Holland & Barrett has partnered with meal-sharing app Olio to redistribute its surplus but still good to eat products.
The high street retailer has renewed its focus on food and drink products following its relaunch into the category in September. The launch saw up to 500 new grocery lines hit stores. It included fresh and chilled products for the first time since the pandemic.
However, dealing with the challenge presented by increased levels of wastage was one of the concerns highlighted by retail experts following the launch.
The new partnership would enable H&B to redistribute food that was close to its sell-by date yet still safe to eat, “quickly and safely”, the retailer said.
Olio’s network of volunteers will now collect excess food from their local Holland & Barrett store at the end of each day. They’ll then upload what’s available to the Olio app, so people nearby can request and collect the food free of charge.
As well as products from Holland & Barrett chillers, Olio will also collect ambient lines including dried fruit, nuts, protein bars and powders.
Since beginning the partnership earlier this year, Olio has distributed nearly 20,000kg of food, the equivalent of 45,000 individual meals, H&B said. It had prevented up to 82,000kg of CO2 entering the atmosphere via landfill, the retailer said.
“We’re dedicated to creating a healthier and more sustainable world, and this partnership is a significant step towards that,” said H&B COO Anthony Houghton.
“Our new chilled food offering has been incredibly popular with our customers already, and we’re very pleased to share surplus stock with Olio to make sure that it’s reaching those who are most in need.”
Olio – which was founded in 2015 – already works with a number of grocery companies including Iceland, Tesco, One Stop, Booker and Compass Group. It has a network if 90,000 volunteers nationwide.
The app said it would work to match volunteers to each of the more than 800 H&B stores nationwide.
“We’re delighted that a respected brand in the health and wellness sector like Holland & Barrett has made such a powerful commitment to fighting food waste and feeding communities,” said Olio co-founder and COO Saasha Celestial-One.
“We know our app users across the UK will be delighted to see their healthy and nutritious food coming on to the platform. This move from Holland & Barrett takes us one step closer to a food waste-free retail sector in the UK – here’s hoping many more retailers will follow suit.”