Shopping Bag System
A system of reusable shopping bags provides an assortment of reusable and selectively collapsible bags and carriers suitable for the various types of good a shopper encounters at, for example, a grocery store. Specific embodiments provide one or more large insulated freezer bag for frozen goods, one or more grocery bags for sundries, one or more veggie bag for vegetables and fruits, at least one carrying case pak, and one or more pod. Some of the bags are stowable in the freezer bag and in other embodiments component bags are stowable in the carrying case pak. The freezer and grocery bags may have adjustable handles and specific embodiments provide a shoulder cushion pad selectively mountable on the handles. Kits with instructions allow customized bag systems to be assembled.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This disclosure relates to, claims priority from and the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/055,195, filed Apr. 22, 2008, entitled Shopping Bag System, by the same inventors, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.
This disclosure relates generally to reusable shopping bags and more particularly to a system of reusable shopping bags, kits therefore and methods of manufacture thereof.
Paper or plastic? At one time this question became so ubiquitous that it became a punch line. Now, however, it has taken on almost sinister overtones as awareness has grown over the environmental challenge of millions of non-biodegradable plastic bags choking our landfills and pantries. Concern over the environmental impact of so many plastic bags has led some municipalities or grocers to ban plastic grocery bags. City-based plastic bag bans are forcing retailers to reduce, recycle, and provide alternatives. With the recent announcement of a high end supermarket banning plastic bags and 13 cities proposing plastic bag bans, competitive pressure challenges retailers to provide alternatives to plastic bags, and shoppers are demanding more. Paper bags are not considered a good alternative due to worry about deforestation and other environmental concerns arising from the mass production of paper.
In view of the problems recited above, a suitable alternative to disposable bags would be useful. An attractive alternative to disposable shopping bags is bags that can be reused. Reusable shopping bags have been known for centuries but they have never really been adequately adapted for use in a big modern grocery store, for example, where a single weekly trip to the market for a family can easily fill half a dozen bags. One deficiency of many reusable bags, for example, is that the bags are soft-sided so that they do not maintain an upright shape when the bag is set down on the ground. Another deficiency is that a single bag is not enough. Although sets of reusable bags have been described or are available, such sets either do not fit together in a compact transportable manner or the bags do not have all of the advantageous features that a shopper might desire. For example, many reusable bags have a single set of fixed handles to be held by either the hand or slipped over the shoulder. Alternatively some bags have two handles with one longer for over the shoulder use and the other shorter for hand carrying, however such dual handle arrangements can be annoying or look unfashionable. A reusable bag with handle straps adaptable to allow hand or shoulder carrying modes would be useful to provide more than one mode of carrying the bag. Still another drawback of many reusable bags is that they are too bulky to conveniently keep about the house or in the car.
Survey data indicates that 53% of respondents own a reusable bag; 47% do not but almost 90% of respondents say the primary reason they do not use a reusable bag every time they shop is because they forget. Other responses included:
“They don't seem clean. I don't like carrying them around the store and I don't like storing them at home”
“It is hard enough to make shopping lists without trouble of rounding up bags—and I use a lot of grocery bags as I try to go only once a week”
“I need the plastic bags for dog poop and diapers”
“The cloth bags get dirty and when washed they lose their shape.”
Bulkiness and comfort seem to be primary factors that people would like to improve on their reusable bags. Specific responses include:
“I would prefer if I could carry them comfortably over my shoulder. Some of them have shorter type straps.”
“Because it is soft-sided, the groceries sometimes get smashed, there is no firm bottom”
“Seems to have little structure. The same reason T don't like plastic bags. I have kids and need to set down the bags during the transport from the car to house.”
There is a need, therefore for a system of reusable shopping bags that provides a plurality of conveniently storable and reusable bags with a variety of features advantageous for modern shopping.
A system of reusable shopping bags provides an assortment of reusable and selectively collapsible bags and carriers suitable for the various types of good a shopper encounters at, for example, a grocery store. Specific embodiments provide one or more large insulated bag for frozen goods, one or more grocery bags for sundries, one or more veggie bag for vegetables and fruits, one or more pod, and at least one carrying pak to stow the other components. Grocery bags and veggie bags are stowable in the pak or the freezer bag, depending on the specific embodiment. The insulated and grocery bags may have adjustable handles or fixed handles, depending on the embodiment, and specific embodiments provide a shoulder cushion pad selectively mountable on the handles. Kits with instructions allow customized bag systems to be assembled.
A preferred system of the present disclosure may provide one or more of the following types of reusable bags:
Freezer bag or Insulated bag
Pod bag—specific alternative embodiments provide as a separate item independent of the present system
A carry pak to hold the other components, depending on the specific embodiment.
A preferred system may include the following features:
1. Functionality/engineering not currently available in the market
3. Durable (lasting approximately 1 year)
4. Easily portable/collapsible;
5. Poses as a free-standing structure
6. Short & Long Handles
7. Chic/Ultra Hip Design
8. Retail Friendly—Kit can be displayed easily and shows features and functionality in a retail friendly way. Cute and collapsible—not taking up too much space.
A preferred grocery system may include one or more of the following components:
1. System Holder/Insulated Bag (1) specific embodiments provide as a separate item independent of the present system.
2. Grocery Bags (2)—a bit smaller than regular brown paper bag with both short and long handles.
3. Produce Bag (1)—one bag divided into 6 compartments for vegetables (potential mesh dividers). Preferably, the vegetable bag fits into the wire milk tray inside a typical shopping cart.
Additional features may include:
Each component collapses neatly into a self-contained product and fit precisely into the system holder.
The components may be simple to handle and should expand and collapse with minimal effort.
Each component may be labeled and branded for its given functionality.
Each component may have a fastener or be able to travel as a stand-alone unit.
All or selected components in the system may fit into the grocery cart allowing people to actually shop with their bags—placing refrigerated items into the insulated bags, vegetables in the vegetable bag, and so forth—while walking the aisles. This may help the shopper to better organize their items and help the bagger to keep items separated for easy un-packing at home. Additionally, shopping bags of the present system are well adapted for modern supermarkets that provide self-checkout bays.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
For a more complete understanding of a reusable bag system of the present disclosure, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Similarly, rear loop strap 220b is disposed through rear apertures (not shown) corresponding to front apertures 221,222, and extends through slot 227b formed by rear strap leaf 225b and rests on the top of body 112.
Turning our attention back to the front, selectively expandable/collapsible pouch 230 provides pouch flap 240 with fastener 250.
Specific embodiments of freezer bag 110 consist of panels that define an interior volume within body 112, a front, a top and a back, as well as having an external pouch 230 for holding other components of the system such as one or more veggie bags. Specific embodiments of the panels of freezer bag 110 contain insulation or insulating material, such as one or more air pockets, insulating foam or other suitable materials to enhance the maintenance of the temperature of the contents of bag 110, such as frozen food or milk.
Drawstrings 316B,C are at least partially housed in hem 314B,C and extend outside of hem 314B,C so that the top of the veggie bag can be selectively cinched by pulling the drawstring to close the bag and contain the contents. Other closure means are contemplated, including ziplock®, Velcro®, laces, snaps, buttons and so forth. For the purposes simplicity in the present disclosure, the term drawstring shall refer to any suitable closure mechanism for the veggie bags of the present system.
Veggie bags 310B,C fold or roll up for stowage in pouch 230 of freezers bag 110. Alternatively, bags 310B,C may be carried in a pocket or a purse independently of freezer bag 110. An exemplary embodiment of a system or kit of the present invention provides at least one freezer bag 110 and at least one veggie bag 314B,C. Pouch 230 holds at least one veggie bag 310B,C and preferably two or more.
Pod bag 460 provides interior 470 suitable for carrying one or more food items or other items of contents. Preferred embodiments provide handle 480. Specific embodiments are configured with pouch 420 attached to bag 460 such that bag 460 may be selectively collapsed or stuffed into pod 420 through seal 430. Clasp 450 attached to pouch 420 for clipping pod 410 to a key chain, purse, grocery cart and so forth, is provided in specific embodiments.
Slidable and selectively fastenable shoulder pad 580 is provided in specific alternative embodiments. Shoulder pad 580 is integrated into handle 570 is certain embodiments, but may be provided as a separate, manually attachable component of the present system in specific alternative embodiments.
Pak 610 provides internal pouches or compartments 640 and 650 to selectively house one or more veggie bag 310 and gro bag 120, respectively, for example. One or more chil bag 680 may be stowed on the internal bottom 660 of pak 610. Specific embodiments of chil 680 provide one or more handles suitable for mounting shoulder pad 580 while other embodiments provide a wipable interior surface for easy cleaning.
Survey data confirms that shoppers are looking for an easily portable and collapsible product that encompasses durability, volume and style. Most shoppers use between 10-15 plastic bags per week and want a product that will continue to fulfill this volume while embracing organization in the grocery shopping experience (ie. using the specified bags in the cart to facilitate the shopping and bagging experience). While shoppers expect to buy this in a variety of outlets, 70% expect to buy this at the grocery store. Therefore, the showcasing of the product becomes as important as collapsibility, durability, style and volume.
While some shoppers may own one or more reusable bags few have actually sought out a reusable bag. Shoppers may have received a reusable bag as a gift from a friend, from a conference, or purchased one at a grocery store. However, many shoppers forget them and do not realize enough of an importance of the bags to shift purchasing behavior. Of those shoppers who regularly remember bags, they do so because they are fashionable, compact and fit in a purse or are otherwise easy to carry.
Most shoppers do one big shopping trip during the week during which they would use all components of the present system, and do an additional “pick-up” trip during the week where they might only use one of the bags. Thus modularity (the ability to use only those components that are needed) as well as compactness is advantageous.
Environmental concern (85%), Cost Savings (29%), and Guilt (24%) ranked as the top reasons to prompt people to buy a reusable shopping bag.
Data indicates that if shoppers are just using the bags for grocery shopping, they are not as concerned with style, but very concerned with the bulkiness and functionality of the bags. However, if they are using the bags for other purposes, they are more concerned with style.
Shoppers want a bag that moves from the old-school “hippy” look and feel of the canvas or hemp bag to a more modern feel of a “hip” bag. Therefore, the compactness of the pod bags, for instance, so as to fit in a pouch or pod may be advantageous.
The double handle feature that provides two short handles that carry like a bag and one long handle that can fit over your shoulder) gives a shopper the advantageous ability to carry one or more bags of the present system in different ways depending on their needs such as holding a child, carrying other things, digging for car keys and so forth.
Durability, volume and compactness are also important. Shoppers like to have everything in its place and appreciated the organizational structure of the present system such as dedicated vegetable bags, for example, which enhances that experience. The flexibility to use the carryall for other shopping experiences (the mall, drugstore, and the like.) is a further advantage of the present system. The organizational structure may include the feature that bags of the present system may have enough structure to stand on their own for baggers to bag or to have straps that tie over grocery cart bars for the plastic bags.
A major concern among users of existing reusable bags is that because they hold so much, baggers throw goods in to the bags willy nilly and the milk may end up crushing the eggs. Baggers may appreciate how each bag has a clear purpose to simplify the bagging process.
Even where bags may be bulky, such big bags may be used in their fully deployed mode in the interior of the shopping cart during shopping such that the big bags actually facilitate and enhance the shopping experience. A full cart of weekly grocery shopping may fit into the various bags of the system.
Features and specifications for specific exemplary embodiments of the bags of the present system are summarized in the following table:
The present disclosure contemplates kits for assembling a system of reusable shopping bags. An exemplary embodiment of such a kit consists of a selection of components, for example:
one or more insulated bags as described herein;
one or more grocery bags;
one or more veggie bags;
one or more pod;
at least one carrying pak; and
a set of instructions that describes the function and how to use each component, wherein one or more of each component is selectable to be part of a system of a plurality of reusable bags. Instructions for a kit of the present disclosure may be a printed document, a tag sewn onto a component of the system or even available electronically as a webpage, PDF file or other electron document.
many modifications and other embodiments of the bag system of the present disclosure will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this disclosure pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.
1. A system of reusable shopping bags, the system comprising:
- one or more insulated bags;
- one or more grocery bags;
- one or more veggie bags; and
- at least one carrying pak,
- wherein one or more of each of the insulated bags, the grocery bags, and the veggie bags simultaneously fit within the carrying pak.
2. The reusable bag system of claim 1, further comprising one or more pod.
3. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein the carrying pak further comprises compartments to stow one or more component of the system.
4. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein the carrying pack is selectively foldable.
5. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the veggie bags comprises an at least translucent bag material so that contents in the bag are at least partially visible.
6. The reusable bag system of claim 5, wherein the veggie bag comprises a mesh bag material.
7. The reusable bag system of claim 5, wherein at least one of the veggie bags is selectively closable.
8. The reusable bag system of claim 5, wherein at least one of the veggie bags comprises a drawstring.
9. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein the grocery bag comprises one or more adjustable handles.
10. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein one or more of the grocery bags comprises an interior having a wipable surface to facilitate cleaning.
11. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein one or more of the insulated bags comprises an interior having a wipable surface to facilitate cleaning.
12. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein carrying pak further comprises a flap that selectively closes the pak.
13. The reusable bag system of claim 12, wherein the flap further comprises a fastener to selectively fasten the flap to the pak.
14. The reusable bag system of claim 1, further comprising one or more shoulder strap selectively mountable to a handle of at least one of the system components.
15. The reusable bag system of claim 1, wherein the pak further comprises an attachment for selecting attaching one or more pod.
16. A system of reusable shopping bags, the system comprising the following components: wherein a system of shopping bags is assembled from one or more of the components.
- one or more insulated bags having a wipable internal surface;
- one or more grocery bags having one or more handle and a wipable interior surface; and
- one or more at least translucent veggie bags, wherein at least one veggie bag has a drawstring;
- one or more pod; and
- at least one carrying pak having stowage compartments,
17. The system of claim 15, further comprising one or more shoulder strap selectively mountable to at least one of the handles of one of the components.
18. A kit for assembling a system of reusable shopping bags, the kit comprising the following components: wherein one or more of each component is selectable to be part of a system of a plurality of reusable bags.
- one or more insulated bags;
- one or more grocery bags;
- one or more veggie bags;
- one or carrying case pak;
- one or more pod, and
- a set of instructions that describes the function and how to use each component,
International Classification: B65D 33/06 (20060101); B65D 30/00 (20060101); B65D 33/28 (20060101); B65D 33/16 (20060101); B65D 33/04 (20060101); B65D 30/04 (20060101);