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Colruyt and Morrisons encourage consumers to sniff 'n' look before throwing out food

According to sustainability nonprofit WRAP, milk is the third most wasted food product by households in the UK, after potatoes and bread; to produce milk that's poured down the drain takes a whopping 31,000 hectares of land. To tackle that food waste, UK supermarket chain Morrisons is removing 'use by' dates on cartons of milk, replacing them with a 'best by' and encouraging customers to sniff their milk instead of relying solely on a printed date.

In Belgium, meanwhile, supermarket conglomerate Colruyt has partnered with Too Good to Go to add 'look, smell and taste' labels to its own line of dairy products, reminding consumers to use their senses to judge if yoghurt or cottage cheese is still edible. In 2021, Too Good to Go worked with Nestlé and other brands to launch a similar campaign in the UK.

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If global food waste could be represented as a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the United States. And that's without accounting for emissions caused by razing forests to make way for agriculture.

And date labeling plays a significant role in the household portion of that food waste: estimates show that up to 10% of the 88 million metric tons of food waste generated in the EU every year are somehow linked to date labeling. The changes Colruyt and Morrisons are making are good first steps. If you work in food and beverage: how can your brand teach customers to trust their senses?