GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A product created by a West Michigan company is helping local grocers with cleanliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Like so many businesses, everything changed when this happened,” said Nathan Vanderploeg.
Six years ago, Vanderploeg created MessageWrap. It’s a printed conveyor belt cover that helps stores with advertising and marketing.
“We promote loyalty programs, e-commerce offerings,” said Vanderploeg.
But now a days, the product is in high demand for it’s an anti-bacterial surface.
“It’s EPA approved,” said Vanderploeg. “That [anti-microbial] agent is embedded in the surface of the MessageWrap, so it’s constantly fighting microbes, bacteria, and viruses, and killing them over time.”
“It doesn’t immediately kill everything always on contact, but it does fight against those microbes to make it cleaner and have a very high level of efficacy over time,” said Vanderploeg.
Vanderploeg says MessageWrap can fight germs for up to six months whereas most of the traditional belts don’t offer that ability.
A study conducted by Michigan State University in 2009 found high microbial populations of staph, mold, and other bacteria on all of the conveyor belts it tested.
“It’s very hard to clean the belt in between every shopper and get it sanitized,” said Vanderploeg.
The business is donating its wraps to West Michigan retailers during the pandemic.
“It’s tough times for everybody and we want to be able to do our part,” said Vanderploeg.
“With everything going on right now, we thought what a good idea,” said Christopher Yelda, Great Giant owner.
Yelda’s store is one of the 25 that have received a MessageWrap since the company started the initiative. He believes customers will appreciate this additional precaution at each of their belts.
“People are really taking this stuff seriously, as they should, and with something like this, in a place like this, it’s necessary,” said Yelda.
“Everybody just has a heightened awareness for cleanliness and hygiene right now, particularly when their food is concerned and particularly when their families are concerned,” said Vanderploeg. “We have something that could help, really, genuinely help shoppers, and retailers.”
MessageWrap is still donating their product. Retailers in need can contact them by clicking here.