Southeastern Grocers Inc. has committed to increasing sustainability for its own-brand packaging by the end of 2028 in response to public feedback listing packaging as a top sustainability concern.
According to new data from Sensormatic Solutions, the global retail solutions portfolio of Ireland-based Johnson Controls, the era of retail responsibility for sustainable initiatives is in full swing. The company’s 2022 survey on U.S. consumer sentiment regarding sustainability found that 62% of respondents would like to see retailers improve environmental performance via a switch to sustainable packaging alternatives.
For its store-brand packaging, Southeastern Grocers has pledged to eliminate the use of polystyrene; make all packaging reusable, recyclable or industrially compostable; and include an average of 30% post-consumer recycled material in all packaging.
In addition to implementing sustainable packaging for its own-brand products, Southeastern Grocers is partnering with How2Recycle, a standardized labeling system for packaging that clearly communicates recycling instructions to consumers based on packaging specifications. How2Recycle follows guidance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. To begin this new partnership, Southeastern Grocers will start adding How2Recycle’s label to its store-brand product packaging to help educate customers on how best to recycle the packaging and prevent more material from going to the landfill. How2Recycle is part of Charlottesville, Va.-based environmental nonprofit GreenBlue.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we value feedback from our customers, associates and communities, and prioritize the matters that mean the most to them,” said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers. “We heard clearly that sustainable packaging is among their top concerns, and we listened! In response, we are working with our supplier partners to establish sustainable packaging goals and meet our commitments in 2028. We strive to be the grocer people can always count on, and we mean always.”
Southeastern Grocer’s own-brand products, including its salted pistachios, lamb, wines and a number of ice cream products, have racked up a number of awards in the past year. The company also has a money-back guarantee on more than 8,000 of its SE Grocers brand products.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 43 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.