Kroger To Simplify Date Labels For Private-Label Range
US retailer Kroger has announced plans to implement a standardised date label system for food items sold under its private-label range, Our Brands.
The initiative will help the retailer to create awareness among consumers about food safety and prevent wastage.
Kroger's vice-president of corporate food technology and regulatory compliance, Howard Popoola, said, "Kroger recognises food waste often takes place in our customers' kitchens simply because product date labels can be confusing, resulting in safe-to-eat food regularly being tossed out."
"As Kroger works to reduce food waste throughout our business and our communities, we are standardising and simplifying Our Brands products' date labels, providing clearer guidance to our customers," he added.
New Labelling System
According to the new system, all Our Brands products will feature a 'Use By' or a 'Best if Used By' date label.
The product range will include dairy, deli, bakery, and fresh and frozen groceries.
The 'Use By' date indicates a deadline after which the food item is no longer safe to consume.
The 'best if used by' indicates a deadline for guaranteed freshness but does not affect the product's safety, Kroger said.
'An Instrumental Role'
Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice-president of corporate affairs and chief social impact officer, said, "By implementing a standard and simplified new date labelling approach, Kroger and our customers can play an instrumental role in preventing tonnes of food waste from arriving at landfills, resulting in a healthier, stronger planet and communities free of hunger and waste."
Kroger aims to complete the transition into the new labelling system in 2020.
The retailer has pledged to reduce food waste in its operations as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision. In 2018, Kroger cut its supermarket food waste footprint by 9%.
One in nine Americans struggles with hunger every day, while 40% of the food produced in the country goes uneaten, including food waste from households, the retailer said.
According to ReFED research, consumer date labeling confusion is responsible for 20% of avoidable food waste every year.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.