🌱 How Flawsome! are turning 42 million pieces of fruit from wonky to wonderful, and 6 ways to help your customers reduce their household food waste.
Featuring smol, Bruichladdich Distillery, Rubies in the Rubble and more...
This week we cover:
Quick Take: Waste Not Want Not: 6 strategies to help your customers reduce their food waste, starting with clearer labelling.
Brand Spotlight: Wonky to Wonderful: How Flawsome! Drinks are transforming 42 million pieces of fruit into Great Taste Award-winning juices.
In case you missed it: 🌱 From Surplus to Purpose: How Mill and more are closing the loop on food waste.
> Good News Recently
🎯 smol announced that they are switching to cartons for their refills. Some of the reasons are 83% less plastic used vs a bottle, with 43% lower carbon emissions vs recycled plastic bottle, and their paper being a renewable source that comes from FSC approved sources.
⭐️ Stella McCartney has partnered with BioFluff to launch a plant-based fur collection produced by their new materials brand, SAVIAN. The plant-based material is made from plant fibers and agricultural waste including nettle, hemp and flax. SAVIAN report that their process reduces CO2 emissions by 40-90%.
⭐️ Tesco announced their plans to further install solar panels on 100 of their largest stores across the UK. This is an extension of their project which already saw 40 stores fitted with solar panels, generating over 10.5 GWh in 2023.
⭐️ Danone have partnered with the Global Methane Hub to sponsor their Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator. This will investigate solutions to reduce enteric methane emissions from livestock - especially important for their dairy supply chain. Danone is the first corporate sponsor of the program.
⚡️ Policy Connect, along with the APSRG, and the Sustainable Resource Forum announced the launch of ‘Unpacking the Circular Economy - Unlocking Reuse at Scale’. This aims to speed up the transition to circular economy and help combat the climate crisis.
⚡️ More than 130 countries, contributing to 76% of greenhouse gases associated with food, have signed a pledge at COP28 to accelerate the transformation of global food systems. The pledge includes commitment to improve adaptation and resilience measures for farmers, in addition to focusing on soil health, food waste and biodiversity loss.
> Click on each link to read more.
> Quick Take
Waste Not Want Not: 6 strategies to help your customers reduce their food waste, starting with clearer labelling.
When we waste food, we not only consign it to landfills (where it decomposes and releases methane) but we also squander all the resources invested in its production. This encompasses water used for irrigation, land cleared for agriculture, fuel involved in transportation and more. According to WRAP, the UK alone generated 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018 - 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people (also classified as ‘household’ food waste). Whilst manufacturing, hospitality, food service and retail all hold important roles, there’s room to grow for consumer consciousness.
‘Best Before’ vs ‘Use By’
There could be, however, a tiny hero in the battle against household food waste - the humble best before date. According to the Food Standards Agency, the only label indicating food safety risk is the 'use by' date, usually found on perishable items. Conversely, a 'best before' date pertains only to the quality of the food. Here’s a quick summary:
The humble Best Before label is having a moment - more and more retailers in particular are changing ‘Use By’ labels to ‘Best Before’ in a bid to mitigate waste. Just this past week, Lidl announced they’re making this switch for all own brand milk and yoghurt. However, if your brand has already done this, what can you do next?
Back to the classroom!
It is common for consumers to discard food reaching its 'best before' date, but this behaviour can be altered through improved education by food producers and brands. 6 strategies your brand can adopt to elongate the life of your products:
Enhancing food labelling information on storage: Accurate storage is crucial for the validity of 'best before' dates. By instructing consumers on safe freezing and defrosting practices, they can extend the shelf life of their food. Storing dry goods like grains and cereals in airtight containers also prevents them from becoming stale.
Educate them about Best Before vs Use By: Sounds simple, but what’s simpler is a reminder to your customers about how to use your product. Clearly distinguish between Best Before and Use By, so that no useful resources end up in landfill instead of lunches.
Chat to your customers about what’s left in their fridge: When looking to better understand the end of life of their products, Rubies in the Rubble asked their customers via their newsletter to send them pictures of their fridge - a fascinating insight into how their products are used, and sometimes left to go off. Read our full interview with them here.
Encouraging creativity with leftovers: Providing consumers with suggestions on how to utilise various parts of a product, such as using vegetables in soups and stir-fries or transforming stale bread into croutons, fosters creativity and minimises food waste.
Spread the word about food waste: Educating families and individuals on the role of food waste in our climate crisis, and the role of their habits at home, is necessary when taking responsibility for the impact your brand has. We loved seeing Hello Fresh partner with low-waste chef Max La Manna to create a ‘CurrEATulum’, a food waste syllabus, in partnership with Social Farms & Garden.
Providing accurate portion calculations: Brands can estimate the number of portions a consumer can obtain from a product based on nutritional guidance for adults. This helps consumers avoid unnecessary bulk purchases that may lead to excess stock and eventual food waste.
This is only the start, and it’s a huge issue to tackle - so don’t do it alone. There are many organisations in the UK who can work with you to reduce the impact your brand has on our food waste problem, here are some of our favourite:
The Real Junk Food Project - a UK based charity that redistributes surplus food from various hospitality and retail industries to schools, organisations and charities.
Too Good To Go - a popular app that rescues unsold foods from various restaurants, shops, bars and brands and sells it at a highly reduced price.
Have further ideas on how brands can help their customers reduce waste? We’d love to hear from you - get in touch!
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> Brand Spotlight
Wonky to Wonderful: How Flawsome! Drinks are transforming 42 million pieces of fruit into Great Taste Award-winning juices.
It’s estimated that one third of all food produced globally goes to waste, totalling 1.3 billion tonnes and enough calories to feed every malnourished person on the planet. Flawsome! are on a mission to combat this, giving a second life to over 42 million wonky and surplus pieces of fruit to date.
A family-run social enterprise led by Karina and Maciek Sudenyte, they started working on Flawsome! in 2016 whilst both at university with just £800 to their name. Not long after, they welcomed their two daughters to the world - spurring them to make sure their industry-revered juices and health shots have sustainability at their core. 16 SKUs, 3 Great Taste Awards and 1 87.3 scoring B Corp certification later - let’s take a closer look at Flawsome!’s awesome work…
Putting their money where their mouth is:
Flawsome!’s impact goes beyond food waste - they commit 2% of all sales, not profit, into environmental causes and charitable organisations. This includes projects such as the Tambopata Bahuaja Biodiversity Conservation project in Peru, where they’ve protected 591,851 hectares of land (2022), and the Fuatres Wind Farm in Turkey which will generate 92GWh of green electricity to the grid every year (2022) - projects they’ve supported via Plannet Zero. In 2022, they shared that they have contributed to 30,449 improved cookstoves in Peru too.
Inherently community-driven, they pay their farmers a fair price for the wonky fruit they supply, and have also donated an impressive 1.86 tonnes of drinks to The Felix Project (equivalent to 4460 meals!). They’ve also implemented a ‘Equity for All’ EMI share option scheme for employees, giving them the chance to own shares in the company.
Reducing more than just food waste:
Flawsome! are well recognised across their category as innovators of sustainable packaging solutions. By 2022, they had removed shrink wrapping completely from all bottle cases and began eliminating the shrink wrap from their multipack deliveries. Then, over summer in 2023, they created a fully paper wrapper and straw for their kids’ juice carton; an acclaimed first in their category. They estimated this move from plastic to paper has cut 252 kilos of plastics and reduces their carbon footprint by 50% compared to the average small juice brand. They’ve introduced everything from easy peel labels to facilitate recycling, to a ‘clean and return’ bottle scheme piloted this year. On top of this, between 2021 - 2022 they reduced their total CO2e emissions by 2500 tonnes, saving the equivalent of 57,500,000 miles in an average car.
A brand on a mission, by 2026 Flawsome! are aiming to have saved 20,000 tonnes of wonky fruit and vegetables from landfill - doing their bit to reduce food waste whilst creating great-tasting drinks that you and your family will love in the process. We enjoyed hearing from them ourselves at Bread & Jam’s Future Summit this year, and can’t wait to see where they go next.