Food waste is an issue around the world, and one supermarket has an idea for how to address the problem. WeFood is a new grocery store chain in Denmark that exclusively sells “expired” foods and/or products with damaged or dented packaging. The first grocery store of its kind, WeFood works with vendors and other supermarkets around the country to stock its shelves with products that might get the heave-ho at other retailers.
On a daily basis, supermarkets routinely throw out foods that are completely suitable for consumption due to confusing and sometimes arbitrary “sell-by” dates on food packaging. This toss of "expired" goods is built into the business model of many grocery stores, but it also contributes to the 133 billion pounds of perfectly edible food that goes directly into the garbage each year, according to the USDA. WeFood hopes to combat the problem in Denmark, which has already cut food waste down by an amazing 25 percent in the past five years.
“WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark, and perhaps the world, as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country,” noted Per Bjerre of Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, the Copenhagen nonprofit behind WeFood. “Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue.”
This is good news for socially conscious consumers, as well as those who are watching their wallets: WeFood’s inventory costs about 30 to 50 percent less than the same foods found at traditional supermarkets.