Danish supermarket sells expired food to combat waste

By on 14th December 2016

Denmark lowered its food waste by a staggering 25% in the last five years and now has another weapon in its fight against our out of control over-indulgence. Copenhagen-based supermarket WeFood recently opened a second store that sells expired groceries that otherwise are destined for the trash bin. The upside for the buyer is that the groceries are going for half the price as in a normal supermarket.

WeFood opened a second store to sell surplus foods to the citizens of Copenhagen in November, after its first shop was launched in February this year. Per Bjerre from the NGO behind the market, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (DanChurch Aid), said at the opening: “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. Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue.”

The products in the two stores are donated by producers, import and export companies and local supermarkets and are collected by Wefood’s staff, that wholly consists of volunteers. The store’s profits go to charity, DanChurch Aid’s work in the world’s poorest countries.

The prices are half as low as in normal supermarkets, but buying a full week of groceries is not guaranteed due to WeFood being dependant on the suppliers and the availability of certain products.

Photo’s: WeFood

The good thing is that consumers don’t have to be afraid they’ll get sick from rotten food though. All the products delivered to WeFood is looked at, smelled and felt by the staff to see if it’s still eatable. Many products are a lot longer consumable than the date on the package suggests.

The project didn’t go unnoticed by the Danish government that is already keen on reducing food waste. After the opening of the first store in February then Danish food minister Eva Kjer Hansen said: “It’s ridiculous that food is just thrown out or goes to waste. It is bad for the environment and it is money spent on absolutely nothing. A supermarket like WeFood makes so much sense and is an important step in the battle to combat food waste.”

WeFood next year plans to open in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, but the brand is unlikely to become a major chain.

More info: Website