Wartime - paper & ink saving labels
Before the Second World War, butter and cheese were given two layers of wrapping by the counter hand but this was reduced to one under wartime restrictions.
In a wartime bulletin of 1942, customers were advised to bring their own receptacles for food as they had done during the Great War:
'It may be suggested to customers that flour bags which can be washed and used again are better for this purpose than odd bits of paper, although an actual container is best of all'
Paper and ink shortages also led to the use of less colourful 'half-labels' on many pre-packaged products.
Find out more about trading during wartime.
Sainsbury's early grocery packaging used various elaborate and colourful designs, but common styles and colours can be seen on some labels. By the 1940s, the importance of design to unify the company image was recognised. Alan Sainsbury wrote that:
"Although the quality of the particular food... is what finally counts with the discerning housewife, it should be the aim of the progressive retailer to present his wares in the most attractive dress and, if he sells food, in the most hygienic manner."
Improvements were also made to the quality of the packaging. In 1946, designs for Coffee Berries and Semolina packs were chosen for display in the Printing and Packaging Section of the "Britain Can Make It" Exhibition.