170 Requirements for design of Consumer Unit (CU)

Requirements for design of Consumer Unit (CU)

Consumer Unit (CU) is the unit the consumer purchases in store.

Consumer Unit (CU) must be designed to optimize use of shop shelves and other furnishings. In addition, the information on the Consumer Unit (CU) should be visible even when the package is on a tray on the shelf.

Consumer Unit (CU) should be easy to open and to use.

Consumer Unit (CU) should be, included Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) and Distribution Unit (DU) adapted to the modular system, see

Modular system

To ensure efficient utilization of production facilities, transport, storage and retail systems, etc., all packaging levels – Consumer Units (CU), Stock Keeping Units (SKU) and Distribution Units (DU) must be adapted to the modular system.

The modular system is based on physical goals; length, width and height.

The starting point for the modular system is a Basic module.
This has the dimensions; 600 mm * 400 mm and must be adjusted to a height as one Standard pallet (this amounts to 1050 mm ex. pallet, 1200 mm incl. pallet.

When optimizing an existing product, a deviation of a maximum of 49 mm is allowed.
This allows a total height including pallet of 1249 mm.

Fig. 262

Example of optimized pallet with base module 600 x 400 mm

Examples of sizes that are widely used on Stock Keeping Units (SKU), and which are customized to basic modules

Fig. 263


Unnecessary volume not containing the product itself in the packaging should be limited to what is necessary to protect the product. If necessary, secure against shrinkage (small, valuable Consumer Units (CU)).

Quantity (packing content) in Consumer Unit (CU) is determined by manufacturer, preferably in dialogue with distributor / retail chain.

Case fill rate shall be calculated. This is described in

Case fill rate

Case fill rate

Case fill rate expresses the ratio of volume of product (measured in volume) to the volume of packaging.
The packaging system consists of Consumer Unit (CU) and Stock Keeping Unit (SKU).

Example of case fill rate measurement for a bottle (Consumer Unit (CU)):

Fig. 236

Unnecessary volume in the packaging of products is cost-driving and an impact on the environment throughout the value chain.
Therefore, all products must be optimized so that the degree of case fill rate and circulation ensures:

  • Good turnover of products in store
  • Little food waste (the size of the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) must be adjusted to turnover and shelf life)
  • Minimal environmental impact

This animation shows how case fill rates are calculated for different products

More about the case fill rate, and more examples of how the case fill rate is calculated, can be found on the Tradesolution website, www.tradesolution.no.

On new products, it is expected that the case fill rate is higher than the average of the product group to which it belongs.

Measurement of the case fill rate related to the product launch windows was carried out by DMF until 2018. When switching to a new product classification system, historical data could not be compared, as the timeline and product groupings from 2014 were changed.

Efforts to increase the case fill rate in the grocery industry are important from both an environmental and efficiency perspective.

In collaboration with the industry, Tradesolution has developed some new reports for measuring the case fill rate in the grocery industry. Suppliers and retailer chains that have access to the EPD base can see the case fill rate for the products they have access to directly in the database. Here you can see the actual case fill rate on basic product (BASIS-level) and calculated case fill rate for the packaging levels above.

Log in her  and feel free to contact the EPD base helpdesk at epd@tradesolution.no if you have further questions.

Published on: 9. August 2018