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

Low caffeine Chinese tea plant suggested as a healthier alternative

12 Nov 2018 --- A newly discovered wild tea plant native to China appears to have little to no caffeine and all the benefits of regular tea, according to a study published in ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Food Ingredients News

Could EU policy changes boost the development of the European insect farming sector?

12 Nov 2018 --- As interest in alternative proteins and sustainable food production continues to rise, the European Umbrella Organization representing the interests of the Insect Production sector for Food and Feed (IPIFF) has emphasized the potential of the European insect sector in creating a more competitive and sustainable value chain. IPIFF President Antoine Hubert believes that the current European Regulations and EU funded research programs offer many opportunities for insect producers to develop, but the current regulatory framework must be adapted to ensure that this potential can be fully exploited.

Food Ingredients News

DSM Food Specialties chief: “Cargill sweeteners deal takes our application knowledge to a new level”

12 Nov 2018 --- DSM’s sweeteners joint venture with Cargill (Avansya), which was announced last Thursday, is “a match made in heaven,” that combines DSM’s fermentation knowledge, with Cargill’s application know-how within this dynamic sector to offer reliability, consistency and affordability in supply. The upscaling of production for fermentation-based Reb-M & Reb D products will take stevia uptake to a new level, whereby the volume of these products will overtake that of the more traditional plant-sourced high-intensity sweeteners. This is according to DSM Food Specialties President, Patrick Niels, who is confident on the venture, despite the apparent paradox of creating an ingredient that has mainly been positioned as coming from a leaf through a fermentation process, from raw materials such as dextrose.

Food Ingredients News

Clean label dairy? Sugar and fat reduction in desserts, protein remains a key trend

12 Nov 2018 --- As health-minded consumers become ever-more sugar aware with their food and beverage choices, delivering indulgence without the guilt in dairy dessert products has become an increasing challenge. Consumers also want more from their products including fat reduction, but they still want the same great taste that they know and love. As with any product reformulation that involves cutting out sugar, the main challenge is to obtain a similar sweetness and body to that provided by sugar, while reducing its use.

Business News

Evolva agreement with Cargill unimpacted by major sweetness tie-up

09 Nov 2018 --- Biotechnology and fermentation innovator Evolva has responded to news of the DSM and Cargill sweetener joint venture announced yesterday. The Swiss-headquartered company has stressed that Evolva’s royalty rights on EverSweet and their existing agreement with Cargill will remain unchanged as a result of the upcoming joint venture. In a business update, the company says that it expects full-year 2018 product sales to grow at a high double-digit percentage rate. At the same time, their sales development pipeline continues to gain momentum, supporting further growth in 2019.

More Articles