Supermarket to cook ready-to-eat meals from expiring food

Food waste (Photo: US Dept. of Agriculture). ()

In the fight against food waste, supermarket Plus in Winterswijk started making ready-to-eat meals with supermarket products that are nearing their expiry date. And this anti-waste method is very popular, AD reports.

Food waste is a major social problem in the Netherlands. Every year about 4 to 5 billion euros worth of food end up in the bin.

"We too throw too much away", Erwin Arentsen, director of Plus on Dingstraat in Winterswijk, said to the newspaper. "For almost 300,000 euros a year. A shame of course, because the food is usually still fine to eat."

Owner Jeroen Bruggers came up with the idea. He initially wanted to open a restaurant in the middle of the supermarket, but headquarters decided that does not fit with the Plus formula. So the kitchen is now in the back of the shop, behind a glass screen.

The ready to eat meals are becoming increasingly popular. At the start Plus sold about 50 meals a day, at four euros each. Now they're up to about 100.

"The most important thing is that we throw less away", Arentsen said to the newspaper. The store cut down on their waste from more than 2 percent to just above 1.5 percent. "It saves thousands of euros."