UK Grocer Sells Food Past ‘Best Before’ Date

Written by Katherine Martinko

Customers are happy to buy expired food if it costs next to nothing.

A British grocery store chain has become the first major retailer to sell food past its ‘best before’ date. In an effort to reduce food waste, the†East of England Co-op, a grocer with 125 locations throughout East Anglia, has begun marking down certain foods to a mere 10 pence in order to encourage customers to buy them.

The reduced price applies only to non-perishable foods, such as pasta, chips, grains, dried foods, canned goods, and rice. The mark-down will last for one month, although a spokesperson for the Co-op has said the foods fly off the shelves within hours, sometimes more quickly.

The 10p reduction is part of the retailer’s broader anti-food waste campaign, cleverly titled, “The Co-op Guide to Dating,” with catchy lessons like, “Donít be a binner, have it for dinner!” and “It’s not nice to get dumped.” The website puts the importance of this campaign into perspective:

“Thirty to 50 percent of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted every year. Thatís 7.3 million tonnes per year in the UK, or 20,000 tonnes every day. The average UK family wastes almost £60 per month on uneaten food. For the average UK family with children thatís almost £720 per year spent on uneaten food.”

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive for the Co-op, said in a†press release:

The vast majority of our customers understand they are fine to eat and appreciate the opportunity to make a significant saving on some of their favourite products. This is not a money making exercise, but a sensible move to reduce food waste and keep edible food in the food chain. By selling perfectly edible food we can save 50,000 items every year which would otherwise have gone to waste.

The Co-op estimates its efforts will divert two metric tonnes of food waste from landfill annually.

Foods with a ‘use by’ date cannot be reduced, since this label suggests that food is no longer safe to consume after a particular date. The Co-op has launched a ‘Reduced to Clear’ policy for these foods, in hopes of moving them faster as they approach their expiry date.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Photo Credit: USDA/Flickr


Lesa D
Lesa D5 days ago

thank you East of England Co~Op!!!

thank you Katherine...

Janet B
Janet B6 days ago


Graham P
Graham P7 days ago

Supermarket Chains Worldwide take note!

Angela J
Angela J8 days ago

Thank you.

Chrissie R
Chrissie R13 days ago

Thank you for posting

Danuta W
Danuta W13 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Janet B
Janet B14 days ago


Jessica C
Jessica C16 days ago


DAVID fleming
DAVID fleming17 days ago

Thanks for the information

Janis K
Janis K19 days ago

Thanks for sharing.