Toss or Keep? How Labels Can Fight Food Waste

You’ve seen all the different date labels on the packaged and perishable foods you buy: “sell by,” “best if used by,” “expires on” – it can be hard to make sense of the different types and exactly what they mean! If you love food (and the environment), then you may be hesitant to toss something in the garbage without being totally sure it’s the right move.

The Kroger Co. gets it! That’s why all new labels on Our Brands products will be simplified to take all the guesswork out of freshness. We believe that less food waste is better for everyone, and especially your budget. It’s just another way we give back to your family and community with the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan. 

Reading the New Labels

How simple are the new Our Brands product labels? We’ve boiled it down to two of the most important things: food quality and food safety.

Best If Used By:

Many products easily last longer on a cupboard shelf or in the fridge. Packaged foods are a good example, and most of them have staying power! Over time, they may lose a bit of flavor or performance, but they’re okay to consume. The “Best If Used By” label makes it all easy to understand. Simply put, it means the product is best and freshest before the date, but still safe to eat afterward.

Use By:

Other foods, such as fresh meat, milk and deli salads, have a limited shelf life. Not only do they lose freshness more quickly, but over time they can become unsafe to eat, which is why an easy-to-understand expiration is crucial. The “Use By” label makes it simple. On or before the date, foods are safe to eat and can be consumed or used in recipes. After the date, these foods should be discarded. 

Thanks to these two simple, no-nonsense labels, Our Brands is helping you make food waste in your home (and across the country) a thing of the past!