No bulk container...NO BULK STORE
Without the RIGHT bulk container, you're simply selling stale junk to unsuspecting customers.
The typical bulk food store containers are;
- plastic bins with flip up/drop down lids
- plastic bins with a slide over lid
- overhead plastic bins with a pull down handle
- and plastic floor containers on wheels.
All of these, and similar options, do not have a proper seal when closed. Resulting in air seepage that exponentially erodes the life span of the product inside.
This is where NLB diverges on the bulk store container concept.
Our containers will be Hermetic
Our containers will overwhelmingly be glass (some metal) with bail wire/clamp down glass tops and rubber seals (we will also have the standard screw top). This type of jar is the top choice when it comes to hermetic food storage. It's simple to open and close (no screwing), does not contain, hold, or transfer any harmful chemicals, and is highly durable and recyclable. These types of glass jars are widely available, and are currently used in a lot of bulk food stores.
The current options (and pretty much the only universal option) of these types of clasp and seal jars have a mouth opening of around 3.5 inches. This works, but is cumbersome and frustrating in a commercial setting.
We here at NLB are working on a more bulk foods friendly wide mouth opening of 6 inches. This will accommodate the simple access to all our products sizes. That way, when you dive down into the container with tongs or scoop, you don't knock on the edges trying to squeeze the product out of the glass jar mouth!
In conjunction with this wider opening, other volume glass jars are also being investigated. But that's a second thought to the desired opening we are aiming for. In whatever the case, we will be using the largest bail clasp glass jars on the market today in our store to a yet unknown extent. They are prevalent, cheap, durable, non-toxic, and highly recyclable.
If you have ever shopped at a bulk foods store, and used any number of plastic bulk bins, you've most certainly have had an issue or two with the containers.
Bending your wrist, arm, scoop, and/or the container that you are trying to fill in such an awkward way to get the product out of the bin. Lids don't stay up. Handles get jammed. Food gets stuck. Lids get stuck. Scoop handles are too small. Plus any number of other problematic bin obstacles in buying loose bulk food.
We want to change this process.
All of the containers at NLB will be set up at an angle. All hovering above, below, or around 45˚ for simple access with a scoop or tong. Speaking of those, our scoops and tongs will be long handled. That way your hands (and everybody else's hands!) never come in contact with the product while accessing the container. Resulting in a dramatic reduction —elimination in most cases— of contamination of any kind! (You don't want other people touching your bulk food with their hands...do you?!?)
Adding to this, all of the NLB bulk container lids will open from the back, and drop down in the front. That way you won't have to hold the lid up, or worry aobut it getting stuck, while getting what you need out of the glass bin. Simply unlatch, open, take what you need, and re-latch!
By having hermetic plastic-less containers, we are ensuring the viability of each products shelf life. Using glass, metal, and rubber allows us to reuse continually, and recycle these parts at their end of life cycle, all the while posing a zero toxic threat to the food therein.
The containers that we plan to offer for purchase and deposit-return will fall under the same guidelines and standards as the containers we use to sell NLB products. With the added additions of various other shapes, sizes, and lid mechanics.
We will not offer plastic containers, however. But we will actively promote and encourage our customers to use there own CLEAN, food grade plastic —as well as metal, glass, and other food worthy materials— containers that they have purchased in the past and have kept for future reuse.
NLB...the perfect place to re-use those plastic not-actually-disposable containers that you would have tossed out otherwise!