Lofty Box: From surplus stock to sustainable subscriptions

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Lofty Box talks fighting food waste and supporting small businesses / Pic: GettyImages-jovanmandic
Lofty Box talks fighting food waste and supporting small businesses / Pic: GettyImages-jovanmandic

Related tags: Food waste

Lofty Box has a mission to reduce food wastage. The UK subscription-based brand takes surplus stock that typically goes to waste or ends its life in landfill and creates boxes for conscious consumers.

Collaborating with ethical food and wellness brands, Lofty Box entered the waste reduction space in 2020. With sustainability and supporting small businesses at its core, the brand pursued its conscious idea to create premium product-filled boxes that combine living sustainably and saving stock.

The reality of food waste

The UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018, the most recent research from the charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) reports. Of this amount, Claudia Meller, Co-founder of Lofty Box, revealed: “70% of this was from households so there is clearly a huge problem around education in shopping, cooking and knowing when food really needs to be thrown away.”

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 aims to halve per capita global food waste at both the retail and consumer levels as well as lower food losses throughout production and supply chains by 2030.

“Lots of food banks are closed due to COVID so surplus food has nowhere to go except straight to landfill,”​ revealed Meller. “High levels of greenhouse gases, such as methane gas and CO2, which contribute greatly to the process of global warming, are generated by the rotting rubbish in the ground,”​ she noted.

Making a sustainable change

“At Lofty Box, we can't bear these facts and so, part of our sustainability strategy is to utilise food that is past its best before date but still perfectly safe and delicious,”​ stressed the food waste entrepreneur.

“Our subscription box contains a mix of short and past-dated food products which have no use elsewhere,”​ added Meller.

Providing an insight into what the physical food retail space expects from brands and how Lofty Box is answering these demands, Meller shared: “Supermarkets demand long shelf lives so we are creating an alternative space for products like this to be enjoyed.”

Providing education on best before dates

By including food products that may well end up as rubbish for various reasons, such as people throwing away food due to their best before dates, Lofty Box is contributing towards reducing waste; a cause the brand’s co-founders Meller and Emily Joyce are very passionate about.

In designing and creating its boxes, Lofty Box tries strives to include premium products with short best before dates, where possible, to help eradicate the issue of food waste. The brand also hopes to provide information and education on food safety too.

Lofty Box chooses to accept short and past-dated stock from its brand partners. Detailing why the co-founders have made this decision, Meller shared: “We will do anything we can to encourage consumers to waste less food, which is often due to a misunderstanding of Best Before and Use By dates (past Best Before dates being totally safe!).”

Along with reducing wastage and helping to create a sustainable food industry, Lofty Box is also dedicated to supporting other small businesses.

“The other reason we work with short-dated stock is to help small businesses manage their inventory and therefore save money,”​ said Meller.

“Minimum production quantities are often very large for start-ups and it is difficult to sell through in a short time—we take what supermarkets won’t,” stressed Meller.

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