Lidl has announced that it is rolling out its ‘Too Good To Waste’ fruit and vegetable boxes across all of its stores in England, Scotland and Wales, following a successful, industry-first trial.
The boxes, priced at just £1.50 for approximately 5kg, contain fruit and vegetables from the store shelves, which have become slightly damaged, discoloured or deteriorated, but are still perfectly food to eat. They are put together daily by the discounter’s dedicated in-store Freshness Specialists, and are available to customers from opening until midday, at which point, any leftover boxes are given to local good cause through Lidl’s surplus food redistribution programme, Feed it Back.
Different from ‘Wonky Veg’ boxes, sold by other supermarkets, the initiative is designed to reduce fruit and veg waste in store. Instead of pricing down produce that is considered ‘wonky’, Lidl works closely with its suppliers to ensure a degree of flexibility with specifications at different times of the year, to include items within its standard product lines.
Through the trial, which was launched in August and gradually extended to 122 stores, Lidl has:
- Sold more than 50,000 Too Good To Waste boxes
- Prevented 250 tonnes of food going to waste.
The national roll-out could save thousands of tonnes of usable product from going to waste each year.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO Lidl GB, said: “The positive feedback that we have received off the back of our trial has been incredible; from our colleagues who are showing so much passion for them, to our customers who were getting in touch from the get go asking where they could get one. We’re therefore really excited to be rolling the boxes out to all of our stores nationwide, and we’re really pleased to see that it’s also starting to be adopted by other supermarkets.
“The really brilliant thing about this initiative is that, not only is it helping to tackle the highly important challenge of food waste, it’s also helping our customers make even more savings. Additionally, it’s a great example of how we, as discounter, can utilise our lean and efficient business model to fulfil our mission to make good, healthy food more affordable and accessible, whilst acting sustainably.”
Lidl’s ‘Too Good To Waste’ initiative represents one of the discounter’s latest efforts to reduce food waste across its supply chain. In 2017, Lidl committed to cutting food waste by 25% per store by 2020 and has underlined this further by committing to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) 12.3 target of 50% by 2030.
Last year, the supermarket also completed the national roll-out of its food redistribution programme, ‘Feed it Back’, connecting stores with local good causes in partnership with the giving platform Neighbourly, enabling them to collect quality food surplus from the supermarket and putting it to good use.
In addition, it was announced this week that Lidl is taking over Tough Mudder’s children’s event and renaming it ‘Lidl Mudder’. Lidl’s takeover of the famous obstacle course is all part of the supermarket’s ongoing commitment to helping families enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The obstacle course will be touring the UK as part of Tough Mudder events, as well as at festivals, county shows and city centres between May and September.