Customers of Portuguese retailer Continente have helped save over 360 tonnes of fruits and vegetables by purchasing the chain's Zer0% Waste boxes, made up of fruit and vegetables that are close to exceeding the optimal point of consumption.
Since the beginning of the project at the end of 2019, more than 71,000 cases have been sold, the retailer said.
Zer0% Waste Boxes
Available across all Continente stores, the purpose of Zer0% Desperdício boxes is to avoid food waste and raise customer awareness.
The Zer0% Waste Boxes are offered for sale in the fresh area of stores, depending on stock availability, at a value of €0.50/kg.
The contents of the box are selected by store employees, who choose only those products that continue to meet the brand's quality and freshness standards, but are about to expire.
In 2021 alone, 290 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were saved, corresponding to the sale of more than 47,000 Zer0% Waste boxes.
In 2022 to date, more than 15,000 boxes have been sold and 75 tonnes of fruits and vegetables have been prevented from being wasted.
David Monteiro, commercial director of fruits and vegetables at Continente, said, "Continente, as a retailer, plays a fundamental role in the fight against food waste, helping to set an example and encourage customers, employees, and suppliers to play an active role in this work that is everyone's responsibility. Our goal is to reach 'zero waste', that is, to avoid the waste of any food that is able to be consumed."
Circular Economy Projects At Continente
In addition to this project, the retailer is taking advantage of the waste generated in the production of PGI apples and pears.
It is transforming them into dehydrated fruit snacks and natural juices that only take the squeezed fruit, without any added sugar or water.
Continente has been working on other circular economy projects, such making sweets and chutneys made from fruit and vegetables that lose their commercial validity.
The chain also offers the Panana, a cake rich in manganese, made with the pulp of bananas that people no longer want to take from the stores and bread beer – a craft beer developed together with Vadia – produced with surplus bread from Continente bakeries.
The retailer also donates surplus food to social solidarity and animal support institutions on a daily basis.
In 2021, more than €21 million in food surpluses were donated to 1,448 institutions across Portugal.