Innovation That Matters

Supermarket for poor families offers surplus branded goods at cut prices


Community Shop is a supermarket that sells discounted branded products that don't meet high street chain standards only to families receiving government welfare.

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There are many items that are produced, but don’t make it onto the shelves of supermarkets due to superficial damage, not meeting aesthetic standards or falling past their sell by dates. We’ve already seen The Daily Table restaurant create cheap meals from expired, but still edible food, and now the UK has introduced its first Community Shop, a supermarket that sells discounted branded products that don’t meet high street chain standards to families receiving government welfare.

Created by Company Shop, the project is supported by brands such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Tetley, which provide the stock for the store. The products are fit for sale, but fall short of the high standards expected by customers paying full price. Typically they would end up in landfill, or processed and turned into animal food and fuel, but instead, the items are being sent to the Community Shop in South Yorkshire. Receiving a discount of up to 70 percent, the items are only available to the 500 members of the store, who must prove they are receiving government benefits in order to shop there. The scheme aims to reduce the waste produced by high street supermarkets while also tackling food poverty. The video below from the BBC explains more about the concept:

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Company Shop aims to test the sustainability of the idea with its first store before opening up to 20 branches across the country over the next 12 months. Are there other ways to put supermarket excess to good use?



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