Retail Innovations 9: Global Retail Trends 2013 Part 4—Eco-Friendly

While most consumers still express a preference to behave in an eco-friendly manner, the practical realities of budgets and performance of green products has slowed down the trend. But, green can also save money. Less packaging can lead to more efficiency as the following case demonstrates.

Negozio Leggero (Italy – Turin)

A new Light Shop concept offering ‘on tap’ shopping, where food, household and personal products are served package-free.


An increasing number of people are beginning to purchase loose, package-free products because they are interested in reducing waste and supporting the environment, as well as reducing clutter at home and cutting down on expenses. The Negozio Leggero or ‘Light Shop’ concept, launched by Ecologos (an institute specialized in environmental research), and the cooperative Rinova, responds to this demand.

Even though this concept is already used by others, Negozio Leggero goes one step further as its store is entirely dedicated to this new format and its full assortment (food, household and personal products) are package-free.


Customers learn how to shop ‘on tap’: they can purchase their containers, bags or bottles in the store but most  bring their own, eliminating all of the packaging that one is normally forced to purchase, often without being aware of the costs involved.

In-store, products are found in labeled containers, exhibited on tables or shelves.  Orange and wood tones help create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Another strength of the store is its staff, which is knowledgeable and welcoming, offering customers detailed information on all products.


There are various organic and fair-trade types of coffee, sold in beans and ground on the spot; candies prepared following artisanal methods; breakfast products like fresh milk and cereals; and various types of flowers from carefully selected local farms. The assortment also includes pastry, a variety of salt, a wide range of spices, herbal-tea, and fresh eggs from free-range chicken.

Liquid products like wine, liquid detergents, personal hygiene products, etc. are distributed using containers with taps. Environmental sustainability is evidenced in their baby products, which include washable natural cotton diapers.


In Negozio Leggero, the savings brought by the use of package-free products can be significant, especially for products normally bought in small quantities, like spices, which can cost even less than half of the packaged version.

Negozio Leggero tries to communicate the idea of sustainability and waste reduction to its customers by involving them in a series of activities. It periodically organizes courses like ‘eco-friendly do-it-yourself make-up,’ or bread baking or soap making. Its services include an on-line recipe book, divided into hors d’oeuvres, first courses, second courses, side dishes, and desserts.

Casa del Agua (Mexico – Mexico City)

Adding value to the water you drink.

Casa Del Agua1

Because the human body largely consists of water, because water is the centre of the ecosystem, and because it is essential to drink water, Casa del Agua adds value to the water that we drink.

Casa del Agua is a new concept where rain water is recycled, purified, harmonized, and converted into bottled water. Always fresh, never transported and stored, water reaches customers without a carbon footprint and therefore names itself “the local water.” The Casa del Agua concept provides a special consumer experience and educates at the same time, providing a great store with a rooftop terrace to enjoy their purified beverages.

The concept uses personalized glass bottles in an effort to recycle, while extending the concept’s brand experience via its specially designed bottles.

Casa Del Agua2

Casa del Agua helps customers be conscious of the environment in a new and innovative way. Casa del Agua is honest, clear and pure. They filter their water in-store so that customers can see firsthand that their water is 100% pure, all wrapped up in a sophisticated store concept.

Casa Del Agua3


Companies that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint not only have a more positive impact on the environment, but also receive praise from the public for behaving in an ethical way. This can translate into sales by appealing to environmentally-conscious consumers who are willing to pay premium prices as demonstrated in the second case above. On the other hand, when eco-friendly products are made affordable and even save money, as is the case with Negozio Leggero, the customer base extends beyond the environmentally-conscious to the general population. After all, a healthy planet equals a healthy future. And many consumers demand that businesses take action!

About Retail Innovations 9

RI9 - imageRetail lnnovations 9 is J.C. Williams Group’s and Ebeltoft Group’s ( latest compilation of leading edge innovation, highlighting individual ideas and the key themes that emerge from studying the whole.

This edition features 54 of the best innovation cases from 23 countries and pinpoints the nine global innovation trends.

To obtain a copy of this publication, send an email with your name, company name, and telephone number to


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