- Publix is giving away custom-designed, reusable grocery bags to shoppers in Miami Beach, Florida, according to the Miami Herald. The giveaway is limited to one per customer and is only available at four locations while supplies last. The bag looks similar to a brown paper Publix grocery bag but the material is different and the design slightly differs.
- According to the report, the grocer is handing out the bags to promote environmental friendliness and reduce reliance on single-use plastics. Publix also offers its classic reusable grocery bags for 99 cents.
- A Publix spokesperson told the Miami Herald the marketing initiative is only being tested in the Miami Beach market. Publix doesn’t have plans to offer custom-designed bags in other Florida cities, and the company hasn’t decided whether it will sell the Miami Beach bags once the promotion is over.
Despite its expanding footprint, Publix remains a regional grocer and is known for tailored experiences in each market, including local product assortment and standalone testing for initiatives that reflect the communities it resides in.
Designing a bag for a specific market can resonate with shoppers more than a generic reusable bag available at almost every other grocery store. The community has responded well to Publix's customized Miami bag with Miami Beach police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez raving about it on Twitter and Twitter user Ramsey Simon tweeted "Wow, @Publix. You’ve outdone yourselves. This is gorgeous.”
Over the years the grocer has designed a variety of reusable bags with different logos and custom designs for different holidays and seasons, like Valentine's Day, Easter, spring and summer, Publix said in a recent blog post.
The push for reusable grocery bags comes as many cities across the country are trying to reduce single-use plastic with regulations, including Miami Beach. According to the Miami Herald, Miami Beach has banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic bags on beaches, streets, sidewalk cafes and other public places. This law, however, doesn't apply to grocery stores like Publix.
Reducing reliance on disposable grocery bags isn’t a new effort for Publix. The grocer has worked to increase the use of reusable bags and decrease paper and plastic since 2007. It even has a live tally on its website of the paper and plastic bags it has saved, now totaling more than 6.8 billion.
Customized reusable grocery bags are a go-to marketing tactic for some grocers over the last several years as consumers move away from plastic. In 2018, Fresh Thyme launched a line of reusable canvas grocery bags unique to each state it operates in. H-E-B is also known for its specially designed commemorative bags, such as its Selena bags.