The Co-op has announced plans to scrap ‘use by’ dates across its own-brand yogurt offerings in a bid to reduce food waste.
Beginning next month, the Co-op will start to replace ‘use by’ with ‘best before’ dates on its own-label yogurts, a move that the retailer hopes will encourage shoppers to use visual cues to establish suitability for consumption. The company aims to amend the full range by October.
Nick Cornwell, the Co-op’s head of food technical, commented: “Yogurt can be safe to eat if stored unopened in a fridge after the date mark shown, so we have made the move to use ‘best before’ dates to help reduce food waste. The acidity of yogurt acts as a natural defence and we’d encourage shoppers to use their judgment on the quality of their yogurt if it is past the ‘best before’ date.”
According to sustainability charity Wrap, 50% of yogurts are thrown away in unopened packs and 70% of all yogurt wasted in homes is due to “not being used in time,” with the date label cited as the reason.
Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at Wrap, said: “Applying a ‘best before’ date helps give people the confidence to use their judgment to eat beyond a ‘best before’ date and use more of the yogurt they buy – protecting the planet and their pockets”.
She continued: “We’d encourage all food businesses to follow Wrap/FSA/Defra best practice and identify where products, especially dairy items like yogurt, can have a ‘best before’ date applied and to make that change wherever possible”.
Earlier this year, Morrisons announced that it was scrapping ‘use by’ dates on 90% of its milk in favour of customers using the sniff test.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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