WRAP study shows that extending food product life by one day could save 250,000 tonnes per year


A report from WRAP has shown that 250,000 tonnes of food waste could be saved each year by extending product life labels by just one day.

The study, Reducing food waste by extending product life, assessed the amount of product life available to consumers on shelf, and review how product life codes such as ‘Use-by’ and “Best-before’ dates are currently set by retailers, brands and food manufacturers.


It looked at popular foods where there are typically high levels of waste, and then estimated the potential overall tonnage and financial savings by scaling-uo data from these products to all food groceries.

This then gave an indication of the significant potential benefits available to industry and consumers.

WRAP director of sustainable food systems Richard Swannell (pictured) said: “The findings in our report are a real opportunity for industry. By implementing these simple recommendations, food manufacturers and retailers can make a big difference in the battle against food waste, without even having to change products and packaging. We estimate that shoppers could save upwards of £500 million, and businesses could save £100 million in waste prevention alone.

We have a fantastic opportunity to take action here – we’ve identified the business case based on savings in the true cost of waste and the potential for increased sales from better availability. Today’s report is part of our continuing work to reduce food waste and we’re keen to work with industry on how best to act on this information.”

The report sets out five recommendations which show how and where adjustments in the supply chain could increase product life for the consumer.