Adapted from bulkisgreen.org
Quality of bulk food vs. packaged
The quality of bulk foods is the same and often greater than that of their packaged counterparts. Bulk and packaged products (say granola or rice, for example) often come from the same source. However, with packaged products, you pay a premium for the brand name, advertising, special packaging, etc. Bulk foods rely on their quality, price, taste and overall value for sales.
It’s the packaging…
The bags and packages provided for bulk foods are usually fit to the size of the purchase and made of recycled paper or plastic. This means that less packaging waste ends up in the landfill and fewer resources are consumed during the packaging and shipping process, since more large bulk bags can fit on a pallet when shipped from the producer to the retailer.
With bulk foods, you buy only the amount you need. You decide the portion, so you’re not forced to purchase a large amount of unneeded product that goes to waste.
Bulk foods mostly come in gravity-fed bulk food dispensing systems that automatically rotate product to ensure fresh food is constantly available. What you see is what you get, so you can quickly tell the quality and freshness of the product.
Less packaging = more affordable
When buying bulk foods, you pay for the product and nothing more (no extra fancy packaging, production, and distribution costs for said package) saving an average of 89% over packaged goods. The trend in packaged foods is to reduce the amount of food in the package without reducing the price and to charge premiums for overhead costs, meaning you end up paying for more than you really get.