Trash to cash: our favourite brands preventing food waste
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Trash to cash: our favourite brands preventing food waste

On 03 Mar 2021 by Cristina Covello

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Did you know, in the UK, we throw away a whopping 900,000 tonnes of bread each year. Or that 40% of the fruit and veg produced on farms cannot be sold due to their size or shape not conforming to retail standards. What if we told you that there is a company that makes tasty beers with surplus bread or crisps and cider with those misshapen apples? Read on.

Preparing ourselves for Food Waste Action Week got us thinking of all our favorite brands and tech doing their bit to help fight food waste at a larger scale.

Our first shout out goes to these brands which rescue surplus or misshapen fruit and veg to and bring them to our homes and restaurants.

  • Oddbox is a subscription fruit and veg box service. They bring rescued or odd shaped surplus fruit and veg to homes and also give people recipes, meal plans and food waste prevention tips.

  • Waste knot work with farmers to bring their seasonal surplus into an alternate distribution stream for chefs and restaurants thereby preventing carefully grown produce going waste or even worse, to landfill.

Then there are the cool apps that help rescue surplus food from homes and food service businesses.

Photograph of Fooditude's front of house employees.

  • We love OLIO. Their free app connecting neighbours to share food has been great for sharing surplus food, home grown fruit or veg or even household items that would otherwise be thrown away. We were delighted to partner with them when they introduced their ‘Food Waste Heroes’ program for food service businesses and have so far shared nearly 5500 portions of food over two years. May their community of sharers and like minded volunteers continue to grow.

  • Other fantastic apps that help rescue surplus food from restaurants, supermarkets and other food service businesses at a discount or for free are Karma and Too Good To go.

We love snacks and treats with a conscience.

We love these brands that are turning surplus fruit and veg into delicious snacks and treats and try to use as many of them as part of our snacking offer at client sites.

  • ChicP make flavored hummus with wonky vegetables and have also recently introduced a range of vegetable crisps.

  • Spare, who make crisps with misshapen fruit and veg, no added sugar or preservatives.

  • Rubies in the Rubble – a popular condiment brand using surplus and rescued produce – often replacing / traditional ingredients and extending their shelf life using vinegar, salt and sugar.

  • Flawsome and Dash Water are brands of flavoured fizzy water which are flavored with real fruit and veg that have been rescued just because they were the wrong shape or size.

And these are some really innovative tipples made with produce that potentially would go to waste?

  • Discarded Spirits – make vermouth with cascara and banana peel rum. Cascara is the coffee fruit from which the bean is extracted and imparts a fruity bitterness and banana peel imparts a distinct toffee flavour – giving these spirits uniqueness and at the same time, getting some use out of ingredients that would otherwise end up as animal feed or worse, as landfill.

  • Toast Ale and Crumbs Brewing both recognised the scale of bread wastage in the UK – and decided to rescue surplus fresh bread to brew it into beers.

  • Hawkes make delicious cider in the heart of London – Difference is, they also invite donations of surplus apples from farms to stop them from going to waste.

For the love of Joe – what do we do with coffee grinds?

With the UK producing nearly 500,000  tonnes of coffee grounds we love companies that can help do something with this waste.

  • At Fooditude, we work with our waste collection service First Mile to collect coffee grinds from most of our client sites and our office. They have partnered with Bio Bean who convert these grounds into coffee logs used for warming homes in a wood burner or multi fuel burner.

  • Coffee ground can also be the perfect addition to a natural body scrub – you can make your own at home or choose to go with brands like Upcircle, Frank Body etc.

Photography of employees from food cycle.

Finally, no blog about food waste at Fooditude can go without mentioning FoodCycle. 

FoodCycle is a charity that feeds communities and alleviates loneliness by turning surplus produce into healthy delicious meals. They also run Zero Waste challenges for groups which we have taken up a few times and have found very inspiring!

During the lockdown they quickly mobilised a response and supported their communities with food parcel deliveries, cook & collect from their cafe locations and a check-in and chat service – somehow managing to still alleviate hunger and loneliness at a time of desperate need.

All of these organisations have recognised the scale of the food waste problem and created niche products or services that help reduce food waste. However, the battle against food waste is far from won. Please share any other brands you love that are fighting food waste on @WeAreFooditude


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