Co-op has made 16 fresh and chilled lines available in split packs, helping smaller Nisa and Costcutter stores stock a more credible fresh range and minimise wastage.

The split-pack option was made available this week and enables retailers to halve the quantity of certain products they would usually receive in their deliveries.

Fresh options available to Nisa and Costcutter retailers include Richmond Thick Pork Sausages, Co-op Breaded Chicken Goujons, Co-op Red Leicester Cheese and Müller Fruit Corner.

Store owners who choose to have the applicable products in a split pack will be charged at least a 7% premium, affecting the overall margins a retailer can make from selling the products. This covers the additional costs of repicking, repacking and redistributing the products.

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Nisa has charged the same premium for split packs in other categories.

The new case option will help retailers who had struggled to stock a credible fresh range, due to lack of storage space or ability to sell all the products in the larger cases before their expiry.

Ken Singh, of Mill Hill Stores in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, told betterRetailing: “It is sometimes a bit hit-and- miss when you order fresh and chilled because of the waste issues, especially if your store is a smaller site.

“The cases from wholesalers can be large, and it can be sometimes hard to avoid wastage entirely.”

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One retailer, who asked not be named, added: “It’s not bad, because it helps if you’re a smaller store, but a 7% premium is a lot.

“I know some wholesalers such as Booker don’t charge the premium on certain split-pack products, and a reduction from 20% to 13%, for example, is quite a big dip.”

In a message communicating the changes to its retailers, seen by betterRetailing, Costcutter said: “To help you manage fresh wastage post Covid-19 peak sales, it has been agreed that split cases will be introduced across a number of fresh lines plus their regional varieties.

These splits represent the key

recommended in the fresh minimum credible range, plus three additional ones on poultry where case size is limiting sales.

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“The splits will be available to order from 14 September for store deliveries on 16 September.

“As before, these split cases carry a 7% premium to cover the additional costs in providing this service – repicking and additional packaging, distribution and so on.”

A Nisa spokesperson added: “Nisa partners are being offered the option of split packs on a selection of fresh products to help them manage wastage.”

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