Branding the Bag…

This weekend past I found myself in a mall picking up some groceries. As always, I was bagless and had to purchase a bag from the grocery store.

And that got me thinking.

Why do these stores brand their bags? It’s not as if it’s an aspirational purchase. It’s not like carrying around a bag from a designer-label fashion-store. No-one’s going to envy your purchases and who really wants to brag about their shopping habits.

It’s like the high-priced version of a paper marketing-flyer and probably has less return.

South Africa’s laws regarding plastic shopping-bags have resulted in some people reusing their bags, so you’ll get someone shopping at Supermarket A with a bag from Supermarket B. That doesn’t do much for either brand.

The bags are just plain ugly. And some are only branded on one side. How does that help? If the bag turns inwards you can’t see the (already distorted) branding. And we all know it doesn’t have to be that way:


Awesome bags


Ok, those are pretty extreme and probably expensive examples. So maybe that’s not the solution.

What happens after people have carried their bags home? Well, I know of people who dump their garbage in them (including me). I know of people who just throw them away without a second thought. And how often have you seen these bags blowing about in the wind somewhere? Doesn’t say much for the brand’s commitment to the Green Initiative when they continue to make these plastic bags that (as far as I know) aren’t even recyclable.

So why brand the bag? I can’t think of a single good reason.  Maybe the solution is not to rebrand the bag but rather to not brand the bag. And pass the savings on not printing useless, unseen messages on the bag on to the consumer. Or create (and actively promote) reusable cloth or canvas bags that are attractively designed so they can double as beach-bags perhaps. Or move to boxes…or find a new way altogether to package and move groceries. Like making it even easier and even preferable in terms of cost to shop online.

Just a thought.


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