Wow – more new refillable products. Why plastic free is such an exciting place to be.

plastic free refill shop products

New vegan chocolate, snacks and wine

In November 2020, Harriet’s of Hove released a customer survey and we had an over whelming and wonderful response from our local customers. There was a huge amount of feedback, praise, critique and requests for new plastic free products. In the list of new products, there were many pleas for more snack foods, treats and alcohol. Of course many consider a tipple, nibbles and confectionary completely essential – I totally hear that! 

So over the last few months, I have worked (reasonably) hard to seek out crisps, chocolate, dipping cheeses, ready meals and alcoholic beverages. I say reasonably hard, as I can honestly say finding new and innovative ways of helping ‘consumers’ lower their disposable plastic usage is truly an exciting place to be. The rate in which people and suppliers are adapting and creating is exhilarating, making what might seem a laborious task truly fun. 

So…What do we now sell that you need to know about?

Refillable Crisps

The clever folk at Just Crisps have teamed up with SESI refills, to provide us with Salted Vegan Potato Crisps and Salt and Black Pepper Parsnips Crisps.

Delivered to us in a large white tub and ready for you to bring in your container and buy your crisps by weight. The reusable packaging container is then returned to SESI, for sterilising and refilling. Therefore a truly plastic-free and circular packaged crisp! For many, this is what dreams are made of. It is known, that Walkers alone produce 7,000 crisp packets a minute (1) and for many (especially households with children) these numbers are hard to hear and very visual when the packets mount up. For a snack that can be finished in under 5 minutes, the remaining plastic packet can create problems for those looking to lower plastic usage. 

I am simply delighted that the refillable crisps have been such a success at HoH and thoroughly look forward to see what great flavours are coming next (as promised by Just Crisps).

Vegan Chocolate Buttons

vegan chocolate buttons

Possibly the most popular item sold at HoH, I would advise anyone starting up a plant-based refill shop to write Dark Chocolate Buttons into their business plans!!

The best part has been that we have been able to seek out White Chocolate Buttons and M*lk Chocolate Buttons, to compliment the dark chocolate buttons already on sale. This has been great fun and tempted those that would otherwise not have tried a plant based chocolate, to give it a go.

Made with coconut oil and rice flour (rather than dairy), these buttons taste great. They come to us in 20kg amounts and are perfect for our ethos and for selling by weight.

Long gone are the days, in which there is no sweet chocolate options for vegans or those avoiding dairy! These buttons from Coco’s Pantry are delicious and have a great texture. Thanks to Coco’s Pantry, for working outside the (chocolate) box and providing a bulk vegan chocolate button option. 

Delicious Vegan Ready Meals

Plastic-free, nutritious, affordable and locally made. Not usually the credentials you notice of a supermarket ready made meal. However, the extremely hard working Chiara from Eco-Eating has created just that! And I am so pleased to have this option available for people at HoH.

All the meals are packed into a home compostable sugar cane box and fresh new menu ideas are on offer every week. Available in store on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday and suitable for home freezing so perfect to stock up your freezer.

I feel that selling options such as these meals, will hopefully be part of our future. Plastic won’t be required, when previously expected. We will be able to eat our convenience foods without damaging the planet and having a little more thought about our heath. Here’s to that future and until then, here’s to Eco-Eating and their plastic-free ready meals. 

Refillable Wine

No to waste yes to wine signLast but not least to feature on this blog post, I am so so pleased to announce HoH is now selling refillable wine. Not only for the obvious reasons, but because it feels so right to be part of a movement brought to us by Borough Wines.

Everything from the refillable wine vats, the price points, the ethos of their business, the quality of their customer service and the introduction of our first biodynamic product – this innovation is exactly the place I want to be.

With the average person in the UK drinking 108 bottles of wine a year (2), the waste glass is an unfathomable amount to consider. And really needn’t exist at all!

vegan wine Petit Verdot by Borough Wines Plus, Borough Wines are supporting some incredible wine makers on their journeys and they are not producing ‘your average bottle of plonk’. We have their super Sauvignon Blanc for you plus we are able to offer a biodynamic and vegan Petit Verdot from Tuscany, deliciously fruity, full bodied yet cleaner in many ways. One customer has fed back that there was no hangover feeling the day after, but I wouldn’t want to quote any science there.

I don’t suppose this hangover free wine feeling will be the same for everyone. But I am certainly inspired to look more into biodynamic wines and other biodynamic products for the shop. Again, here’s hoping for the future – and it’s great to be part of it. 

Please speak to us in store at Harriet’s of Hove for more information about any of these products. They will be available to purchase online in the near future. Many thanks for reading and until next time, take care. Harriet (of Hove).

(1) Crunch time for Walkers over non-recyclable crisp packets – The Guardian Online – 2018

(2) Average British drinker consumes 108 bottles of wine a year – Decanter.com – 2019

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