To tackle the problem of food waste, the British grocery chain Tesco, the third largest retailer in the world, is overhauling its produce and bakery departments to decrease the amount of fresh food that is wasted at its stores.
Bagged salad is one of the best selling items in the chain of stores. After completing a study, Tesco found that 68 percent of bagged salads are eventually thrown away. Thirty-five percent of that waste happens after shoppers take the salads home.
I can believe that 35 percent. I haven’t bought a bagged salad in a very long time because some, if not all, of itusually ended up going to waste. I bought the salad with the very best of intentions, and those intentions died a slow, mushy death in the crisper.
Tesco is not only trying to find a solution for the waste that happens on its supermarket shelves. It’s also trying to solve the problem of people like me who allow their bagged salads to go to waste at home. How? The Guardian reports Tesco is ending “multi-buys” on the large size salad bags and developing “mix and match promotions” on smaller size bags.
The store will also help combat food waste at home by giving shoppers tips on how to properly store produce to help in last longer and how to use leftover fresh bread from the bakery department. Currently, half of the bread from Tesco’s bakery department gets wasted.
Tesco’s CEO Phillip Clarke says the company wants to lead in reducing food waste beyond its own operations. It wants to make a difference “from the farmer’s field to the customer’s fridge and beyond.”
It's starting by focusing on the 25 items most frequently bought by consumers, like bagged salads and apples. Tesco has studied the waste of those 25 items from the farmer’s fields to customer’s trash bins and is putting in place new initiatives to curb the waste on those items.
I like this approach. By starting with the items bought most frequently, Tesco will not only help lessen food waste, it will help those consumers who pay attention to the store’s tips to save money. By now, we’re all familiar with crazy amount of money that’s wasted when food gets thrown out. Here in the U.S., it’s not unusual for people to throw away 40 percent of the food they bring home.
Would you use tips from your grocery store to help you lessen the food waste in your own home?
Also on MNN
- 'Use by' dates contribute to unnecessary food waste
- 7 tips on how to reduce food waste in your kitchen
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