Portuguese supermarket chain Continente has launched a new initiative with the aim of preventing food waste.
The 'Zer0 Waste' boxes are boxes that contain 5kg of fruit and vegetables that are ready for immediate consumption, on sale for €0.50/kg.
The packaging allows consumers to see what is inside each box and the contents are carefully selected by store staff who 'rescue' those fruits and vegetables that continue to meet quality and freshness standards.
The new concept is available in 29 stores, but the plan is to extend it to the rest of the network, which would prevent 25 tonnes of fruit and vegetables waste per year.
Continente is also converting near-life apples and pears into dehydrated fruit snacks, on sale for €0.69 per 20g package. In addition, it is also repurposing these fruits into juices.
The retailer also makes daily food surplus donations from its stores to social solidarity and animal support institutions. Last year, surpluses worth €12 million were donated to over 1,013 institutions throughout Portugal.
Other circular economy projects employed by Continente include the production of Candy and Chutney from processed fruit and vegetables; Panana, a cake made with banana pulp; and Bread Beer, a craft beer developed alongside Vadia and produced with surplus bread from Continente bakeries.
According to FAO estimates, each year more than half of the fruit and vegetables on sale in supermarkets around the world are wasted.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine