As many of its rivals already have promised, Aldi says it will eliminate best before dates on approximately 60 of its own brand fruits and vegetables to reduce food waste.
By the end of the year, apples and pears, citrus, potatoes, carrots, onions and other fresh produce will get added life thanks to the new initiative, which Aldi officials managed to use to their advantage in a marketing pitch. Because consumers shop the less-expensive discount chain, they will be saving more than just money at checkout.
“One of the reasons we are the UK’s cheapest supermarket is because we cut down on waste wherever we see it,” Liz Fox, Corporate Responsibility Director at Aldi UK, said. “By getting rid of these dates on packaging, we can help customers get even better value by reducing the amount of food that goes to waste at home.”
Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Co-op all announced similar efforts. Waitrose has promised to cut remove the tags on 500 produce items, while M&S says it is doing so on 300 items in an effort to cut waste by 2030. Aldi, with a much smaller footprint per store, said it can trim food that is thrown away too soon by 20% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
To do so, it is partnering with Neighbourly on the donation of 700,000 meals over summer holidays and also teaming up with the surplus food app Too Good To Go in several of its markets. The latter combination offers ‘Magic Bags’ that contains £10 worth of groceries sold via the app in advance that customers can purchase for £3.30 each.
“This latest step, together with our partnerships with Neighbourly and Too Good To Go, is all part of our efforts to provide affordable, sustainable and responsible products for all our customers,” Fox said.
According to estimates from the World Economic Forum, 900 million tonnes of perfectly good food gets tossed each year, which in turn adds to the amount of carbon being emitted. Some of that can be attributed to the labels, which can confuse shoppers.