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Pick n Pay to test nude food concept: “Customers want less packaging waste”

Major retailer trials zero-packaging fruit and vegetable produce wall.

by: Katy Rose | 01 Jul 2019
nude food wall plastic free

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On 1 July, South African supermarket Pick n Pay announced a trial project across 13 stores nationwide to test customers’ readiness to switch from pre-packaged food to loose products in the fruit-and-vegetable aisle. 

This initiative follows on from the launch of the netting produce bag in February 2019 – a reusable, washable bag for loose fruit and vegetables that will ultimately replace single-use carrier bags. These netting bags are available for sale at R7.50 or, alternatively, customers can make use of complimentary brown paper bags to hold their haul. 

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Pick n Pay employee Mirriam Motebele shows off the new range

Paula Disberry, retail executive for Pick n Pay, said, “There is scope to grow our ‘nude’ wall offering, but it needs to be sustainable and without unintended consequences. Reducing plastic waste has obvious benefits, but we need to be careful not to increase food waste levels during the process.”

She explains: “Packaging plays an important role for fresh produce. It protects the item, but also prevents dehydration and extends both the shelf and home life for the customer, which prevents unnecessary food waste.”

This initiative comes as South Africa and the world participate in #PlasticFreeJuly, now in its eighth year. During the month of July, consumers are encouraged to be more aware of their plastic use and to “choose to refuse”. 

Disberry continues, “Previously our loose produce range wasn’t as popular as our pre-packed products. We believe this is shifting as consumers become increasingly more conscious about the environment. The impact of plastic is now front of mind for customers.”

Currently, only about 10% of all fresh produce sold at Pick n Pay stalls are sold loose. 

The nude wall will offer 12 new seasonal loose products such as brown steak mushrooms, portabellini mushrooms, red and green chillies, cocktail tomatoes, sweet Palermo peppers, baby brinjals, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, sweet corn and baby cabbage. These foods will join the current loose items on offer such as onions, lemons, garlic, bananas and other seasonal ingredients. 

The nude fruit and vegetable wall will be trialed at the following 13 stores across South Africa: 



Faerie Glen Hyper





Pinelands Hyper

Durban North

Longbeach Mall

Glen Garry

PnP On Nicol


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