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Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to get right.
New egg boxes trialed by retailer Tesco in the U.K. have whipped up a bit of a storm with egg-buying consumers, despite the packaging appearing to address concerns that are supposedly important to the supermarket-frequenting public.
The new egg boxes are made from recyclable plastic that, the retailer says, will save more than a million eggs from going to waste each year. After a successful trial, the boxes, which feature some nice hen graphics, will be rolled out across the chain’s entire free-range egg line.
Currently, Tesco’s free range eggs are sold in pulp cartons and, should an egg break in transit, it can seep through the box and damage packs beneath it. With the new packaging, however – made from recycled drinks bottles – if an egg breaks, the seepage can be contained in one pack.
Reducing food waste, recycling, and using lightweight transparent packaging would seem to address a good few consumer concerns, but this may not be the case.
Apparently, “We are all doomed.”
This change was picked up a national newspaper in late March and the online report attracted more than 200 comments and more than 100 shares. And don’t think this was a case of Brits being oh so traditional – comments came from Australia, Thailand and – in the age of Internet – who knows from where else.
Comments following the article were more than 90 percent negative with “traditional” egg boxes being much preferred. Plastic boxes were described as “weak” and allowing eggs to break.
“I have NEVER found so many broken eggs in the boxes since Tesco started using them,” commented one distressed reader.
Mrs M said that we could stop eating eggs altogether to save the chickens from cruelty and the world from unnecessary packaging, but she was soundly rebuffed by those who want to continue buying eggs in the way they want to buy them.
The change was simply “wrong” on so many levels, commentators felt, and there were calls for government action. Some concerns related to health and cancer, some to the environment, while poor Tinkerbell asked what nursery schools would now do as pulp egg boxes were wonderful for art and craft!
They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but I am not quite so sure in this case.
Jambirge asked: “What importance does egg packaging have?”
A quick scan down the comment thread, however, would have revealed consumers saying that this was yet one more reason not to shop at Tesco, so Jambirge’s question was answered.
The packaging may be the best in the world but if the customer does not like it …
And as for Tesco, they note that the new packaging will take up less space during transportation, less shelf space in the store, and will decrease carbon dioxide emissions.
“The results of the trial have been very positive and we hope to be able to roll out the packaging by the end of the year,” a spokesperson said.
Let’s wait and see.