New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets are getting aggressive on waste, vowing to eliminate single-use bottles of water from all stores by Earth Day (April 22). The announcement by the Portland-based grocers, part of Good Food Holdings, marks the latest effort from both brands over decades of work to reduce waste in local communities, the company said.
The initiative will discontinue the sale of still water, in capacities of 1 liter or less, bottled in single-use plastic, fiber, aluminum or glass containers from all New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Market stores.
“Combined, beverage bottles, caps and lids make up the second most common form of ocean litter. By committing to using reusable bottles, we can remove over a quarter million single-use plastic, aluminum and glass bottles a year,” said Athena Petty, senior sustainability manager for New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets, in a statement. “We’re starting efforts with still water in containers 1 liter or less because opting for reusables is an easy individual choice to help lessen our collective environmental impact.”
Both grocers will continue to offer larger sizes of water in the grocery department, as well as single-serve bottles of sparkling and flavored water that are not available from the tap. To help customers transition their habits, stores will continue to offer one refillable single-serve bottle of still water from Pathwater, a company that seeks to end single-use plastics by offering consumers a specialized aluminum bottle that is designed to be refilled. Customers will also be able to find a selection of reusable water bottles in the home goods department.
The single-use water bottle elimination is one step in New Seasons Market’s and New Leaf Community Markets’ sustainability initiatives for the year. Both grocers will continue to reward their Neighbor Rewards members with 10 bonus points when shopping with reusables. Program members can also opt-in to save paper by signing up to receive e-receipts. The grocers will further support waste reduction efforts with a goal to reduce operational waste from their stores, striving to achieve a 57% landfill diversion rate. Additionally, both have set an annual companywide goal to reduce energy use by 5% per revenue dollar.
While COVID has accelerated change in many aspects of grocery, research shows it has not diminished consumer demand for products and retailers committed to sustainability. A recent global study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found the pandemic had actually heightened consumer interest in sustainability.
At New Seasons Market, departments will continue to evaluate and implement other packaging improvements, including switching to lighter weight or reduced footprint packaging on bulk tubs, half-pie clamshells, grab-and-go items, and in produce, the company said.
New Seasons Market is part of Good Food Holdings—the holding company for Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets. New Seasons works with a team of nearly 3,500 staff across 19 stores in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Locally minded, the grocer has committed 10% of its after-tax profits to the communities it serves.
An organic and natural grocer with five stores along the Central Coast, New Leaf Community Markets has been serving the community for 35 years. A wholly owned subsidiary of New Seasons Market since November 2013, New Leaf Community Markets is the first grocer in California to achieve B Corporation certification, which means that New Leaf uses the power of business to solve social and economic problems, says the grocer, which also gives 10% of its profits annually to support local nonprofits working to improve the quality of life.
With a mission to provide an experiential grocery shopping destination, Lazy Acres Natural Market unveiled its fifth location, and second in Los Angeles County, on Oct. 13 in Hermosa Beach, Calif., touting a commitment to fresh foods, clean ingredients, healthy living and community partnership.
Located at 2510 Pacific Coast Highway, the new store caters to customers who strive to live healthy and sustainable lifestyles through its high-quality product assortment and a design format that aims to bring attention to foods that are more nutritious. Lazy Acres, which is part of the Bristol Farms family of brands, is in the process of becoming a “Blue Zones Designated Grocery Store” through the Blue Zones Project, an organization that works with community businesses to make healthy choices more accessible. The new store includes signs to identify Blue Zones options as well as healthy recipes, food samples and cooking demonstrations. The retailer is also working closely with Beach Cities Health District to ensure healthy choices are made easy for its customers.
A vibrant produce department brings the retailer’s focus on fresh foods to life, boasting local and organic fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh-cut and value-added options. The store also features a floral department, including organically grown cut flowers, potted green and blooming plants and unique cut flower arrangements.
A full-service meat department offers premium grain- and grass-fed meats, including natural beef raised with no added hormones or antibiotics, free-range and organic poultry, specialty and ready-to-cook items such as marinated meats and kabobs, as well as specialty sausages prepared daily with no preservatives or fillers.
Promising “same-day freshness,” Lazy Acres’ seafood department features local and fast-flown-in items, including wild King Salmon, plus a selection of prepared fish such as smoked shrimp; ready-to-cook products such as shrimp skewers, crab cakes and stuffed mushrooms; and prepared-in-house ceviche.
Among the store’s top unique highlights is Lazy Acres’ new Bee Department, equipped with a live working honeybee hive and bee keeper. Curated in partnership with Draper’s Super Bee Apiaries to educate shoppers on how bees contribute to the food system, the department also offers natural bee products such as honey and beeswax items.
Lazy Acres’ specialty cheese department offers more than 200 varieties from around the world as well as local cheeses from Southern and central California, marked with a “Local” sticker. The department also boasts a selection of charcuterie and spreads including smoked fish, balsamic vinegar and pate, and more than a dozen varieties of olives.
The store’s bakery and gourmet prepared foods are made fresh daily with only clean ingredients. Items include made-from-scratch lemon pound cake, pumpkin mini-breads and an array of cookies made with real butter, organic rolled oats, Giusto’s organic pastry flour and imported Tahitian vanilla.
Lazy Acres also offers a selection of plant-based, vegan and gluten-free items such as alternative milks, alternative flours and gluten-free baked goods.
Since opening its first location in Santa Barbara in 1991, Lazy Acres has built its brand upon a dedication to healthy living. The retailer’s expansive wellness section features health, beauty and nutrition products ranging from dietary supplements, body care and natural makeup lines to herbs, homeopathics and nutrition books.
An expansive adult beverage section features an assortment of craft beers including local breweries such as Strand Brewing Co., as well as a full selection of fine wines and spirits.
On Oct. 10, Lazy Acres hosted a private sneak preview, family-friendly event benefiting local schools, featuring a live band, a photo booth, a magician, a silent auction and tasting stations. Attendees included Hermosa Beach Mayor Jeff Duclos, Hermosa Beach Mayor Pro Tem Stacey Armato, Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano, members of the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach City Councils and other business and community leaders.
To draw excitement ahead of the store’s grand opening, and to integrate into the Hermosa Beach community, Lazy Acres appeared at several local events, including the Manhattan Beach Wine Auction, and numerous education foundation and PTA and PTO events. The retailer also introduced a Lazy Acres branded Toddler Town Grocery Store at AdventurePlex and has pledged to continue to support local education foundations and organizations, including a partnership with Growing Great and Grades of Green.
“Lazy Acres is proud to become an active part of the vibrant South Bay community, and we are confident that local residents will find the store to be a trusted source for all that is organic, fresh and delicious, and, when possible, locally sourced,” said David Schaefer, store director. “We have been inspired meeting so many local residents through our participation in an abundance of community events these past few months. We look forward to building close relationships with our customers in the months and years ahead with our promise to go out of the way to create a truly unique and rewarding shopping experience.”
Lazy Acres has stores in Santa Barbara, Mission Hills, Encinitas and Long Beach.
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