Can “wonky food boxes” reduce food waste?

Lidl, a discount supermarket chain, has launched a scheme that aims to improve access to food and reduce food waste by selling “damaged” fruit and vegetables as a “Too Good to Waste” box.

Less than perfect

Statistics show that produce is one of the biggest contributors to food waste in stores. Furthermore, it has been estimated that farmers waste up to 37,000 tonnes of produce every year – around 16% of their crop, because supermarkets are reluctant to accept anything less than perfect. This quantity would be enough to provide 250,000 people with their 5 a day for an entire year.

Odd shapes

Due to the large amount of wasted produce each year, food waste has become one of the most critical sustainability issue supermarkets face. Produce is often discarded simply because it is oddly shaped or marked. However, Lidl, through their “Too Good to Waste” programme, is seeking to overcome this challenge by embracing food that some might consider “ugly”.


Although there is still a long way to go, this programme is set to save 10,000 tonnes of surplus produce a year. The programme is currently being trialled across 122 stores – if successful, they could be rolled out nationwide, to all 710 sites. So far, Lidl has been able to cut their food waste by 13% in just one year; their final aim being to half waste by 2030.

This story shows how Lidl supports Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, specifically Target 12.3: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses”.

About Lidl

Founded in 1930, Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain that is based in Germany. They have 10,000 stores and over 315,000 employees across Europe and the United States. They pride themselves in providing their customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.

Learn more about Lidl.

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