I cannot help but look at the news stories regarding the food and grocery shortages in Venezuela or that half of the produce in US supermarkets is discarded. Yes, — I said half.

Millions of pounds and dollars are latterly being thrown out at your supermarkets.

Expired yogurt-Gone.

Milk on shelf past due date-Adios

One broker egg in a carton-Bye Bye

Lettuce-Chuck it.

And I can go on and on. When a customer returns a carton of milk or a gallon of ice cream they do not like, — even if the customer brings it back unopened, it counts as being damaged.

Supermarkets are on a roll in terms of growth. The more and more food manufacturers crank out new products and flavors, the greater the challenge for more market share.

So if supermarkets are so in demand, what can be done to preserve products.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Assign a dedicated employee to rotate the products in the store, especially dairy and frozen foods. The person who is designated this task will receive an extra $5 an hour per shift. So, for example, if someone is earning $10 per hour, they will earn $15 on that shift. How is that for an incentive. The extra $5 per hour can help the employee, but the benefit to the supermarket will be far greater in terms of saving product.
  2. Challenge food manufacturers to make packaging that will be sturdy. I cannot help notice Lean Cuisine boxes that can come apart and break so fast. We try to tape the box, but the customer will typically push it aside and grab the next box.
  3. The customer should take some responsibility too. Don’t stick a container of salad in the cereal aisle. Food is abundant, but can be scarce just the same.

I cannot stand it when I bust open a box or crush a container when I am putting them on the shelves. It may not bother stock clerks, who brush it off as part of the job. However, as consumers and supermarket employees can make a concerted effort to save food. It is admirable and the right thing to do.

 

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