M E A S U R E . L E A R N . S T A Y - A H E A D .
About Food Waste

Do You Know How Much Food Is Wasted Daily?

Save 5000 bread yearly for just one store!

It’s rather normal for a grocery store to waste 50-60 pieces of bread a day. If one store reduces wastage of only 15 bread a day, it’s more than 5.000 pieces of bread a year. This is a significant number and saves both CO2 and cost.

We have now managed to reduce bread wastage in grocery stores by between 30% and 50%. Digital ordering and real-time production estimates give the correct numbers of bread in-store at any time. Further, it becomes even better when the stores and the employees change their daily routines.

Firstly, we’d like to talk about the fact that the average food wastage in Europe for a single store is around 60 bread daily; therefore, more than 15.000 bread is wasted yearly per store.

That is to say, we need to emphasize that 1/3 of all food produced in the world is thrown away. 

Meanwhile, grocery retailers account for a significant share of this food wastage – and for the same reason, this is where we focus our solutions and resources to reduce this food wastage.

As a result, we have already managed to reduce food wastage significantly in lots of stores!

Above all, the assessment is easy: Count how much fresh bread and bakery products are left in the store in the last opening hour & do this for a couple of days. Afterwards, if the average is over 40, it means that there is a lot of food to save!

Lastly but most importantly, we’d like to introduce a great example that we accomplish to reduce the significant amount of bread wastage in Meny, Norway!

The Total Food Wastage by Categories


In this paragraph, we’d like to give brief information about how much food is wasted every year. 

As a mater of fact, we need to realize the fact that people throw away 1555 million tonnes of food every year worldwide (BCG, 2018).

Then, let’s take a look at which food categories are thrown away the most, and what percentage it makes up of the total food waste.

  • Fruit & vegetables: 644 million tonnes discarded (42%) 

  • Bread & cereal products: 347 million tonnes discarded (22%) 

  • Root & tuber crops: 275 million tonnes discarded (18%) 

  • Dairy products: 143 million tonnes discarded (9%) 

  • Meat products: 74 million tonnes discarded (5%) 

  • Oilseeds & legumes: 50 million tonnes discarded (3%) 

  • Fish & seafood: 22 million tonnes discarded (1%) 

Furthermore, when it comes to fresh food in a grocery store – fruit, vegetables, roots, tuber crops, oilseeds, and legumes are usually placed together in the fruit & vegetable section. In this situation, together as “one category”, this represents more than 60% of all food wastage in tonnes! 

Thus, we take action to reduce this significant amount of food wastage to raise environmental awareness and increase savings in grocery stores.


Link Retail's Waste Management Process

POS data & sale numbers are the core of all Link Retail products.

Assessment of Current Situation

Assessment of representative stores
for the grocery chain.
Evaluate in-store performance,
numbers and POS-system.

System Modifications and Piloting

Doing a semi-manual pilot with ordering,
production and wastage
routines as well as reporting.
Applying this in 2-4 stores.

Define Potential & Quick Wins

Defining status, opportunities,
challenges and suggest
objectives as well as
concrete plan going forward.

Implementation Process

Implementation in total chain.
Training of employees
in-store and operations.
Supporting and following up regularly.

Who Throws Away The Most?

Example Country: Norway

Initially, the total food waste is 390,000* tonnes in this country.

This corresponds to 74 kilos of food:

– per inhabitant

– per year. 

As a result, this has a cost of more than NOK 18 billion (Euro 1,8 Billion).

To summarize, as we have said, our main focus is to reduce food wastage at the retail level – and especially in the grocery industry! Therefore, we’ll always continue to raise awareness of this issue.

*Source: Matvett.no

Our Focus is to Reduce Wastage of Fresh Food Significantly in Grocery

Fresh Food accounts for more than 90% of all food wastage!

First of all, bakery products, fruits, and vegetables account for more than 75% of all food waste in grocery. 

Moreover, if we add ready-made food, we are close to 85% of the total food wastage. To sum up, these three groups have a short shelf life and face high-quality requirements by the consumer, which may explain why they predominate. 

In addition, according to research, food wastage has been reduced slightly over the years – but not significantly. 

All in all, there is still a lot to be achieved in these areas and we have solutions to significantly improve future reductions in food waste!


The World Has Decided to Do Something About it. Have You Started?

GOAL 12: “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns includes amongst its objectives to global food waste at the retailer and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.”

In the first place, Link Retail expects an increasing demand for waste-saving technologies within the European Union. This is based on the plans presented by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in September 2020 and ratified in Brussels in December to cut at least 55% in the climate emissions by 2030 and to be climate neutral by 2050.

As a result of these targets, the EU governments must step up their efforts to reduce all wastage, including whatever can be done in the retail grocery sector. 

Most importantly, this certainly includes the reduction of food wastage in major product categories like bread, fruit, and vegetables.

What Are You Doing to Reduce Food Wastage?

First of all, visit 4 stores in any given grocery chain – or your own chain in the last opening hour and see how much wastage they have!

To sum up the process:

  • Most grocery chains hardly sell any bread or pastry products in the last hour they are open. What’s left in the last hour is mainly means wastage.
  • Therefore, we pick 4 stores and visit each of them in the last opening hour for this purpose. Afterwards, we take photos of all fresh bread and pastry on the shelves – and count the number of bread and pastry that’s left.

As a result of this process, we can now calculate the average wastage of these 4 stores and also have the photo documentation if anybody wants any proofs. 

In conclusion, this gives you an indication of the wastage of bread in this grocery chain. 


Want to know more about our Food Waste Management?

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