Snacking space players have joined forces with Too Good To Go, the anti-food waste app, to tackle date label confusion and work toward eliminating food waste.
The “Look, Smell, Taste, Don’t Waste” campaign educates and reminds consumers to trust their senses instead of just following “best before” date labels.
Often food that has passed its “Best Before” date is perfectly safe to eat for weeks, or even months after, depending on the food type and how it’s been stored. The campaign will help consumers better understand whether the produce is safe to eat and that information on food is clear.
Launching today, the campaign has 25 brands signed up, and Too Good To Go is calling on others to follow. The campaign will see brands switching products from “Use By” to “Best Before” labels where appropriate, as well as giving on-pack reminders to consumers to use their senses to decide whether to eat food past its “Best Before.”
Discarding food because of confusion
Recent research conducted by Too Good To Go suggests that 45 percent of UK adults are confused about the true meaning of “Best Before” labels on food.
When it comes to checking whether food is good to eat or not, over one third (39 percent) do not use their senses to decide about food that is past its “Best Before.”
This leads to unnecessary food waste.
Which brands have signed up?
Among the 25 taking part are some key players, including Arla (Cravendale), Bel Group (The Laughing Cow), Danone (Danone, Actimel, Activia, Oykos, Light & Free), Emmi UK (Onken & Beleaf), Nestlé and Savencia (Saint Agur Creme).
Product lines from these brands will include a new pictogram, created by Too Good To Go.
“Date labeling has long caused confusion and unnecessary food waste in the UK. If we are to make significant strides to reducing food waste, we need to take action now. This is why we’re launching our national, industry-wide ‘Look, Smell, Taste, Don’t Waste’ campaign,” says Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go.
“To have Arla, Bel Group, Danone, Emmi UK and Nestlé already committing to educate their consumers, is a huge testament to the power that collective action can have. I’m calling on other brands who haven’t yet taken the steps to join the campaign to get in touch – we’d love to have you join our food waste movement.”
Harriet O’Regan, director for milk at Arla, welcomes the campaign.
“Having previously been the first in the milk category to make the switch from Use By to Best Before, helping consumers reduce food waste is something that Arla and our farmer owners are extremely passionate about,” she explains.
“Milk is one of the most wasted foods in the home, so to extend our previous work in tackling label confusion and support the campaign is another way we can play a part in reducing the amount of valuable milk that ends up being poured away.”
“We will be rolling out the campaign messaging on Arla Cravendale milk to help consumers use their senses instead of relying on date labeling.”
Fighting waste from farm to plate
Elodie Parre, CSR director, Bel Group, adds: “For over 150 years, the portion format has been the signature of the Bel Group. It represents a major asset in the fight against food waste, allowing optimal preservation of products and the right portion of nutrition.”
“Bel fights against food waste at each stage of the production of our cheeses, from farm to plate and has the power to engage consumers and new generations. Alongside Too Good To Go and the other members of the campaign, we want to raise awareness and engage our consumers in the movement.”
Adam Grant, regional vice president Danone Essential Dairy and Plant Based, UK & Ireland, says that it’s shocking that more than six million metric tons of food is wasted in UK households every year.
“In line with our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and our B Corp commitment, I’m proud that Danone Essential Dairy and Plant-based brands are some of the first brands joining Too Good To Go’s campaign and moving from ‘Use By’ to ‘Best Before’ date labeling. We’ll also be adding campaign messaging to our packs to encourage our consumers to use their senses to avoid needless waste.
“We will play a role in preventing unnecessary household food waste while supporting consumers to understand when food is still safe to eat.”
Nestlé will also be rolling out the labeling on a progressive basis, across products produced in the UK and Ireland, to support consumers in the war on waste.
by Gaynor Selby
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