Unused Valentine’s Chocolate Recycled Through Japan’s Food Waste Reduction Service
Although they sell very well around Valentine’s Day and White Day, chocolates are obviously tasted all year round. It seems like new chocolate candies are popping up almost every day in Japan, from the simplest ones you can buy at convenience stores to high-end chocolates sold in specialty stores.
However, with so much chocolate being made and distributed in stores, sometimes the ingredients are not used and the finished products do not always end up in the hands of customers.
In Japan, where 6.12 million tonnes of food is wasted each year, more attention has been paid to food waste in recent years, and the chocolate industry is no exception.
Sustainable “Re: You” chocolate
“Re: You” is Japan’s first chocolate product to tackle the food waste problem of chocolate, allowing consumers to engage in social contribution simply by eating it.
A two-pronged approach to reducing food loss
The chocolate market in Japan is estimated at 550 billion yen per year. Some of the ingredients imported to Japan to meet the demands of pastry chefs and manufacturers remain unused even though they are still within their expiration dates.
To solve this problem, Loss Zero, a venture capital firm focused on reducing food waste, attempted to create the first distribution channel in Japan for unused chocolate ingredients.
Photo: Zero loss
In the graph above, Loss Zero explains the “5 happy” cycle. Starting from the top left and clockwise, the remaining raw materials are used to make Re: You (happy producers) chocolate, which is then distributed and enjoyed (happy consumers). Part of the profits is donated to food kitchens for needy children (happy children). In addition, the reduction in food waste made possible by this initiative contributes to the environment (Happy Earth).
Loss Zero focuses on “reducing food waste and preventing food waste” by converting unused raw materials into products and delivering them directly to consumers.
In addition, by efficiently recovering the food waste generated, they manage to adopt a two-pronged approach: preventing food loss before it happens and sharing it when it does occur.
Chocolates made with the best ingredients
Loss Zero’s “Re: You” chocolates contain both ruby and dark chocolate and come in two types, both costing JPY 3,000: a set of two chocolates sprinkled with nuts and dried fruit (buy in line), or a set of four plain chocolate bars (buy in line).
Photo: Zero loss
The ruby and dark varieties are both made by Barry Callebaut, a company located in the heart of Belgium, the homeland of chocolate.
The company’s chocolates are popular for their well-balanced dark cocoa flavor, made from the finest ingredients.
As for ruby chocolate, it is said to be the “fourth type of chocolate” after dark, milk and white chocolate, and its popularity has grown steadily in recent years.
Their dark chocolate comes from the island of São Tomé in Africa. It is a cocoa-rich couverture with a cocoa content of 70%.
Event at Sogo Yokohama
Between March 24 and 29, Beautiful Smile Inc, which operates the Loss Zero business, and Sogo & Seibu Co Ltd, which operates the Yokohama Sogo department store, will collaborate on a food sharing project at an event on the SDG theme.
Customers who visit during the event will be able to purchase “Re: You” chocolates, as well as products made from unsold Valentine’s Day, White Day and other occasion chocolates and sweets, food items that were therefore intended for the trash cans. pandemic but has been recovered and reused, along with other recycled food.
Seven to eight university students from schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area who are very interested in the issue of food waste participate in online study sessions to prepare for the event, during which they will volunteer their time by providing information. consumers on food waste. In the process, they will gain valuable experience and at the same time hone their customer relationship skills.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (timetable)
Location: Sogo Yokohama store, B2F food section
Address: 2 Chome-18-1 Takashima, Nishi Ward, Yokohama
Access: 2-minute walk from the east exit of JR Yokohama Station
Source: Public relations time
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