Kesko workers from Lahti, brewers from Teerenpeli brewery, and bakers from the Pulla-Pojat bakery are collaborating together on a new circular economy project, where beer and new bread are made from K-stores' waste bread.
This new project is aimed at targeting food waste, one of the Finnish retailer's highest priorities.
The idea for beer made from waste bread started among five Kesko Supermarket retailers in Lahti, who considered many possible solutions before deciding on brewing a local beer.
"Locality is important to all stores, so the idea quickly built around it. When we got the idea of using the waste bread, I contacted Teerenpeli. They were enthusiastic and Teerenpeli's brewmaster came up with the idea of using wheat bread," said Miia Järvipalo, a merchant at K-Supermarket Nastola.
The Kesko merchants dry and grind the waste bread generated in the stores and deliver it to the Teerenpeli brewery in Lahti.
There, the brewer combines the bread with Salpausselä groundwater and Vesijärvi country hops – both locally-sourced ingredients.
The retailer's local beers will be ready by the beginning of June, when the first batch of approximately 9,000 bottles will go on sale.
The beer can be purchased from five K-Supermarkets: Nastola, Hyppyr, Okeroinen Ahtiala, and Hollola. The retailer will donate 10 cents from each beer sold to the Vesijärvi Foundation.
Kesko also wants to utilise leftover mashed bread from the brewing process.
Mikko Artima, a merchant from K-Supermarket Hollola, contacted the nearby Pulla-Pojat bakery, which will make a new loaf of bread from the beer waste.
In 2020, food waste in Kesko stores decreased by a record amount of more than 1.3 million kilograms.
The K-Group's active measures to reduce food waste, such as utilising innovative solutions from retailers, increasing the number of items using waste products, and offering discounted products close to the expiry date, have all played an important role in reducing food waste.