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Asda embarked on a strategic project to create their first sustainability trial store, and Avery Berkel, a long-standing partner and leading provider of retail scales, was a natural choice for collaboration.


Avery Berkel’s team and its digital labelling partner, Hanshow, worked closely with Asda to develop a sustainable offering for the Middleton store, leveraging their expertise in retail scales and commitment to sustainability and innovation. It resulted in a project with the potential for a meaningful impact on the retail industry and the environment.

Although zero-waste stores are gaining popularity among independent retailers and smaller chains on the high street, they are still a niche concept for larger consumer stores. Asda recognised the significance of this trend and aimed to assist customers in the initial stages of their sustainable shopping journey.


Avery Berkel partnered with Asda to develop a bring-your-own-container innovation, that included customised enhancements. This comprised of weighing solutions, Avery Berkel’s enterprise scale management system, and electronic shelf labels powered by Hanshow. All three components were designed to provide shoppers with an enriching refill experience. Compared to standard printed shelf and product labels, the total refill solution presented additional product information, such as instructions, ingredients, allergens and storage details.

Avery Berkel also created a sophisticated set of screen graphics to deliver direct messaging, reminding the customer of the effect of their behaviour change.

Middleton was the site of initial consumer trials for their zero-waste solution, which received positive customer feedback following its installation in 2020. Within just over a year, three more stores were added to the green roster. Asda continues to support and develop these refill trials, using Avery Berkel technology, with the goal of reducing the amount of single-use plastic customers take home, as part of an overarching ambition to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2040.


As part of their ongoing programme of customer insight, Asda researched over 3,000 regular shoppers. The key outcome was a clear indication that lower prices would help customers shop more sustainably. Asda then launched the ‘Refill Price Promise’, stating that the unwrapped products included in the trials – such as rice, pasta and cereal – would never cost more than their wrapped equivalents.

To make this more visible, Asda further collaborated with Avery Berkel and Hanshow to create a scale solution that uses Electronic Shelf Labelling (ESL) technology. It helps Asda quickly change prices in response to any promotional activity on pre-packed products, as their promise is to always be cheaper than the same item found in store. Without the ESL it would not have been possible, as the stores don’t have the ability to print price labels to the bespoke size needed for the hoppers.

By automating the pricing process, Asda can reduce the cost and time associated with manual updates. Additionally, ESL technology enables Asda to make real-time changes to pricing and promotions, allowing them to respond quickly to market trends and customer demand. The devices themselves also have a battery life of up-to 15 years, and the components are made of materials that are up to 88% recyclable.

Suzie Hardy, sustainability manager for Asda said: “Avery Berkel has been our weighing partner of choice for many years due to their expertise, great service levels and reach within the industry. Their integrated solution allows us to easily manage the entire offering – from displays through to checkout. These efficiencies are a key part of how we’re able to deliver our refill price promise to customers.”