Shoprite launches bigger, stronger shopping bags for taxi commuters

By our News Team | 2022

South African retail giant believes the standard-size shopping bags it has been using disadvantaged customers travelling on public transport.

In response to customers and employees’ needs, South African national supermarket retailer Shoprite has launched a bigger and stronger carrier bag primarily for taxi commuters and consumers who make use of public transport.

Taxi passengers in the country are often charged extra for each bag they carry, particularly on busier routes. Therefore, a larger carrier bag which can hold more groceries should save customers money when they go shopping, the retailer says.

Retail Innovation

Photo courtesy of Shoprite Group

The new bags have a carrying capacity two-and-a-half times greater than the standard bag (60-litre capacity vs 24-litre capacity) and are similarly two-and-a-half times stronger. They are also recyclable and reusable.

However, the bigger bag is also four times the price (ZAR4 vs ZAR1), which may deter some customers. 

Easier to carry one big bag when commuting

“The idea came from listening to employees and customers who travel by taxi.  It’s also much easier to carry one big bag when walking or using public transport,” explained Sanjeev Raghubir, Shoprite Group Sustainability Manager, in a media statement.

The South African minibus taxi industry undertakes some 15-million commuter trips per day, transporting roughly 68% of the country’s households to and from work and school every weekday. It is also an important feeder into other transport modes such as bus and rail.

In 2013 the Shoprite Group – which has brands such as Checkers, OK and Liquor Shop in its stable – became the first national retailer in the country to introduce shopping bags made from 100% recycled content in its supermarkets.

The group says in the statement that it recycled more than 5 400 tons of plastic in the last year –more than 600kg per hour – through its reverse-logistics operations. To promote a circular economy, the group is also working towards ensuring that 100% if its own-brand packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable, and that it contains on average 30% recycled material content by 2025.