- State-of-art machine is first of its kind to be trialled in UK, providing customers with a mess-free refill solution on shelf
- Taking up the space of 66 Formil bottles, the machine has the potential to fill over 245 individual Formil pouches after just one replenishment
- Lidl customers will save 20p per refill compared to the equivalent single-use product – making this the cheapest laundry wash option at Lidl
- New ‘smart’ pouches also use a third less plastic whilst maintaining the same capacity of standard Formil bottles
13th October 2022: Lidl GB has become the first supermarket in the UK to give customers access to an on-shelf smart refill machine with ‘smart’ pouches for their laundry detergent.
The compact machines will be located on-shelf in the store’s laundry detergent section. They will take up space equivalent to 66 standard Formil single-use bottles but have the potential of filling over 245 individual pouches, increasing capacity by nearly 300%.
Through the machine’s automated, touchscreen experience, customers can simply pick up the pouch, choose their favourite detergent and follow the simple on-screen instructions. Innovative ‘closed-fill’ technology incorporated into the pouch cap allows customers to fill up with the cap still on, enabling faster filling while eliminating the chance of mess and spills.
Algramo’s smart technology means that the Formil pouches contain a special chip that allows the machine to distinguish between new and reused refill pouches, so the customer gets their saving of 20p after their first use. The technology will also help Lidl and Algramo to understand how many times each pouch is refilled and therefore how much packaging has been saved through the trial.
This innovation is designed to meet Lidl’s commitment to being big on quality, Lidl on price. It saves customers money, helps to reduce single use plastic and makes life simpler for the whole supply chain, from customers and colleagues, through to suppliers. The benefits of Lidl’s refill solution include:
- Cost: Refills offer customers the cheapest wash, saving 20p per refill when compared to the equivalent single use product.
- Sustainability: Using Lidl’s ‘smart’ refill pouches saves 59g of plastic per refill, the weight of an equivalent single use bottle, and minimises CO2 and water usage.
- Efficiency: For customers, the trial is Lidl’s fastest-ever refill solution. For suppliers and colleagues in store, the small size of the machine optimises shelf space and and the detergent transported in bulk packaging makes logistics more efficient.
Mark Newbold, CSR Manager at Lidl GB said: “We are incredibly proud of this latest innovation, which will enable our customers to save money and reduce their plastic consumption. We were the first UK supermarket to introduce smart laundry detergent refill stations and now we’re the first to introduce this next generation design.
“It’s our strong belief that good quality and value should go together. We are committed to providing our customers with cost saving solutions that can help their wallets and the planet.”
The trial will feature in Lidl’s Swadlincote, Lichfield and Kingswinford stores. This builds on an initial 6-month pilot of a larger, standing refill machine at the Kingswinford store, which resulted in extremely positive customer feedback. Of those who made use of the trial machine, 97 per cent said they would recommend it to a friend or colleague, and 88 per cent plan to use it again soon.
Chris Baker, Country Manager at Algramo UK said: “At Algramo we are committed to lowering the cost of products by selling in bulk and, on the other hand, reducing the amount of single-use plastic that is discarded, decreasing the environmental impact. This launch represents an important evolution of our refill offering and there is still more to come as we explore new ways to further optimise refill both for the consumer and retail staff alike.”
How it works in store
Customers can follow these quick simple steps to refill, save money and help the environment:
- Pick up your refill pouch in store - Keep the cap on.
- Select which Formil laundry detergent product you want to refill.
- Slide your refill pouch into the refill machine until it clicks. The machine will automatically recognise your Formil refill pouch. Please note, you cannot use your own bottle or pouch.
- Once the refill process is complete, simply collect the ticket printed with the barcode for your product.
- Your first time you will pay for your refill pouch and laundry detergent at the till with your ticket.
- Next time, use your laundry detergent and bring back your empty pouch to refill and continue saving!
Notes to editors
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 28,000 employees, over 935 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. The supermarket, which has more than 360,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 12,000 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 31 countries.
The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €133.6 billion in the financial year 2021.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/
Algramo is a Chilean start-up born in 2013 that began working along family-owned neighbourhood stores, distributing everyday products in vending machines and reusable packaging. This system allowed people to purchase products ‘by the gram’- the literal translation of Algramo. Doing this, enables low-resource families to buy in small quantities and pay about 40% less for life’s essentials.
Algramo has become a real-world example of a viable circular economy business model with global potential. It was recognised by Fast Company in 2015 and 2020 as the Most Innovative Company in Latin America. In 2019, Algramo won first place in the National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge and MIT Solves Circular Economy cohort. In 2021, Algramo won a spot in The Circulars Accelerator Program, an initiative of Accenture, in alliance with Ecolab and in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Algramo has presence in Chile, USA, Indonesia and now in the UK, and is currently working with global brands like Unilever, Nestlé, Walmart, Colgate, and Lidl, to create smart inclusive distribution systems that meet their global supply chain and quality assurance standards. This creates a highly scalable circular distribution system that enables consumers to buy just the product and not the packaging waste.