Buying in bulk is not a new idea but it is growing in popularity these days. In the past, if you wanted to purchase items in bulk, the only way was through warehouse stores such as Costco or BJs. And while these stores still serve a purpose, they are no longer the only option for bulk shopping. Bulk bins in supermarkets are becoming an increasingly popular way to shop as well.
Once reserved for only natural markets such as Whole Foods, consumers are now pushing most supermarkets to offer this. In the simplest of terms, bulk bins are self-serve bins that traditionally offer food staples, such as nuts, beans, pasta or coffee. As their popularity grows, some markets are even offering items such as peanut butter, honey or olive oil. By purchasing from these bins, you eliminate the packaging that comes with traditional products.
There are many benefits to purchasing food items from bulk bins, include:
While some stores, such as Whole Foods, have a reputation for higher prices, in general you should always pay less for items purchased from bulk bins compared to their packaged counterparts. Some estimates say that consumers can save up to 90% over prepackaged items.
Unlike bulk warehouse stores that offer consumers lower prices on larger quantities, bulk bins have no minimum quantity. Therefore, consumers can purchase only the amount needed. This greatly reduces the likelihood of having waste left over.
When purchasing from a bulk bin, there is no packaging. Not only does this contribute to the lower cost, but it removes the packaging entirely. If there is no packaging, there is no need to recycle or dispose of it when finished.
Another benefit that is often overlooked is the potential to stumble upon a new food. The specifics vary by location but most bulk bins rotate what is available and often add new items to the mix. If a consumer is interested in trying an item, purchasing from a bin allows them to sample a small amount before deciding if they like it or not.
Another way to purchase in bulk is through wholesale specialty stores that serve a specific niche or industry. One example in Bulk Cutting Boards, a company that sells bulk cutting boards at an affordable price. While the average home cook may not need a dozen wood cutting boards, there are many people and companies who do, such as restaurants, caterers and event planners.
Bulking buying is a trend that will continue to grow in the future as more and more consumers are demanding more environmentally friendly choices, affordable prices and higher quality products.