European supermarket Lidl has launched a new initiative to tackle food waste, with 5kg boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables for only £1.50. The ‘Too Good to Waste’ boxes are being trialled in 122 stores, and if successfully rolled out into additional shops, it could save up to 10,000 tonnes of produce per year.
The food in the boxes is slightly past its best, but is still perfectly good to eat. In an age where fast food is readily available, and sugary snacks take preference to healthy food, which often carries a larger price tag, the new veg boxes could prove to be a big hit. The boxes will be put together by Lidl’s Freshness Specialists, and will contain mixed items of fruit and veg.
The idea behind this is to encourage customers to purchase fresh items which they may have left of a shelf, due to their appearance, and gives households the best value options to buy fruit and veg.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl UK, said: “Food waste is one of the most important topics that our industry is facing, and one that we are fully committed to tackling. This is why, in 2017, we set ourselves the ambitious target of reducing our food waste by 25 per cent across just three years.
“We’re proud that in just one year, our stores have managed to cut food waste by 13 per cent, however we recognise that there’s still a long way to go, to get where we need to be. We’re fortunate that our business model gives us the flexibility and agility to be creative and trial new approaches that can have a real, positive impact.
“Proportionately, we sell the most fruit and veg in the sector, but we know from our data that fresh produce is one of the biggest contributors to food waste in stores, so we’re excited by the difference our ‘Too Good to Waste’ initiative will make. Not only will it help customers consider items that they might have previously dismissed, it was also provide an opportunity for them to make further savings.”
Since Lidl introduced their stores to the UK, the retailer has not included ‘Best Before’ dates on 90 per cent of fruit and veg, allowing consumers to make decisions about the items they buy and make common sense decisions. Other UK supermarkets are starting to make rule out ‘Best Before’ dates, with Tesco announcing a few months ago that they would be phasing out these dates on fresh produce.