Approved Food, the first online retailer to specialise in food past or close to its sell-by date, has vowed to improve its bottom line as it revealed it would report a full-year loss.

Reaching the end of its third year of trading, owner Dan Cluderay said that although the company had never been busier and turnover had grown to more than £2m, it would post a loss as it entered its fourth year. “The thing that stopped us was speed of fulfilling orders,” he said. “It got to a point where we were increasing what we could sell but there was a ceiling limit on getting orders out.”

Moving to a larger, 27,000 sq ft warehouse in September last year was like “flicking a switch to become efficient,” he added. “Now we’re in a warehouse where we can get out the number of orders that we can take in a day. Next year, I think we’ll make a few hundred thousand pounds of profit.”

Approved Food now buys 60% of its supplies ­directly from big brands, Cluderay said. “What we pay covers their production costs and helps them to avoid sending stock to landfill or seeing it on the grey market. We only sell directly to the public and can de-identify the product.”

The company receives 5,000 to 10,000 orders each month for its ambient goods, with an average spend of £35.