[CHALLENGE] Zero Waste Market - Efficiencies in Store Design

Zero Waste Market is Canada’s first package-free grocery store on a mission to tackle food waste and plastic pollution. Customers simply bring their own containers to purchase local, sustainable and ethically produced products in bulk, eliminating the need for packaging. We are opening a permanent location in Vancouver by the end of the year and looking for ways to optimize efficiency throughout the store. With efficient processes in place, customers will be able to complete their shopping conveniently and we’ll be able to minimize waste in-store. Some specific challenges we are facing in this area include designing a fantastic bulk bin, reducing food contamination, enabling customers to check out quickly and minimizing waste that comes into the store with product delivery. We are open to discussing any of these challenges and others with teams depending on the team members’ skills and interests.

To fill during and after the event:
This challenge started as:
Creating a zero waste product coding and labeling system that is scalable to other stores
Scored based on cost, in-store ease of use, customer experience, sustainability and scalability- out of 5pts for each
-Wooden token with a hole punch and elastic band through it 17/30
-Color coding and token/sticker 16/30
-Digital bin 14/30
-Digital swipe card 17/30
-Compostable Sticker 19/30
-App 14/30
-Magic chalk pen 18/30

This challenge ended as:
Best 3:
Digital swipe card
Compostable stickers
Magic chalk pen tag
could also consider a combination for different kinds of products and storage systems

Describe the evolution of your group’s thought process, what you did during the day:
*Discussed Main Challenges for Zero Waste Market

  • Flow through in the market (moving ppl through store as efficiently as possible)-backlogs tend to be high at checkout

  • Checkout & Tare system, Product code system

  • Label system

  • Where ppl put or take out their stuff

  • Standard containers entered into system- currently using

  • Square

  • Sustainable labeling

  • Measurement before checkout

  • Minimum quantities

  • Smart card, so don’t need codes for products

  • Display a calculation of waste diverted

  • Loyalty cards- track what ppl are buying

  • What order should bins be placed?

  • Patterns-produce, then dry food

  • Design flow of store to make a complete meal

  • Quantities for servings

  • Pick a recipe-directs you where to get product

  • Like Routific-store layout overlayed –most efficient way to get through store

  • Warehousing and retail combined-Pick list-shows

  • you which bins and which route best to take

  • Expiry dates-how long will they last

  • Catalogue

  • Like gas station-so you know price as it comes out

  • Scoop with funnel at end
    Future goals:

  • Selling olive oil, coconut water, maple syrup, vinegars

  • Fresh fruit and produce

  • Dairy-yogurt, milk -managing expiry dates a challenge

  • %revenue/sq ft

*Zero waste Product coding/Labelling that can be scaled up to other stores
Brainstorm options:
-Reusable tie
-Bins that only let out a specific volume
-Elastic band system
-Colour code system for products
-Chalk board
-Erasable pencil for bins
-Key card

  • Gravity bins
  • Scoops bottom
  • Scale right under the bin, so you can tare right away

Key things you learned:
Rating by different criteria was informative.
Clearer idea of how things look like. This activity was helpful for figuring out logistics.
Challenge of deciding between using a resource intensive process like a swipe card system, but makes shopping experience more intuitive and easy or a simple sticker label that’s less convenient

The feedback you received, and how it was applied:

The practical outcome of this challenge is:
Ideas to pilot test

The Future: What elements did you decide to: pursue, pivot, purge, pause?
Pursuing testing digital swipe system, compostable sticker labels and magic chalk pen tags. Purge digital bin-too costly.