Seasoned GreenAcres shoppers have been helping themselves to our bulk department for years; but new customers may not know a bulk section exists in all of our eight markets.
The bulk department is located in different locales in each store, but once you’ve found it, you’ll gravitate there every time you visit a GreenAcres.
Look for plexiglass bins, and/or barrels containing all manner of bulk items from rice and quinoa to beans and nuts. There are candies and snack items, dried fruits, spices and gourmet salts. It’s a whole new world of yummy things you can purchase by the ounce or by the box! What’s your pleasure?!
Customers might not be aware there is a science behind buying in bulk. The first is environmental; the second is economic. For example, did you know natural and organic foods from the bulk bins cost an average of 89% less than packaged goods? Those fancy foods that attract from a plethora of colorful boxes and logos don’t come cheap. Also, if you buy in bulk, you don’t contribute to the environmental mess that eventually finds all those pretty cartons and packages in landfills all over the United States (biodegradable over time or not).
There’s an efficiency in buying in bulk. You can buy exactly what you want and need for that moment; nothing goes to waste or gets dated. Also, little baggies of bulk items fit easily into any size pantry (think an ounce of Himalayan pink salt instead of a whole carton.) Buying just ounces of certain items lets you try more things for less money which is a huge savings, especially for those samplers of life that prefer to “try” a new product before committing to it.
Key organic bulk categories that one can expect significant savings are:
• Coffee and tea
• Grains and flour
• Dried fruit
• Seeds and Nuts
Also, customers might not know there exists a “Bulk Is Green (BIG) Council,” a non-profit organization that encourages consumers to cut down on food waste, and grocers to provide bulk bins and buying sources for their customers.
For the past five years, BIG has celebrated an annual national bulk food week in October. If the council holds a sixth annual event, you can bet GreenAcres will be in lock step having bulk sales and special offerings.
From the BIG’s newsletter we learn that “up to 40% of the food supply in the US goes to waste (that’s shameful!), translating to 34 million tons of food waste a year. Packaged food goods require significantly more transportation to bring to shelf. The manufacture of packages pulls trees from our forests, dumps contaminated water into our streams, uses enormous amounts of energy and shoots tons of CO2 into our atmosphere.”
From a blog online called sheknows.com, here are some good reasons you should be shopping the bulk aisle:
• Saves money — Buying natural and organic foods in the bulk section of the grocery store offers an average savings of 30 to 50 percent versus packaged food.
• Is eco-friendly — Eliminating packaging reduces carbon footprints. Buying in bulk mitigates the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and streamlines the transportation needed to deliver goods to market, helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
• Reduces food waste — Buying in bulk allows shoppers to make smarter decisions, by purchasing the exact amount of foods they need, as opposed to purchasing consumer
packaged goods with a pre-determined amount that may not be used before its expiration date.
• Affords flexibility in purchase — You can buy a pinch or purchase a pound. Buying in bulk offers a broad selection of natural and organic products that can be purchased in the exact quantity desired. If shoppers need a large quantity of nuts for a holiday party or just a pinch of curry powder for a new recipe, bulk foods provide both options.
• Encourages to try new “good-for-you” foods –- If you’re bored of your usual brown rice, the bulk foods aisle gives you a plethora of healthy alternatives, such as quinoa, whole wheat couscous, or wheat berries. You can also try new spices, a few pinches at a time, or buy an assortment of dried fruit, raw nuts, and other wholesome ingredients to make your own trail mix or cereal mix-ins. The bulk section is a great place to be creative and experiment.
We in the business of natural living want to leave our environment cleaner than we have enjoyed it so that the next generations will hopefully follow in our footprints and leave the planet in even better condition.
GreenAcres offers a wide variety of bulk foods. We invite you to peruse our aisles and take advantage of the savings. Everything is fresh and kept fresh.
Be sure to check our GreenAcres April newsletter. You’ll notice several bulk-section granolas are on sale this month, another opportunity to save!