Wegmans Finds Sustainability Partner in Local Paper Straw Supplier

Grocer has broad goal to reduce in-store plastic packaging by 2024
Emily Crowe
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Wegmans Debuts Latest Store in Virginia
Wegmans has found a new paper straw supplier for its Market Cafés, restaurants and corporate worksites.

While it made the switch to paper straws in 2019 as part of its commitment to reduce in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, Wegmans Food Markets recently found a new partner to supply the environmentally friendly drinking implements at its Market Cafés, restaurants and corporate worksites. According to the grocer, it first became aware of Roc Paper Straws when its sustainability coordinator saw a story about the company in the local newspaper.

Wegmans ran a pilot of Roc Paper Straws’ regular drinking straws and cocktail straws at its two Rochester, N.Y.-area restaurants, Amore and Next Door, and they were a hit. The company’s straws will be rolled out to Wegmans’ Market Cafés starting this week.

“While we were already working with a paper straw supplier out of Arizona, we knew we needed to explore the possibility of moving our business to Roc Paper Straws,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans packaging, energy and sustainability category merchant. “It just made perfect sense – the opportunity to support a new local manufacturer, reduce our carbon footprint, and, as we quickly learned, offer our customers a better product.”

Continued Wadsworth: “We’re always looking for opportunities to support businesses near our stores, particularly ones that share our same values. That’s exactly what we found with Roc Paper Straws. When there are only a handful of manufacturers for a high-demand product, and a new one opens up right in your backyard, you can’t help but to feel incredibly lucky. Karrie and Kathryn make a great product and, on top of that, are committed to supporting the Rochester community and making a difference.”

Wegmans has made an overall commitment to reduce in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, along with other single-use plastic, by 10 million pounds by next year.

Family-owned Wegmans  operates more than 100 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts. The company is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of  the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Wegmans a  Top Regional  to watch in 2023.

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