INTERSPAR Austria trials filling stations for organic food products

July 22, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Environment, Responsible retailing

INTERSPAR is the first major food retailer in Austria to offer filling stations for unpackaged and loose organic food products, such as cereals, nuts, and pulses as well as pasta, rice, and dried fruit. A large selection of these products is part of the SPAR Natur*pur range, the largest organic brand in Austria. Products sourced from local suppliers complement the range.

At the filling stations, customers can use a free INTERSPAR paper bag or a container they bring to the store or purchase instore. The filling station is currently being tested at the INTERSPAR Hypermarket Salzburg-EUROPARK. Customers can use their own containers by weighing them before filling with products. The filling station at the INTERSPAR Hypermarket in the EUROPARK shopping centre in Salzburg was produced by SPAR International’s preferred supplier HL Display, a global supplier of products and solutions that create a better shopping experience. The innovative filling station differs from traditional systems as the bins are filled from the top but emptied from the bottom, and this ‘first in- first out’ system ensures an optimal shelf life of the food products.

“For the sake of the climate and the environment, INTERSPAR is constantly tackling unnecessary plastic packaging”, explains Managing Director INTERSPAR Austria, Markus Kaser. “I am pleased that we are the first large food retailer in Austria to be able to offer a filling station for unpacked organic food, in addition to the test operation of the filling stations for certified organic laundry and dishwashing detergents”, he continues.

In January, INTERSPAR started to trial filling stations for bio-certified laundry and dishwashing detergents in selected INTERSPAR Hypermarkets in Salzburg and Vienna. The filling stations are continuously adapted and improved according to customer needs.

Plastic reduction is high on SPAR Austria’s sustainability agenda. Own brand health and beauty products, including Splendid and BEAUTY KISS, are free of solid microplastic particles.

Already over 40% percent of the fruit and vegetable range at SPAR and INTERSPAR stores in Austria is unpacked. Customers can purchase reusable produce bags instore or make use of paper bags or free organic bags made from renewable raw materials. There is wooden cutlery for snacks on the go, and customers can bring their own containers when buying cheese, meat, and antipasti at the deli counter.

SPAR and INTERSPAR stores offer the largest range of beverages in reusable bottles in Austria. In March 2020, SPAR Austria started to sell SPAR Natur*pur organic farm milk in a reusable glass bottle. In April, various SPAR Own Brand beverages in an eco-friendly 1l reusable glass bottles were introduced in line with SPAR Austria’s push for a more circular economy.

To make products that are plastic-free or contain less plastic easily recognisable, many products are labelled with the logo ‘Saving plastic together with SPAR’.

In 2020, SPAR Austria is again growing faster than the industry and is for the first time the domestic market leader. When reviewing the first five months of this year, SPAR Austria had a market share of 33.9%.

Source: SPAR Austria

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About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined with other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company.

With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed SPAR in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.