Discover new value in European “waste”

In Europe, food waste is very serious. In December 2019, the European Union released the “EU Food Waste Reduction in 2030” plan, hoping to achieve the goal of reducing food waste by half on the current basis in 2030. This year, the wage cuts and unemployment waves caused by the new crown pneumonia epidemic have caused many Europeans to spend less on food. In this context, reducing food waste and making more effective use of ingredients can not only help individuals save money, but also bring money and social value to the enterprise.

According to statistics, about one-third of food in Europe has been thrown into the trash before being served on the table. Among these wasted foods, some are due to their unsightly appearance, and some are due to the expiration date. A grower who has provided vegetables to supermarkets for a long time said that only about half of the vegetables produced in his field can be sold to supermarkets. In addition to the requirements for the taste of vegetables, supermarkets also have very strict standards for appearance. “Tomatoes are not round enough, not in supermarkets; cucumbers are a little bent, not in supermarkets; potatoes are a little damaged during harvest, so do not in supermarkets.” Besides growing vegetables every day and delivering to supermarkets, he has no energy to sell. The remaining vegetables, “If you hire someone to help, the money you get from selling vegetables is not enough to pay your salary.”

Even if you successfully enter the supermarket, some food will not escape the fate of being wasted. After the business closes every day, the most important task of the European supermarket staff is to check the shelves and throw away the food that is out of date or near the expiration date-big boxes of beef, bright red strawberries, and wheat-flavored bread are all thrown away Into the trash can.

However, the value of these wasted food has gradually gained the attention of some European companies. In Belgium, a mobile phone application called “It’s a shame to throw it away” was recently launched. The application has launched a package priced at 3.99 euros, and the value of the products included is usually more than 12 euros. Consumers can find nearby participating merchants in the app, pay online and pick up the goods. However, they did not know what was in the bag at the time of purchase, just like a “fu bag”. A consumer who had placed an order on the app told the reporter that the number of “fubags” for each merchant is determined by the number of products left over during the day’s business, and they can be bought quickly because they are really affordable. “I used to buy a lucky bag worth more than 50 euros for 3.99 euros, including two kilograms of ribs, a large box of shrimps, yogurt, grapes, etc.” There are also farmers participating in the food “good bag” project, you can Let consumers spend 3.99 euros to buy 6 kilograms of different kinds of vegetables picked that day. The only disadvantage of these vegetables is that they are not so perfect in appearance.

In addition, in France, many supermarkets specializing in selling temporary food have recently appeared. The most important task of the supermarket owner every day is to keep in touch with the major supermarkets and buy a large amount of impending food at very low prices. “The products in our supermarkets are different every day. You can sell what you can find.” The owner of a temporary food supermarket said, “For example, yogurt, large supermarkets generally will be off the shelves 6 days before the expiration date. I will use the fastest They can be purchased at a faster rate and then put on their own shelves.” Of course, the price of the goods in this supermarket is very cheap, generally only about 1/3 or even lower of fresh food. A customer said that the high-priced food purchased in the supermarket is often stored in the refrigerator until the expiration date, so it would be more economical to come here. Due to the low purchase price, even if the sales price is not high, the profit of this temporary commodity supermarket is still considerable. According to the store owner, their profits are significantly higher than ordinary supermarkets.

Not only supermarkets, but the European catering industry is also improving food utilization efficiency. Classmates of higher business schools, Shen Lajiede Schneider and Eldi Le Bush, founded a cafeteria in Paris two years ago. The ingredients they purchased were fresh enough but flawed in appearance. Ailedi said: “These ingredients have no problems in terms of safety and nutrition, but they can’t be put on supermarket shelves because they don’t look so good.” They directly docked with the farm and bought these “beautiful in heart” fruits and vegetables. Under the cost of more than 30%.

Chinese companies can also target such business opportunities by launching similar sales platforms in China or investing in related fields in Europe. The reporter’s survey found that opening a temporary food supermarket in Europe can save costs in many ways: the general location is in a densely populated low-income neighborhood, which makes the rent cost very low; there is no need for complicated decoration or even display. Many shelves and many products are placed in cardboard boxes on the ground; there is no need for many tally staff, because the products are sold in larger packages and not sold separately. The reporter synthesized the data of several temporary supermarkets and found that the investment in opening a store can basically be controlled within 20,000 euros. After deducting various expenses, the monthly net profit can be around 3,000-5,000 euros.

It should be noted that the most important point of opening a store is to grasp the source of high-quality goods. The more resources a large supermarket has, the better, and the faster the delivery speed, the better. Of course, some local laws and regulations in the field of food safety need to be studied before investing. European law strictly prohibits the sale of expired food. Violators will face fines of thousands of euros. If consumers consume expired food and cause health problems, sellers may also face closures and even legal sanctions.