Holland & Barrett to sell products past best before end date at a discounted cost to customers


Holland & Barrett, the UK’s leading natural health and wellness retailer, has announced that it will start selling products past their best before end date at a discounted cost to customers, in an attempt to reduce its contribution to land fill waste.

Following increasing customer demand, the concept is being trialled in 25 stores in the Devon & Cornwall region and will see best before end products given a dedicated space in store for customers to shop. If the trial is successful, then the retailer will look at rolling it out nationwide, and with over 800 stores in the UK estate, this could potentially save thousands of tonnes of waste being sent to land fill every year.

Suitable products from all categories will be included in the trial period, apart from vitamins, chilled and frozen food, milk products and protein shakes and powders.

Hilary Leam, group innovation director at Holland & Barrett, said “It is estimated that the UK generates 41.1 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year with landfill being the second most used waste treatment in the UK.

“In recent years we have seen an increasing demand from our customers who wish to buy products that have past their best before end date, but best before end dates can confuse many shoppers and encourage needless waste.  These labels are only a quality indication, which tells the customer that the product may no longer be at its ‘best’, but is still safe to be sold and consumed after this date.  

“We hope that this initiative will help our customers save money where they can, whilst also helping us to reduce our waste.” 

This idea won’t be the first time the brand has been ahead of the curve on environmental issues. Holland & Barrett were the first retailer to ban plastic bags back in 2010 and recently introduced a 5p charge (7 cents in Ireland) on paper bags to encourage customers to think twice about their single-use bag usage. They also banned harmful micro plastics from all products in 2012, and only stock products which are free from SLS and parabens.

And in May 2019, Holland & Barrett became the first high-street retailer to announce its intention to ban wet-wipes from its 800+ UK and Ireland stores, promising to no longer buy, sell or produce wet-wipes as part of its ‘Clean and Conscious’ pledge.

The retailer announced that all 34 products in its wet wipe range are being delisted and will be gone from all UK and Ireland stores and all participating international stores by end of September 2019.

This latest move will reflect Holland & Barrett’s conscious efforts to support their customer in adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Last month, the brand created a ‘zero waste beauty bag’ which provided £60 worth of zero waste beauty accessories for £20, in a promotion which sold out entirely in just three days, proving a healthy appetite among customers to move away from single-use habits.