How long can I store different types of food? Where should I store it? Does it belong in the refrigerator? A customer survey in 2016 revealed that many Dutch customers are not sure how to best store their food to keep it safer, fresher and tastier longer – and reduce how much they throw away.

To respond to this clear customer need, Albert Heijn teamed up with the Netherlands Nutrition Center on a campaign highlighting food storage best practices. The “Weggooien is zonde” (“Throwing food away is a waste”) campaign not only answered the basic questions of how and how long to store items, but included special tips and a ‘Yes-No Fridge’ sticker showing the top 12 products that people are most unsure about refrigerating. Tomatoes, for example, are included as a ‘No Fridge’ item.

The campaign also offered a 6-week savings program for storage containers. The containers are air- and watertight, and suitable for the dishwasher and microwave. 

The right storage means less waste

“Our customers want information and tips to store food easily and safely, and we gladly provide this,” said Emma Coles, Head of Sustainable Retailing at Albert Heijn. “Our campaign can also prevent food from going to waste. The tips provided by the Netherlands Nutrition Center and the containers from Albert Heijn make it easier for everyone to store food safely. This helps our customers save money, and protects the environment at the same time.”

The campaign contributed to a range of waste reduction initiatives including close inventory monitoring, the ‘Misfits’ misshapen vegetable and fruit program, a 35% end-of-shelf-life discount on perishable food, and donations to food banks. Customers considered the campaign especially useful to raise awareness of how not to waste food.

My parents taught me not to waste food. I tend to forget, so this is a great reminder.