 2050. It said its customers will not pay more for greener options.

The retailer’s move responds to growing consumer demands for less waste and more action on the environment.

Britons have become increasingly aware of the urgency of addressing climate change, spurred on by campaigners including veteran naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough and Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg. 

Earlier this month, American parent Walmart agreed to sell a majority stake in Asda to the Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital in a deal which gave the British business an enterprise value of $8.8 billion.

The British billionaire brothers made their fortune from petrol forecourts. 

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