A collection of our thoughts, sharing inspiring refill, reuse, retail & sustainability culture from around the world


Market Report


I think sometimes we forget how our global food supply is intimately connected with price and supply fluctuations caused by a myriad of factors – both natural and man made, some controllable, some unexpected. The (perhaps originally noble?) mission of supermarkets to standardise quality, supply and price have disconnected shoppers from the reality of commodity price fluctuations which remain very real across the globe.

We get regular market reports from our suppliers which are fascinating and we thought we’d share them with you.

April/ May Global Market Report

  • There has been an alarmingly steep price hike in the almond market, fuelled largely by increased demand from the East.
  • Argentina has dramatically cut the acreage devoted to cannellini beans to plant more profitable chia seeds.
  • A poor Indian crop of red lentils has made India a net importer so watch out for prices edging upwards.
  • And high rainfall in China means the red kidney bean crop needs drying out prior to shipping, with the inevitable inflationary consequences.

Closer to home we get a weekly update from some of our growers – a missive from the greenhouse which reminds us all of the backbreaking work that goes into cultivating the foodstuffs we take for granted, and how organic growers have such a wonderfully holistic approach to our environment, for which we should all be grateful. Here’s what’s happening as of this week:

“A warm wind, what a delight. With some more sun forecast and some settled weather to come we will make great strides these coming weeks. There is an immediate response in the Glass and it is comforting to be able to enter the main planting period with more hope than trepidation.

We have even seen the odd Butterfly and a couple of overwintered caterpillar and a few ladybirds including a Harlequin, but no Aphid even on nettles, so we may get the clean start always promised by a harsh and protracted winter. As witnessed by watching our garden Daffodils open and bloom over this weekend nature will hasten into activity and the pests will accompany but low levels of overwintered pests is a great bonus for us if not for other wildlife. But we will soon need Bees to pollinate the emerging Strawberry flowers so we may need to assist pollination. In the past we have had resident ground Bees but I think they got flooded in the Autumn deluge.

Generally it is felt we have lost 3 weeks growth for field crops so harvest schedules will be delayed. Glasshouse plants are around 10 days delayed so with fortune these will not be too far out for new season crops and we should enjoy some busy growth on overwintered Chards and Spinach but Lettuce is minimal until new plantings take off.”


Multistorey Unpackaged…


Unpackaged has a long running collaboration with design agency Multistorey who have worked with us since our inception – on our branding, original market stall, the Old Dairy and now our new Hackney shop, café & bar.

Rhonda & Harry have a really open approach to the design process; they have always listened to what Unpackaged is trying to express, worked to eco principals and within very tight, sometiems non existent budgets – a tall order at times!

In our move from islington to Hackney, they had to guide us in the move from a very traditional building to a totally new and quite industrial space. The challenge was not only keeping the essense of the Unpackaged retail experience but growing to encompass a new model of shop, café & bar; as well as creating a multifunctional space that could change throughout the day and night as it was used for different purposes. Given that a lot of our customers moved with us, we wanted a space that felt familiar (black and white floor, reclaimed marble counter) but was new and exciting to represent our growth.

With those crazy expectations, we think they did a fabulous job as our space looks and feels exactly how we envisioned it. They’ve just put out this press release about how they approached the project, well worth a read!

© Unpackaged 2018