Starbucks Launches 50% “Last Hour” Discount To Reduce Food Waste

During the last hour of trading in more than 350 company-operated Starbucks stores across Britain, any food nearing expiry that would otherwise be thrown out will be sold at a 50% discount.

The entire sale of each item will in turn be donated to Action Against Hunger, a leading humanitarian organisation, to help fund its projects helping malnourished children worldwide.

The expansion of this new programme comes after a successful trial in 16 Starbucks stores in Manchester earlier this year. Feedback from customers and partners (employees) was overwhelmingly positive, and over an 11-week period, £1,500 was donated to Action Against Hunger from food sales.

Starbucks store managers carefully manage their food product orders online, allocating precise items per store, which helps to reduce waste. However, on the occasions when fresh items would be thrown away, store managers will now be able to display labels offering a half price discount for an hour before closing, with 100% of that sale’s proceeds donated to Action Against Hunger.

“Off the back of the success of our Manchester trial, we’re pleased to roll out this programme to the rest of our company owned British stores, and will be working with our franchise partners to see where else this programme could work as well.”

This innovative programme overcomes the legal and regulatory barriers around the safe transportation of fresh food items with a short remaining shelf-life, particularly for Starbucks stores, which typically see a comparatively lower volume of food waste than other restaurant retailers.

Simon Redfern, head of communications, Starbucks Europe: “Tackling a challenge like food waste is not an easy one, but we’re proud to have developed a programme which will deliver for the long term.

“Off the back of the success of our Manchester trial, we’re pleased to roll out this programme to the rest of our company owned British stores, and will be working with our franchise partners to see where else this programme could work as well.

“Action Against Hunger is a respected international charity, and we’re looking forward to working with them on this initiative to support projects alleviating the impact of food poverty.”

Matt White, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Action Against Hunger, said: “Action Against Hunger applaud the Starbucks initiative to tackle food waste. Our global food systems face tough challenges and addressing food waste is one of the most effective ways to support change. Right now there are 16 million children in the world suffering from the severest form of malnutrition.

“Every year between one and two million children die because they don’t have access to the right nutrition and healthy environment to grow up strong. By working together with Starbucks and their customers we aim to reduce food waste whilst raising money to save children’s lives where food security is threatened most – from Yemen and Iraq, to the countries currently at risk of famine, including South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.”


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