UK: Co-op to start selling food beyond best before date

09e20673-77b8-4871-8716-bd0250c1905farticleimage.jpg

05 Dec 2017 --- The Co-op supermarket is cracking down on food waste with its pioneering new initiative to sell food after its “best before” date. The East of England Co-op says it is the first major retailer to start selling products beyond their best before date with the aim of significantly reducing food waste in its stores.

 

The retailer will now sell products over their best before date in its 125 food stores for a nominal 10 pence charge (US$0.13). 

The move follows a successful three month trial in 14 of the Co-op’s stores and will be launched with the new campaign, “The Co-op Guide to Dating”.

It is estimated that every year between 30 percent and 50 percent of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted. The East of England Co-op anticipates the initiative has the potential to save at least two metric tons from being wasted every year.

Shoppers will be told “Don’t be a binner, have it for dinner!” and “It’s not nice to get dumped” in an effort to encourage participation.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op heads up the company’s retail division and has spearheaded the initiative. 

“We are committed to reducing waste in our business and The Co-op Guide to Dating is one of many initiatives we have instigated to make the East of England Co-op as efficient as possible, reducing our impact on the environment,” he said.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) advises that products past their best before date are safe to consume but may not be at the optimum quality intended by the producer. The heavily reduced products will remain on sale for one month past their best before date.

“During our trial, we found our 10p items went within hours of being reduced, sometimes quicker,” said Roger. “The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favorite products.

“This is not a money-making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain. By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 plus items every year which would otherwise have gone to waste.”

The majority of products that use best before dates will be included, such as tinned goods, packets and dried food. The 10p reduced products will not include Use By dated products, which should not be consumed after the Use By date has passed.

Sales data is now more closely reviewed to monitor waste levels in each store, to enable the Co-op to remove or reduce product lines which generate excessive waste.

The East of England Co-op has now also instigated a new Reduced to Clear policy, offering more significant discounts earlier in the day on products nearing their Use By dates to further help reduce waste.

The 10p discounted food is not able to be donated to charities such as food banks, as they currently do not accept food after its best before date has passed. Instead, the East of England Co-op collects donations of non-perishable food and toiletries within date in all its stores. 

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Upcycling sunflower seeds: Planetarians on “revolutionizing the plant-protein landscape”

15 Aug 2018 --- Shifting consumer preferences for healthier choices drive demand for plant-based proteins, which are growing at a rapid rate. The plant-based food market is growing at double-digit rates and expected to reach US$5.2 billion worldwide by 2020, according to Nestlé and rising prices for plant-based proteins force food manufacturers to identify opportunities and sustainable ingredients for this consumer demand. That focus has created a robust marketplace for functional, and value-added components, including that of sunflower seeds, according to Planetarians, an ingredient company who are “revolutionizing the plant-protein landscape through upcycling defatted seeds.”

Food Ingredients News

Natural Products Canada invests in creator of natural preservatives, Chinova Bioworks

15 Aug 2018 --- Natural Products Canada has invested in Chinova Bioworks, a Canadian company whose mushroom-based natural preservative has previously captured the interest of major food industry partners such as DSM Ventures, Rhapsody and AgFunder.

Food Ingredients News

EU families waste over 17bn kilos of fresh fruit & vegetables each year, reveals study

14 Aug 2018 --- A recently published Joint Research Centre (JRC) article has revealed that EU households generate roughly 35.3kg of fresh fruit and vegetable waste per person per year, 14.2 kg of which, is avoidable. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that about one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted.

Food Ingredients News

Sustainable palm oil: Global investors call for stronger standards from RSPO

14 Aug 2018 --- More than 90 institutional investors representing more than US$6.7 trillion in assets have called on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to strengthen its standards for certifying the sustainable production of palm oil. In a letter sent earlier this month to the RSPO, investors voiced their concerns over the group’s relevance and effectiveness and the current disconnect between corporate policy commitments and the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria Guidance. The investors outline specific recommendations to help bridge the gap.

Food Ingredients News

The flavors shake-up: Ethnic, rich and authentic options pushed to the fore

14 Aug 2018 --- The last few months have seen a real shake-up in the flavors space with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) beginning a new chapter with the combination of Frutarom. The news came as Swiss-headquartered market leader Givaudan completed the acquisition of 40.5 percent of the shares of Naturex for €135 per share, with plans underway to take complete control of the natural ingredients supplier. The acquisition of such a significant shareholding in Naturex fits with Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to expand its offering to deliver natural products to customers.

More Articles