The Norwegian government has set the target of cutting food waste in the country in half by 2030, and the retailer sees this new measure as making a valuable contribution.
'A Further Step'
"We have done a lot of good in this area over a long time, but now we are taking a further step towards food waste by selling goods that have passed their 'best before' date at a heavily discounted price," commented Siri Krona Johnsen, head of sustainability at Coop Norge. "Over the next few weeks, we will roll this out in all our grocery stores."
Across its grocery chains, Coop already sells products that are close to their expiry date at a 40% discount, through its 'Matredder'n' initiative. From 1 February, any products not sold that have then passed their best before date will be offered at a 70% discount.
For refrigerated goods, the offer will be available for five days after the 'best before' date elapses, while dry goods will be available for one month at the discounted rate.
As Coop noted, several products, such as eggs, dairy products and cured meats can be consumed safely for 'quite some time' after their best before dates have expired, "as long as they are stored correctly," Johnsen added. "Customers can trust that food safety is taken very seriously in all Coop stores, and arrangements have been made so that goods marked with 'best before' can be eaten even after this date has passed."
In 2023, Coop sold discounted goods to the value of NOK 1 billion (€88.5 million), as well as selling 450,000 'surprise bags' of short-date products in collaboration with Too Good To Go. It also contributed around 900 tonnes of surplus food to charity.
"Once we have goods for sale, it is good for both the environment and the economy that the goods are actually sold and eaten," Johnsen added. "It's a win-win situation."