Sainsbury’s plans to save 17 million food items a year from waste by removing ‘best before’ dates.
The supermarket giant will take off the date from 276 of its own brand items and more than 100 fresh produce products, such as onions, tomatoes and fruits.
More than 130 items will follow, including potatoes, with all ‘use by’ dates on own brand items being replaced by ‘best before’ by the end of the year, affecting 46 product lines.
This comes as millions of households are looking to save money over the winter with energy prices set to rocket. Many are set to cut down on the amount and quality of food in a bid to beat inflation.
The moves will give consumers more choice about what they’re buying and how long food will be good to eat, while also reducing the amount of food thrown away.
This comes after Sainsbury’s committed to reducing food waste, removing dates from more than 1,500 lines such fruits. A recent report by the group WRAP found removing date labels from the most wasted food could cut waste by 50,000 tonnes a year.
According to the supermarket chain, the new changes will help UK households save 11,000 tonnes of food annually, the equivalent of 17m products.
“We know that around a third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted and food waste is one of the leading contributors of carbon emissions, accounting for a staggering 8-10 per cent of Green House Gas emissions globally”, said Kate Stein, director of technical at Sainsbury’s.
“We also know that by avoiding unnecessary waste, we can help our customers save money by making their food shop last longer.
The changes are “giving customers more autonomy to make their own decisions on whether their food is good to eat, and preventing them from disposing of food too early.”
Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at WRAP urged “more retailers to make these changes”, adding that “the average family in the UK throws away £700 worth of food a year”.