Food + Beverage

Upcycled Food

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Dutch shoppers are saying yes to upcycled prepared foods made from ugly produce and stale bread at the Wageningen branch of Jumbo supermarket.

Beer from stale bread, cider from blemished apples, soaps from discarded orange peels, and soups or chutneys made from blemished fruits and vegetables are selling fast as consumers embrace the Verspilling is Verrukkelijk or “Waste is Delicious” initiative as part of a new national program, United Against Food Waste.

The first-week sales have surpassed expectations, said George Verberne, an entrepreneur who runs the branch, about 90 km (56 miles) north of the capital, Amsterdam. “We sold about 700 items in one week. It’s double what we sell for organic products,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview. “I’m proud and very happy we’re the first to do it.” 

The practice of using products that are at the end of their lifecycle hardly an innovation for chefs in the restaurant industry or grocery stores that make food in-house. But, the supermarkets committment to marketing "Waste is Delicious" and solving food waste to achieve sustainable food systems, is an emotional and admirable use of upcycling to change consumer shopping behavior. 

Insight Location

Jumbo Wageningen, Netherlands

Photo Credits

Photography by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash