I guess that at this point in time, @peter is probably wondering what I am doing and why I needed to tease him.
To be honest, this reminds me a story about Hatta and Haiga when they were drinking tea together and wondering “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
Right now, half of you are thinking I have given up trying to resist our mad side and the other half (the more gentle) will think I have been cut out of my tea supplies for too long.
Both half are wrong. For the first half, I just intent to show that out of crazy and erratic things, good things can come. And for the second half, just look below.
Let’s get back on tracks.
10 days ago, I was at my parents’ place for a birthday (a round one but I won’t tell which one) and I was sent to do some shopping in a supermarket near their house.
I was near the fruits and vegetables when suddenly something seemed out of place…
A “take it yourself” space full of coffee, spices and … teas.
You read it right, teas sold in bulk and that you can smell, see,…
I thought “Peter, where are you hiding? Do you work for a French company?”
I went there and looked at it, I even took several pictures and was asked by a member of the staff not to do so as it was forbidden.
Like the good boy that I am, I listened to her but I can still tell you what they were selling :
Fruits and flowers black tea (Chinese tea), Red fruits green tea (Chinese tea), Citrus and passion fruit green tea (Chinese tea), 2 Infusions, Red fruits black tea (Chinese tea), Tchai tea (Chinese tea), Sencha (Chinese tea), Earl Grey (Chinese tea), English Breakfast (Ceylon and Indian teas), Darjeeling (Indian teas), Ceylon BOP (Ceylon teas), Mint green tea (Chinese teas)
There were no other indications like gardens, provinces… but what I can tell you is that they were not expensive at all.
Since I wanted to show you something but couldn’t (I only have one word), I decided to send a message to their Customer Service requesting pictures and asking for more information.
They answered rather quickly and here is what they wrote (don’t worry, I translated it).
“Auchan wants to sell more and more discount products while protecting the natural environment. To do so, we are always looking for new solutions.
This is why we are testing in this shop a compete range of food products of quality but sold in “bulk.” Some products are pleasure products. But quite often, they are those we don’t buy on a daily basis (too expensive, not needed).
Our idea behind this new range of products? To allow our customers to have them but to let them decide on the volume or the quantity).”
I don’t know if they will test it in another supermarket or diversify their suppliers but I will follow this test and see what happens.
I didn’t buy anything yet but next time, I will (I need to check the quality and support “good” ideas.
Thanks for showing us this display. The concept is very interesting. I am eager to hear your thoughts about the tea. Also are their any expiration dates listed?
As far as I remember, there was no expiration date (but I am not 100% sure, only 95%).
I might get back or be able to have a small batch of it before the end of the month and I will let you know what I think of these teas.
Aha! Yes, good to see some retailer paying attention!
That looks great, thanks for sharing that picture. We had a grocery store here in town that used the same devices to sell loose tea a couple years ago. They had three containers, and they only did it once. We bought tea from them that way on two occasions, before they were emptied out. Once they were gone, the store chose not to use them again. Not sure why – the tea came from Frontier Natural Foods Co-op and as a result, was expensive and may have had an impact on why the grocery store didn’t bring the tea back once it was gone. I think the store focused too much on selling premium, organic, fair trade loose tea instead of properly testing loose tea in general – there is a significant price differential that the two different categories fit into.
Anyhow, looks like Auchan has invested quite a bit of money, time and effort into their little test (the presentation in your picture is about 100 times larger than our local store attempted). I especially like the clever hopper on the floor to catch the overflow and mess to help keep the aisle clean. Would be interesting to see how their testing goes, I certainly think they are on to something.
Also, seeing the clear containers reminded of the same thought I had when our store did it – while it looks good, I wonder about light, air and freshness. I wonder what the tested storage time in those types of containers is?
To be honest, they are also testing it for spice and coffee (hence the big space).
As for the air, light and freshness… I don’t know but if I get back there I will try to see if I can sneak and check.
I agree with @peter about the question whether clear containers affect the contents. Are they UV light resistant?
Also, you said they sell coffee and spices too, I imagine coffee gets far more bins than tea?
Like @jopj I wonder if there is any expiration date labelled? Or more info on origin available on request.
But all in all, I’m envious because we don’t have anything like that here. Wegmans has a slightly similar set up (smaller though,) it’s a nice grocery store chain, but sadly not within our shopping trip range.
The store Pete mentioned that offered teas locally, stopped selling these due to lack of demand I understand. It was exceedingly well priced though. Almost too low if you compare the costs there, to what that company generally charges for their teas. I never quite understood why the teas were so cheap in this store.
More info on request? I think they are aiming to make it a space with no one to answer the questions of the customer.
Buy some stuff.
Get your friends to buy some stuff.
If you like the concept and they are testing it,, you need to vote with your wallet.
And Happy Birthday!
I will do it.
But it was not my birthday (to help you I am a Leo).