Sustainability at heart — without being blind to other needs

November 20, 2018

Case Franprix Noé by Saara Järvinen

When creating sustainable concepts, we may forget that although green values are crucial to many of us, we also have other conflicting criteria. Brands that minimize the number of compromises the customer has to make win the game.

Franprix, a French grocery store chain, opened a new branch called Noé in 2017. The newcomer promises to be close to the customer physically — but also close to their values.

And Noé certainly has had their target group’s needs in focus. We visited Noé in Paris and picked a few pointers on how to help people balance the gap between values and actions:

1. Don’t preach, empower

No one wants to hear how bad he or she is. At Noé, you can still buy the not-so-holy plastic water bottle, but you might just as well go for the micro-filtered still or sparkling tap water, totally free of charge. Sustainability doesn’t need to be expensive and difficult.

2. Be credible

While expecting the consumer to contribute by making conscious choices, the brand needs to do their fair share as well. Franprix Noé is credibly sustainable by fighting waste and relying on boats, rather than trucks, in their logistics. This cuts their emissions by 20 %.

3. Inspire and surprise

Because of the amazing variety on the shelves, sustainability is nothing like a tedious responsibility, but an exciting experience. Only 20 % of the products also belong to the conventional Franprix selection. The majority is curated from smaller producers and challenger brands.

The aisles become an inspiring showroom of the latest exciting flavours and innovations: like Galipoli Fabrique’s detergent line with products that are mixed of just a few ingredients, by yourself at home. The packaging is designed to be convenient but also aesthetic.

4. Make it obvious

Buying in bulk is very popular in France since people are increasingly concerned about packaging waste. At Franprix Noé, you can get almost anything on a tap: honey, oil, wine, detergents, even spirits — from a small organic distillery (of course).

These taps are not hidden away in some corner but integrated into the shelf systems, so buying in bulk becomes just as natural as grabbing that bag of peanuts. Also, while their selection offers novelty, it also offers all the essential basics, so you are not forced to run to another supermarket to get what you need.

5. Offer comfort

Why shouldn’t you be pampered a little while being green? Noé is just a small corner store, but they’ve still managed to fit in all the essential comforts that the local clientele expects. You are welcome to heat up your food in the little kitchen, sit down and let your kids play in their own nook. In addition, you don’t have to carry your groceries, you can get a free (and green) delivery for them.

6. Give that little extra something

Few organic food lovers expect candy and cigarettes at the checkout, so those have been replaced by a lush herb garden. You can harvest what you need and even try unusual new flavours. It’s a great idea since you oftentimes need only a couple of leaves for your meal. And it’s free of charge!

Franprix Noé is a good example of how identifying customer needs enables to design sustainable concepts that actually become a part of our lives and help to live according to our values.

For 15 years, Kuudes has been creating sustainable product and service concepts for Nordic and global clients. Want to hear more? Don’t be a stranger, contact us.