New labels on packaging reduce food waste

Following in the footsteps of twelve other European countries, a new “look, smell, taste – before you waste” label will be on the packaging of the participating food brands on the Dutch shelves. According to TGTG, the label has proven to be effective and allows consumers to rely more on their senses rather than just the ‘best before’ date. Worldwide, more than a third of all food is thrown away. In this country, 10% of food waste can be traced back to a wrong interpretation of the durability labels, say the initiators.

Don’t focus on the best before date
‘An incorrect interpretation of best before dates inevitably leads to food waste. Research by Too Good To Go, the app against food waste, shows that one in 10 Dutch people believe that food is not safe to eat after the best before date. This is while products with a best before date, unlike products with a best before date, cannot spoil quickly and are usually still safe to eat’, says Geertje Zeegers, Country Manager Too Good To Go. “We therefore have to get rid of the idea that food would no longer be edible when its best-before date has been exceeded. Our research shows that one in four Dutch people find it difficult to decide whether something is still safe to eat, and half throw away food based solely on the best-before date. By turning a blind eye to this, food is wasted that is still safe to eat and very tasty.’
The new packaging brand that Too Good To Go is introducing on the Dutch shelf asks consumers to trust their senses. Is the consistency, smell and taste OK, but has the best before date passed? Then it is absolutely safe to consume.

Dutch shelves next
The new ‘look, smell, taste – before you waste’ brand has already been successfully introduced by Too Good To Go in the aforementioned twelve European countries, including Belgium, England and Italy. Since 2018, it has been 4,209 product ranges in Europe and now it is the Dutch shelf’s turn. The brand is used in the Netherlands on products from Unilever (Hellmann’s, Knorr, Unox, Calvé and Conimex), La Vache qui rit, St Môret, De Smaakspecialist (Smaak, RAW Organic Food), Bangs, Yakso, Bionova, Trafo, Yespers, Donny Craves , De Tweede Jeugd, BitesWeLove, BUMI, Wholy Greens, MyMuesli, Pineut, 5th Season Fruit, Bertolli and Jean Batôn. This week, the participating companies at the Too Good To Go office in Amsterdam signed a lift where they are committed to reducing food waste. The Together Against Food Waste Foundation was also present to support the initiative.
The Too Good To Go team say they are determined to get as many businesses as possible to include the ‘look, smell, taste – before you waste’ label on their packaging.

Prevention of food waste
Esther van Spronsen, Marketing Director Foods at Unilever: ‘We all know that too much food is wasted. As Unilever, we have set a goal to halve food waste by 2025, from production to supermarket shelves. Together with Too Good To Go, we now also want to help consumers at home to waste less food. After the expiration of a best before date, you can trust your senses perfectly. By adding the new ‘look, smell, taste’ logo to various packaging, we hope to tackle confusion around best before dates and reduce food waste in our own kitchens.’
(PvWK, photo: marketing people from the participating food companies / credits TGTG)

The difference between best before and after time

* Best before date (Best before) – A best before date is indicated on products that do not spoil quickly. After the best before date, the quality of the product may deteriorate, but it usually still tastes good. You can still eat it safely.
* Use by (Use By) – Use by date is printed on highly perishable products. The use-by date is the last day that the product is still safe to eat.


New “look, smell, taste before you waste” label on packaging in a Dutch supermarket

Results from research
– Only 44% of the Dutch are aware that a product is no longer safe after an expiry date, while it can endanger health.
– 21% of the Dutch stated that more information about a product’s safety after the date helps prevent food waste.
– On average, 16% of the population in the participating countries are now familiar with the brand ‘look, smell, taste before you waste’. Two out of three Europeans have started using their senses more because of the brand.

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