Are reusable bags the new vehicle for advertising brands? Is this the beginning of free bags for consumers?

Getting noticed in-store has always been a hot button with suppliers, from in-store radio, sampling, shelf wobblers and advertising on trolleys, brands are always looking for a new opportunity for brand awareness. Anchor recently entered the free bag arena by giving away free reusable bags to consumers who purchased Anchor milk through Countdown.

Caroline Gray, group marketing manager Anchor told Supermarket News, "The Anchor bag promotion is one of the many sustainability initiatives we have throughout the business. Starting with the good work our farmers do on the farm, right through to the customer we’re continually looking at ways we can be more sustainable right across the supply chain. We know Kiwis are just as passionate about sustainability as we are so it was great to be able to give them something to help make a difference."

Anchor's marketing hit the jackpot with this concept, getting a brand message to consumers on a reusable bag serves as a reminder that stays with them. According to a survey in the US, 61 percent of consumers who have a branded bag say they are more likely to do business with the advertiser. By promoting a brand with a reusable shopping bag, the company is essentially taking a stance on sustainability. Customers like to support businesses with similar goals, so giving clues to customers into a brand's stance on single-use products and the environment is clearly beneficial.

There’s no denying the benefits of reusable shopping bags. By eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags, reusable shopping bags are good for the planet. Since reusable shopping bags are typically made from recycled or sustainable materials, they do up the green vote. Usually, one reusable shopping bag will last for about six years (dependent upon use), this means that customers will be carrying a branded bag for years to come. A constant reminder of the brand and spreading the word about the brand to everyone they come into contact with while carrying the bag.