A Grocery Store’s Strategy To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfires

A Grocery Store's Strategy To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfires

Reusable bags are becoming the new talk of the time. Some places like islands and other vacation spots have actually banned plastic bags and only allow paper or reusable. As the years progress, it seems like more and more companies are pushing for the lone use of reusable bags. Except one grocery store now has to deal with the consequences of their marketing strategy.

East West Market in Canada is under fire for its reusable bag photo on Instagram. While the bigger print reads, “It’s hard to always remember a reusable bag. We redesigned our plastic bags to help you never forget again!” the fine print reads “Avoid the shame. Bring a reusable bag.”


The original plan hilariously backfires

The bags were solely meant to cause customers to think twice about what bag they are using. However, this actually just caused people to come to the market and pay five cents in hopes of collecting the designs. The store owner, David Kwen, was obviously amused. His new promotional design was now getting the kind of attention he didn’t even ask for.


However, David decides to make the best of a funky situation and began to capitalize on all this excitement. He decides to plan new canvas tote bags for the market with the design printed right on the front.

reusable bags in a grocery store
Reusable bags / Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman

“The underlying thing is that it creates conversation, and that’s what we actually wanted to get across to the general public,” David explains. “If you talk to people in a nice, humorous way, I think they listen.”

If people are already responding to this plan, imagine what great change David could bring. According to reports, Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada actually gets recycled. Additionally, Canadians will throw away $8.3 billion worth of plastic materials per year by 2030. With these statistics in mind, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021.

Kids carrying a recycling bin
Kids recycling / LoveToKnow

We’re glad to see how much this strategy has “backfired” in the most humorous way! We also hope to see it really take off and benefit the environment.

Did you know that you can make your own reusable shopping bags? Learn how by watching the video below and you’ll never be without a reusable bag!

Marketing strategies sometimes aren’t always this successful.

IHOP tried a marketing plan out for Mother’s Day, which earned a lot of backlash. Find out what they did here!

What do you think?

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