Dutch consumers hunting down more cheap nearly-expired groceries and factory rejects
The sale of nearly expired products or products with misprinted labels at low prices is seeing a real upswing in the Netherlands amid high inflation and increasing awareness of food waste. Trucks filled with these items that “ordinary” supermarkets won’t stock are sold weekly to discounters like Big Bazar or Xenos or market vendors, who sell them to consumers at reduced prices, NOS reports.
Toine Timmermans of Wageningen University & Research and a member of the foundation Samen tegen Voedselverspilling is pleased with the development. “There are no figures on these leftover products. Manufacturers and shops don’t flaunt that. But the internet has made it all more visible. Think of Too Good To Go and Antiduur, where products from residual lots are sold at a hefty discount. There are also new suppliers.”
Foodello Netherlands is one such new supplier, buying and reselling residual products from Verkade, Conimex, Knorr, and Dr. Oetker, among others. “We have been active in the Netherlands for almost a year now and have already handled over 100,000 orders,” director Bas Dekker said to the broadcaster. “Manufacturers are trying to work more and more efficiently. In the past, residual batches were often delivered to the bio-plant or processed into animal feed. Now they are more often trying to combat food waste.”
Zerostock in Belfeld sells residual products from retail chains like Blokker, Hema, and Kruidvat. “Our turnover has increased by about 50 percent in one year,” said Pim Reijerink. “It is often much cheaper. We try to work circularly and still earn something from it.”
Datumvoordeelshop in Almelo sells products on or near their expiration date at “absolute rock bottom prices,” according to the shop’s posters.
Unilever told NOS that it had not thrown away any good products since 2021. “We do a lot to bring our food waste to zero.” The multinational collaborates with Too Good To Go. “So far, we have offered 850,000 products through the app and more products are added every day.”
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn is also fighting against food waste by selling products with discounts ranging from 25 to 75 percent as they get nearer their sell-by dates. “And with packages that are offered at an extra affordable price, we think to counteract another 4.5 million kilograms of food waste per year, “a spokesperson said to NOS. The company tries to use what remains as best as possible and donate it to the food bank.