Tesco - yogurt 2023

Source: Tesco 

It comes as research by Wrap revealed 9% of all yoghurt purchases went to waste 

Tesco is ditching ‘use by’ dates on more than 30 own label yoghurt lines as part of its latest move to reduce food waste.

The switch will see the supermarket instead use ‘best before’ dates on the yoghurts – which include lines such as Greek Style Yogurt 500g, Creamfields Greek Style Yogurt 500g, Creamfields Berry Medley Low Fat Yogurt 6x125g and Finest Lemon Curd Yogurt 150g.

Tesco said ditching ‘use by’ dates would “prevent perfectly edible food from being thrown away” and enable consumers to “use their own judgement on whether to eat a product”.

The retailer’s labelling change follows similar moves by the likes of Asda, the Co-op and Sainsbury’s on their yoghurt lineups over the past year. Tesco ditched ‘best before’ labelling on more than 170 fruit & veg lines in 2018 as part of an earlier drive to cut food waste.

It comes as latest data from a survey by food waste prevention group Wrap revealed that UK shoppers wasted 54,000 tonnes of yoghurt a year – equal to 9% of all purchases.

The research also showed half of yoghurts were thrown away in unopened packs, representing a “very high figure compared with other foods”, Wrap said.

Meanwhile, some 70% of packs wasted in the home were thrown away due to the product having passed its date, the group added.

“We know some shoppers may be unclear about the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates on food and this can lead to perfectly edible items being thrown away unnecessarily,” said Tesco lead technical manager for dairy Amy Walker.

“We have made the decision to remove ‘use by’ dates on yoghurts where it is safe to do so, after extensive testing which reveals that the acidity of the product acts as a natural preservative. However, consumers should always use their judgement to determine if the quality is acceptable.”

The selected lines represented “a significant proportion of our own brand yoghurts and we hope to phase the change in between now and the end of June”, she added.

Wrap said it welcomed Tesco’s move, with its director of collaboration and change Catherine David saying it would reduce food waste in homes.

“Wasting food feeds climate change and costs us money – with the average family spending over £700 year on good food which ends up in the bin,” she pointed out.

“Our research shows applying the appropriate date label to products can help reduce the amount of good food that is thrown away. For yoghurts, applying a ‘best before’ date rather than a ‘use by’ date means that people can use their judgement to eat beyond that date, giving people longer to use what they buy.”