Bulk sales of tampons, sanitary pads and pantyliners. That’s what 50 Franprix and Monoprix stores – two of the brands under the Casino Group – have been proposing since 14 June in partnership with the start-up Fava. Customers can choose between two options to suit them: 4 products of their choice for €1.90 (one-day emergency kit) or 10 products of their choice for €4.50 (corresponding to the average quantity of products in a traditional box of sanitary products). Why Fava, you ask? The French brand of organic and biodegradable sanitary products, launched in March 2019, had compelling arguments to convince the Casino Group to go with its company for this innovative project. After all, the start-up’s message – in the spirit of the times and in line with the group’s CSR policy – targets customers concerned with respecting their bodies by choosing chemical- and pesticide-free organic products, and with environmental issues. A logical association of ideas which will no doubt benefit all parties.
A win-win partnership
Fava is part of the Casino Services for Equity scheme. The principle behind which is that the Casino Groups helps start-ups within the scheme to grow and gain access to new markets in exchange for acquisition of a stake. This support for entrepreneurs is all the more valuable at a time when the COVID crisis has slowed the economic development of many small businesses. Joining forces means seizing the opportunity for broader marketing of products, while the retailer moves cautiously into an emerging business sector.
Bulk: a booming consumer trend
The concept of female hygiene products sold in bulk is a new one, surfing on a booming consumer trend. According to the survey carried out among 9,900 households in December 2020 by NielsenIQ with Réseau Vrac, “The health crisis slowed performances for bulk in 2020 but the sector continues to gain ground: +8% last year, at €1.3bn for all distribution channels (i.e. less than 1% of total FMCG-self-service fresh produce), compared with +41% in 2019, at €1.2bn.”
And this growth seems set to continue in coming years. Bulk was previously a format offered by organic stores for foodstuffs, but this consumption mode has since extended to other products, including personal hygiene and household products. The reasons behind this shift are threefold: economic, ecological and health-related. People buy bulk in order to buy the right quantity, reduce packaging waste, and consume healthier and more natural products.
An initiative that consolidates another current topic: combating the ‘menstruation taboo’. Establishing a presence in this market represents a new challenge likely to boost revenues, which brands and retailers seem ready to take up. But above all, this initiative demonstrates the importance placed by the Casino Group on the issue of solidarity, fully compatible with its CSR commitments. Indeed, for every Fava product sold, the brand makes a donation to Féminité Sans Abri, a partner association working to help vulnerable women. Furthermore, the company’s logistics are handled by EBS Espérance, a subsidiary of Emmaüs that promotes professional reintegration.
By Laure Barillon, Strategy and Consulting Director, Altavia Nativ