Iceland launches new initiative to combat food waste through home delivery

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Iceland is continuing its efforts to reduce food waste by launching a Free on Last Day of Life scheme in all its stores across the country.

The initiative will reduce food waste by offering products free to online shoppers when the last day of shelf life has been reached and no other stock is available.

Free on Last Day of Life will give away low shelf life products to Iceland customers when they shop online. Traditionally food items ordered and delivered by Iceland have a shelf life of at least two days, however to reduce waste the retailer is now giving products to customers free of charge on their last day of shelf life.

A trial of the Free on Last Day of Life scheme was launched in 40 of Iceland’s stores this summer and saw more than 17,000 items given away for free. Customers received an average refund of £1.58 given per order and following the trial’s success, it has now been rolled out across all 1,000 of the supermarket’s sites.

Iceland expects the new initiative to provide its customers with more than 1.3 million free items over year, equating to £500k in retail value.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland Foods, said: “Reducing food waste is a huge priority for us as we continue to reduce our impact on the environment. We know that shelf life plays a big role in the creation of surplus food so we to have find an innovative way to combat this within our stores and via our online shopping.”

“Our Free on Last Day of Life scheme not only helps reduce food waste but also supports our customers. We know cost is key to many of our shoppers and this new initiative allows us to offer them the opportunity to reduce their weekly shopping bills as well as helping to reduce food waste.”

“Our Free on Last Day of Life scheme not only helps reduce food waste but also supports our customers. We know cost is key to many of our shoppers and this new initiative allows us to offer them the opportunity to reduce their weekly shopping bills as well as helping to reduce food waste.”

The process is simple and will require no additional steps from the customer. When an order is placed via Iceland’s online store, if the only product available has the same day date it will be scanned and labelled. It will then be placed in the customer’s shopping as normal. The shopper will be made aware of the free item ahead of delivery and will not be charged the original price. All Chilled, Fresh, Cakes, Bread & Morning Goods will be included in the scheme.

Iceland has clear food waste reduction targets and initiatives and regularly looks for new and innovative ways to meet and surpass these business goals.

In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12.3, Iceland has set itself a target to achieve a 50% reduction of food waste in its operations by 2030, with 2017/18 as its baseline year and is on track to achieve this despite the impact of Covid-19.

As a next step, Iceland now has ambitious plans to redistribute surplus food in new ways and its aim for 2021/22 is to redistribute one million meals, through existing and new food waste partnerships. Iceland is also looking at additional ways to further reduce food surplus, such as improving existing schemes and engaging in new business models to reduce food waste.