In the fight against food waste, the British supermarket chain Iceland is handing out food that has reached its sell-by date to online customers for free.
The chain, which mainly specialises in frozen foods, estimates that it will be giving away more than 1.3 million products annually, worth a total of 600,000 euros. The rollout to all thousand stores is the result of a successful trial in forty stores, writes Retail Gazette. The retailer gave away more than 17,000 items free of charge during this trial, giving customers an average refund of 1.58 pounds (1.9 euros) per order.
The process does not require any additional actions on the part of the customer. If the product ordered by the customer is the only remaining item and expires on that day, it gets scanned, labelled and placed in the shopping basket as usual, but the customer will not need to pay for it. They even receive a message about the free item before delivery.
Iceland wants to include all chilled and fresh food as well as bread and pastries in the programme. "We know that shelf-life plays a big role in the creation of surplus food, so we have to find an innovative way to combat this within our stores and via our online shopping", said Managing Director Richard Walker. "Our initiative not only helps with reducing food waste but also supports our customers."