Make your waste work for your business

Waste is a hot topic issue but there is an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive, writes Ruth Cousins. 

Issues and concerns around food waste continue to be dragged into the media spotlight in recent years and, as a result, consumers are taking an interest. One in three shoppers told us they were concerned to a great extent and, with the likes of Jamie Oliver and retailers such as Sainsbury’s shouting about their initiatives to tackle the problem, there is no reason for it just to be left to the major players.

It is mainly fresh produce with limited shelf-life that plays victim to food waste. Fresh vegetables and meat are the first to be thrown from the fridge either in-store or at home. But there is plenty that can be done to tackle waste from each of these places especially as three in five shoppers want their local store to help them reduce food waste.

Aside from the environmental impacts of food waste, saving money is a key reason to tackle this issue. Incentivise shoppers to reduce their food waste by reducing the price of fresh items close to expiry date and even dedicate space in store for ‘hot deals’.

This can drive the ‘meal for tonight’ mission for shoppers not concerned by the longevity of the shelf-life but also out for a good deal.

Freshly prepared meals for deli counters or meat-filled sandwiches for a food-to-go offer are a great way for retailers to ensure the most is being made of stock. Produce which is of perfectly good quality, but unlikely to find its way into a shopping basket on the day of expiry, need not be thrown away but could be turned into a USP for a store.

Tips and recipes on packaging and in-store to advise on how shoppers can get the best out of their food shows not only support for the campaign but also that the manufacturer or retailer has the best interest of the shopper at heart.

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