TINE using Facebook to ask public to vote on new best-before labeling to reduce waste

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

What's the best way to convince consumers not to throw food away after the best before date? TINE is asking its customers how it should alter its labels through a Facebook poll.
What's the best way to convince consumers not to throw food away after the best before date? TINE is asking its customers how it should alter its labels through a Facebook poll.

Related tags: Shelf life, Milk, Tine

Norwegian dairy company TINE is taking to social media to ask for the advice of its customers in how to label its products to reduce waste.

The company is holding a poll on Facebook where consumers can vote on which of three sentences they want to see on TINE’s products in addition to the "best before" date.

The goal is for consumers to also increase their understanding that "best before" does not necessarily mean that the products cannot be eaten, with the end result being less food waste.

The phrases consumers can choose from are:
Best before 01.01.18, After: see - smell - taste
Best before 01.01.18, and often good after
Best before 01.01.18, but not bad after

Increasing awareness

The Facebook post​ has already received more than 170,000 views and responses.

Bjørn Malm, head of corporate social responsibility at TINE said by involving the whole of Norway's population, everyone gets more ownership of the messaging, and becomes aware of checking the food before it is thrown away.

In Norwegian homes, around 217,000 tons of food is discarded every year and TINE said as a food producer, it has a responsibility to help the consumer throw less food away, by having optimal packaging, increasing shelf life, and now by changing the labeling.

Consumer information site

Anne Marie Schrøder, from Norwegian group Matvett, is pleased that TINE will be carrying additional information on all products.

Matvett is a Norwegian food and catering industry initiative to prevent and reduce food waste in Norway, and is a collaboration between business, government and research communities.

"It's great that TINE wants to focus on the fact that all dairy products are labeled" best before "and often last long after the expiry date, provided proper storage,"​ Schrøder said.

"Our research shows that sour cream and yogurt are often unopened in people's trash cans, just because the date has passed. Best before is just a quality guarantee date,”​ she added, saying consumers should smell and taste food after the expiration date.

The group’s website​ (in Norwegian) includes news, tips and advice on best before dates, how to reduce food waste, recipes, and other useful information for consumers.

Products within a week of poll ending

The poll ends on Friday, January 5, after which TINE will start to mark the products with the most popular choice; the company said the first products bearing the revised marking will most likely be in stores the following week.

Malm said initially, milk, sour milk, cream, juice, yogurt packs and school milk will have the revised wording, with other products following throughout the year.

Related topics: Retail & Shopper Insights, Sustainability

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