Agile piloting: Minimizing food waste in grocery stores

Climate Street funded three agile pilots in autumn 2016. In this blog the team Zero Food Waste evaluates the experience.


Our Zero Food Waste -experiment has come to an end, but the supermarkets continue working on reducing their food waste. It was our pleasure to be one of the participants of Agile piloting program so that we could experiment our ideas in real context. We were allowed to test and learn without the fear of failure. Two supermarkets on Iso Roobertinkatu Helsinki, K-Market Roba and Alepa, were our friendly partners and gave us space to test things out. These hands-on experiences were very valuable and we have definitely learned a lot more about food waste from these.

Our idea was to reduce supermarket food waste through community power. Our bigger goal was to change customers’ perspective towards food waste gradually and to increase the value of food. We believe, changes from down-top can be more profound.

We had several campaigns for this pilot. First of all, we created an online Facebook group Zero Food Waste – ClimateStreet for updates and customer interaction. Shops updated the availability of discounted products there. This is the first step to create a community.

Then, we had new sticker designs for discounted products for removing the stigma of expiring food.

Along with stickers, the most popular campaign would be Veggie Box. K-Market packed mellow of softened vegetables and fruits into a box and sold them for 1 and 2€. Residents, commuters and people working nearby were pleased to purchase this box which was full of variety.

We also implemented a one-day live stream for prospective shoppers to know the availability of discounted products.

In the end, we had a food design brunch to show people the numerous possibilities of upgrading food that is going bad to delicious meals.

Food waste reduction is education. We can see changes are taking places in people’s mind bits by bits. This is a mission possible! We see there is willingness to improve the current situation from the City, shops and customers. If the public and private sectors can cooperate more closely, food waste reduction would become more feasible for everyone.