Global Now / Week 7

Supermarkets Re-evaluating Current Systems And Redesigning Interior Space To Create Less Food Waste

Section: Cope

Global Now: Abstract

Headline:  Supermarkets Finding That Less Stuff Means More Money (And Less Waste)

Date:  October 18th 2012

Source:  Fast Company – Co.Exist


Today, up to 40% of the United States’ food supply is thrown away. It is highly unsustainable, causing excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels to decompose food waste as well as contributing to upcoming food crises. It also causes U.S. supermarkets to lose $165.6 billion worth of food. Supermarkets have decided to solve this problem through redesigning their product curation and offering fewer products. Trader Joe’s stocks 4,000 products daily instead of the average 50,000 products carried by supermarkets. Stop and Shop/Giant Landover examines their sales and losses to eliminate excessive categories of products, thus saving them $100 million from less food waste. Redesigned product displays, such as signage and interior space, help to make supermarkets seem like they are carrying more selections while supplying less products. The combination of fewer products and clever interior design has resulted in higher customer satisfaction with fresher produce and fewer food wastes going into landfills and exhausting our energy sources. The concept of eliminating waste through (re)designing systems can be seen in this example where supermarkets are producing less to begin with to create the least amount of waste possible.


Global Issue:  The attempt to eliminate the concept of waste

Primary Design Lens:  Design for Change

Secondary Design Lens:  Interior Design, Systems, Product Curation, Communication Design


One thought on “Supermarkets Re-evaluating Current Systems And Redesigning Interior Space To Create Less Food Waste

  1. Great article! This is a perspective that I haven’t thought about before but it definitely makes sense. On an even higher level less supermarket space overall would allow for greater density in cities making them more accessible by walking/biking etc. which further reduces waste and improves communities.

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