February 24, 2017

The beautiful story behind Bulk Barn’s new reusable container policy

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jason, who lived in the land of Maple. As the son of the president of a chain of bulk stores stretching the length of the entire kingdom, he held many responsibilities. And he faced a challenge.
Every day, he’d run into complaints from a community of people who, inspired by a crazy French lady  wanted to buy their food with jars and cloth bags in his stores. Doing so was against the company’s policy (disposable plastic bags were provided instead) but Jason liked the idea of changing it so he tried to convince his father. None of his efforts however led to success.
One day, the crazy French lady and her family went to Canada on vacation. They rented a lovely home on a lake near Gatineau, and when time came to buy food, they checked ZWH bulk finder to locate unpackaged groceries nearby.
“A Bulk Barn!” exclaimed the Frenchie, as she glanced at the search results.
“I’ve heard so much about it but apparently they don’t accept reusable containers: We’ve got to check it out.”
So the family grabbed the cloth bags that they had brought from home, a Tupperware found in the rental’s kitchen, and they hurried out, excited at the thought of making a new discovery.
As they stepped into the store and faced the biggest offering of loose foods they had ever seen, they immediately understood what the hype around the brand was all about. They had entered a fantasy land.
“Look! They even have cheese puffs!” exclaimed the youngest one.
He and his brother split to the cereal and snack aisles, the father to the pasta bins, the mother to the coconut oil tub.

Once each family member had checked the selection and filled his/her containers with his/her favorite picks, they met at the register. Knowing about the store’s policy against reusable containers, they feared that theirs would be rejected… but to their surprise, the cashier scanned their purchases like everyone else’s, without batting an eye.
Ecstatic about a positive experience, Frenchie uploaded a photo of her husband perusing the bulk aisles of that store on Instagram:
“First Visit To A @Bulkbarnfoods – What A Selection! Thanks To Those Who Shared Its Location In My #Bulkapp And Thanks @Bulkbarnfoods For Letting Me Fill My #Reusable Containers. ????????????????”, she posted.

Because of that post, the community revolted louder than ever before: An uncontrollable amount of complaints swarmed into Jason’s hands.
“Why would you allow them to fill their containers and not us?” they roared.
This was a tipping point. After days of dealing with negative comments, enough was enough, Jason went back to his dad, and once again, made his case for a policy change.
At last, he accepted!
Now that he had reached his approval, a lot of work had to be done: Jason rolled up his sleeves. He and his team spent a lot of time in the boardroom. They brainstormed, they discussed options, they researched, they phoned the different health authorities, and they even tested their program as a pilot for a few months.
Until finally, they rolled out the new policy across all locations, allowing Zero Wasters across Canada to bring reusables to their stores.
Jason had dreamed of bringing social change to the company for years: he had now succeeded. One small step for a man, one huge leap for the zero waste movement in the land of Maple! Jason and the Canadian Zero Waste community lived happily ever after.
As of today, February 24th 2017, all Bulk Barn locations accept reusable containers! I could not be more thrilled!

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