As we prepare for what consumer trends might look like in a post-pandemic market, we also wanted to hear directly from our B2B customers in the field. We recently surveyed our customers and asked about switching from bulk snacks to packaged. 41% of our customers said they are planning to shift from bulk to packaged snacks for the foreseeable future. That leaves almost 60% of customers still buying bulk. To help make sure bulk products are stored and maintained as safely as possible, we are sharing some bulk best practices:
- All backstock should be kept closed and organized in a clean, cool, dry area (low humidity). Stock rotation is necessary and should be done by noting a receiving date on the backstock unit (it is recommended to store backstock product in sealed plastic totes).
- Bin stocking should be done on a daily basis, before any bin exteriors, fixtures and floors are cleaned. Sanitary gloves should be worn.
- Stock rotation is a necessity. Each scoop bin must be tilted forward to move existing stock to the front of the dispensing area of the bin and fresh stock is filled from the top rear area of the bin. Gravity bins can be filled from the top.
- Fast moving items should be restocked throughout the course of the day. Do not let the bins get empty or low. Low inventories are unsightly to the customer and inhibit bulk purchases.
- It is recommended to keep backstock minimal, especially in the warmer months.
Bulk Cleaning and Maintenance
- The store temperature in the bulk section should be between 65-70⁰ Fahrenheit.
- The bulk section should not be in direct sunlight, spotlights, or near any equipment that radiates heat.
- All bin fronts and exterior surfaces of the fixtures must be dusted and/or wiped down on a daily basis. Do not use ammonia or chemical cleaners, they will damage the acrylic surface. With added COVID-19 safety protocols, bulk sellers should consider more robust cleaning and sanitization methods, particularly of high touch surfaces like lids, handles and spouts.
- Remove, clean and sweep/vacuum around and under each bin once per week. This will help maintain a clean appearance for your customers and minimize pest infestation.
- Each bin should be emptied and cleaned every 60 days. Dry cleaning is recommended, however if the bin must be washed, thorough drying is very important. Do not restock product in a bin with any moisture.
- Product rotation in false fronts is one of the most common causes of stale product or infestation problems. Make sure false fronts are emptied EVERY time new product is stocked. It will keep the product in the false fronts from fading and most importantly, will keep product from becoming a breeding ground for infestation. It is best to keep the small trap door in the gravity bin in the free swing setting so that the product in the false front can flow into the saleable portion of the bin when it is near empty.
Gravity Bin Cleaning Process:
- Remove the label holder and the label.
- Empty all product from the bin.
- Disassemble bin and wash all parts with warm water and mild dish soap.
- Use a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge to remove any residue.
- Shake the springs to remove any excess water and leave bin open to dry for at least 12 hours or wipe down with a soft cloth.
Scoop Bin Cleaning Process:
- Remove scoop or tong sets, the label holder and the label.
- Remove sliding cover.
- Empty all product from bin.
- Wash parts with mild soap and warm water.
- Leave bin open to dry or wipe down with a soft cloth.