Bulk products, packed products

Interview: Nicole SALDUCCI
Mar 2013
Jun 2013

Bulk products, packed products

Products have always been sold in bulk: fruits and vegetables, retail meat products, milk at the farm or nails and screws sold by the kilo, to name but a few.

49_Pic01The emerging of marketing patterns such as large-scale distribution in the 1970s came along with the development of packed products that meet different needs and demands (preserving time, hygiene, ease of use, new uses, etc.).


Nowadays, at a time when sustainable development, CSR (corporate social responsibility), the need for citizens to find a meaning to consumption and the economic crisis are major issues, marketing suggestions for bulk products have been developing, particularly in the past few years.

Bulk sales are sometimes described to marketers and product users as an economical solution (the products are cheaper) and a green one as well (it excludes primary packaging and, as a consequence, the consumer does not need to deal with any packaging waste).


The CNE wants to clearly identify the issue and has started a new working group to this end.

The working group will offer thoughts to add to the discussion and will provide information on the best practices in the field. The CNE wishes to remind everyone that we need to think in terms of use value and the entire packaging system of a product because it would be simplistic to think only in terms of primary packaging.

The document that will be drawn from exchanges within the working group should bring a new perspective on the consumer’s free choice by providing, for each dimension (environmental, economic and social), a “benefits vs. risks” analysis of these two product presentation patterns.


The next meeting will be held on Friday 12th july, at 9:30 am at the CNE.