Leading Brands Promise to Streamline Confusing Food Labels by 2020

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Food waste has long been a problem on both sides of the Atlantic, with estimates suggesting that as much as 40 percent of all food in the U.S. and U.K. ends up in the trash bin. One huge part of this problem is confusing food labeling. Terms such as “best by,” “use by” and “sell by” are only a few examples that often leave consumers puzzled. Now industry is taking notice. Earlier this year, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said it would move to standardize food labeling nationwide.

Recently the Consumer Goods Forum, a global food industry network that boasts executives from about 400 retailers, manufacturers and food service companies, said it will urge its membership to simplify date labels by 2020.

Study: Price and appearance are top barriers to produce purchases

Read the full story in Food Dive.

In a recent survey, more than half of produce buyers said that price remained a top barrier to purchasing fruits and vegetables, according to a release from survey leads Category Partners and Beacon Research Solutions. The survey, taken by 4,000 shoppers in June, also found “poor appearance/quality/color” and “spoiling/inability to eat it all” to be barriers, as well.

The firms found that most produce shoppers make their purchasing decisions in-store, and that traditional marketing materials like ad circulars, cookbooks and recipe cards were more effective at driving category sales than nontraditional channels like social media.

Thirty-one percent of consumers surveyed said values like locally grown, natural, organic and non-GMO weren’t top of mind for them. Flavor, the survey revealed, is almost as important as health in driving purchase.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Wasted Food Assessment with the Reducing Wasted Food and Packaging Toolkit

This webinar series, part of U.S. EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy, provides comprehensive guidance on conducting a tracking assessment using EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide and a tracking spreadsheet to assist commercial and institutional food services in tracking and reducing their food and packaging waste by implementing reduction strategies. Reducing food and packaging waste saves money, reduces the environmental impacts of waste, and improves organizational image.

For more resources on reducing food waste, visit EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food site. The Tools for Preventing and Diverting Wasted Food page is particularly useful.

Food Loss Prevention Options for Grade Schools, Manufacturers, Restaurants, Universities and Grocery Stores

Businesses and organizations can learn to effectively prevent wasted food by taking source reduction steps such as inventorying supplies, changing processes and buying less. EPA has developed tip sheets for grade schools, food manufacturers, restaurants, universities and grocery stores that provide suggestions for ways these sectors can prevent food loss and waste.

How Norway is selling out-of-date food to help tackle waste

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Supermarkets selling out-of-date produce and apps that identify food at risk of being binned are part of an ambitious plan to slash the nation’s food waste.

Food banks may get boost from new law protecting donors from lawsuits

Read the full story in the Louisville Courier Journal.

As thousands of Kentuckians struggle to feed their families, nonprofits hope a new law will encourage supermarkets to donate food they typically throw away by shielding them from being sued if someone gets sick after eating their donations.

Food policy expert says new labels should reduce food waste

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between “best by,” “sell by” or “expires on”?

If you’re not sure, you aren’t alone. Americans toss out $165 billion worth of each year, often out of safety concerns fueled by confusion about the meaning of the more than 10 different date labels used on packages.

Grocery manufacturers and retailers are finally taking pity. Recently, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association announced they would voluntarily streamline date labels and begin using two standard phrases: “best if used by” for quality and “use by” for highly perishable items like meat, fish and cheese that can be dangerous to eat if they are too old.

Food manufacturers will begin phasing in the change now, with widespread adoption expected by summer 2018.

Food policy experts from across the University of California praised the new guidelines, calling them a positive step that could help consumers and the environment.