Last Wednesday, companies in the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), including Kellogg, Wal-Mart, Tesco, and Nestle, announced that they will pioneer the simplified date label system proposed by the GMA and FMI earlier this year.

The new system will do away with arbitrary expiration labels including “Sell by,” “Best before,” and “Use by.” Instead, only two date labels will be used: “Best if Used By” for non-perishable items and “Use By” for perishable items.

Streamlining the expiration labeling system is an effort to reduce consumer confusion that contributes to food waste. Pitching food based on confusing expiration labels costs Americans a pretty penny: about $29 billion dollars annually according to CGF.

Since 71% of consumers base their purchase decisions on expiration dates, hopefully grocery stores and other companies will catch on to the trend.

The early adopters in CGF are expected to have the labeling system fully implemented by 2020. If labeling remains consistent, the changes are expected to help companies halve food waste by 2025.

Simplified expiration labeling is another update to the food industry adding to the burgeoning trend of helping consumers know more about what they’re eating. Between new nutrition labels, Blockchain, and this streamlined expiration labeling system, the food industry is making exciting turns toward consumer-centric operations.


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