UK – Tesco, a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer, is scrapping more “best before” dates from another 116 fruit and vegetable products in a move the supermarket says will help consumers cut food waste.
In May, the UK’s biggest grocer successfully trialled removing labels from 70 pre-packaged fresh food lines, and among the produce being added to the list are apples, oranges, cabbages and asparagus.
Tesco said research showed scrapping best-before dates helped consumers keep “perfectly good food” for longer.
However, its yellow sticker promotions, where prices are marked down, will continue in all stores.
Tesco employees will use their own judgement to decide when to mark down the products with yellow stickers, Tesco said.
Staff have been given training to help identify when produce prices should be reduced.
A survey of 2,010 people conducted by independent market research agency Walnut Unlimited in August found that 53% of customers felt scrapping best before dates made a difference and helped them to keep fresh food for longer.
Labelling on fresh products such as meat, fish, dairy or poultry will remain the same.
While fruit and vegetables come with best before dates, meat-based products come with “use by” dates.
The key difference is that use by dates mean that it is unsafe to consume the product after the date specified.
Best before dates are the supermarket’s estimation of when you should eat a product by and is more of a guideline.
Tesco is working with its suppliers to find ways to use as much of their crop as possible, as well as creating new products from produce that might otherwise have gone to waste.
For example, if an avocado has passed its best, it could still be sent to a UK supplier to make guacamole, which can then be sold to consumers.