Co-op to scrap use-by dates on own-brand yoghurts

A shopper with a Co-op bag Credit: PA

The Co-op is to scrap use-by dates on all its own-brand yoghurts in a bid to reduce food waste, the company has announced.

The supermarket giant said that, under the move that it claims is an industry first, on-pack “use by” guidance will be replaced with “best before” dates on its entire range of own-brand yogurts.

The change comes after Morrisons removed use-by dates on most of its milk in January.

The Co-op said six million people in the UK eat a yogurt every day, but research from charity Wrap shows that half are thrown away in unopened packs, mainly because of not being used in time.

The Co-op has made the move in a bid to cut food waste. Credit: PA

Nick Cornwell, of the Co-op, said: “Yogurt can be safe to eat if stored unopened in a fridge after the date mark shown, so we have made the move to best-before dates to help reduce food waste.

“The acidity of yogurt acts as a natural defence and we’d encourage shoppers to use their judgment on the quality of their yogurt if it is past the best-before date."

Mr Cornwell said the Co-op encourages other retailers and brands to "review their on-pack guidance" and make the switch to best-before dates for yogurts.

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Catherine David, of Wrap, welcomed the Co-op's move, saying: “Wasting food feeds climate change and costs money.

"Applying a best-before date helps give people the confidence to use their judgment to eat beyond a best-before date and use more of the yogurt they buy – protecting the planet and their pockets.”