coop milk

Source: Co-op

The new messaging will come into effect from September 

Co-op is putting a ‘freeze me’ stamp on its own-brand milk products in a bid to combat wastage.

The new on-pack message, which will come into effect from September, will read: “Don’t waste me, freeze me, in a suitable, clean container, then defrost in the fridge, use within 24 hours.”

The convenience retailer advised consumers that milk would be best within one month of freezing. For larger bottles, it suggested decanting them into a container. When it’s ready to be used, shoppers should defrost in the fridge to thaw fully and then use the defrosted milk within 24 hours, the Co-op added. 

“We’re committed in reducing our impact on the planet and we’re trying to help our customers and members make small changes that collectively can make an impact,” said Co-op environment and sustainability manager Catherine Dishington.

“Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to make the most out of your weekly shop and prevent food wastage, but not everyone knows that it’s perfectly safe to freeze milk. We hope that by having this message on pack it will not only save customers some money, it should also help them to throw away less.” 

It comes after it found 66% of UK adults don’t freeze milk at home, with 31% unaware that you could, according to consumer research conducted on behalf of Co-op by Markettiers in June 2022. It did, however, find that of the latter, 34% would freeze milk now that they know they can. 

Figures from Wrap highlighted that more than £150m worth of milk is wasted each year, with milk wasted in the home contributing to 90% of this.  

Wrap strategic technical manager Estelle Herszenhorn said: “It is fantastic to see Co-op, one of Wrap’s Courtauld 2030 signatories, adopting our best practice guidance by introducing freezing messaging to their own-brand milk.

“Milk is one of the most wasted food products in the UK so this is a welcome move from the Co-op, demonstrating their commitment to helping people waste less. We encourage people to check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for more ways to make the most of the food they buy, save money and fight climate change.”