Dominique Persoone bakes Shopcakes in the fight against food loss

Today, Dominique Persoone handed out his latest creation to the visitors of the Colruyt Lowest Prices store in Bruges-Sint-Pieters: Shopcakes. Small but very filling cakes that he specially designed for shopping without a feeling of hunger. A clever recipe with ingredients we often throw away (bread, bananas, nuts, chocolate, ...). In this way Dominique, together with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and OVAM, wants to make people aware of the enormous amount of food we waste - and often still can save.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Prevention is better than waste

63 % of the Flemish people indicate that they do not like to throw away food. And yet, every Flemish family throws away an average of 88 kg of food and drinks every year (as residual waste, animal feed, VGF or home compost). For the whole of Flanders this means approximately 240,000 tonnes of food on an annual basis.

22% of the Flemish people indicate that they buy more than foreseen when shopping. This is unfortunate, because it increases the chance that we end up throwing that food away. For example, the Flemish say that they have to throw away 20% of the bread (and pastries) they buy because they actually bought too much.

For many Flemings this is very recognizable. When you go shopping when you're hungry, you see delicious things everywhere and you come home with too much food. And when you know that almost half of the food we throw away is not waste, but simply too much, that's a shame.

That is exactly the reason why Dominique Persoone developed his Shopcakes: "For a chef, throwing away food is a real sin. It was thus with great pleasure that I developed the perfect recipe for these Shopcakes. We started looking for specific ingredients. Not only for the taste, but especially for a good saturation. With these Shopcakes you are guaranteed to walk into the store without any feeling of hunger! We also worked with ingredients we often throw away at home. Chocolate for example. Many people throw it away because it turns a little white. But that is not necessary. The chocolate is still perfectly usable and just as tasty! ’

30% less food loss by 2025

In the spring, the Flemish Government approved the new action plan on food loss and biomass waste flows. This plan outlines the policy and concrete actions for the next five years to avoid food loss and to use food residues in a circular way.

The entire chain from producer to consumer wants to prevent 30% of food losses, re-process them as food or valorise them. To achieve the plan's objective, action is needed throughout the entire food chain.

With this initiative, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and OVAM connect the consumer and retailer in the fight against food loss. The launch of the Shopcakes does not take place at Colruyt by chance. Just like other retailers, Colruyt wants to waste as little food as possible. And shoppers who buy too much only to have to throw it away at home, Colruyt is happy to help raise awareness.

Guy Elewaut, marketing director at Colruyt Lowest Prices, emphasizes the importance of this event: "As a retailer we do everything we can to avoid food loss ourselves. With our efficient stock management, we ensure that more than 97% of our fresh and frozen products are actually sold. And what is not sold, we donate as much as possible to social organisations such as the Food Banks. But of course we also want our customers to throw away as little food as possible at home as well. With Shopcakes, Dominique Persoone makes this very tangible for consumers. They help them to enter the shop without being hungry and with a little more awareness, but moreover they discover a simple recipe to make a delicious cake with their own surplus. We also support our customers in limiting food loss, they can make a handy shopping list via the MyColruyt app and we take into account in our recipes that we use up as much product as possible. ’

And now ... bake!

Nothing of the Shopcakes which Dominique distributed today in Bruges went to waste. No surpluses there. If you still want to taste Shopcakes, you will have to do it yourself. Via you will discover the recipe and the video in which Dominique guides you step by step through the recipe. Empty your cupboards, bake your Shopcake and shop without hunger from now on!

Fighting food loss: because it works together!

You can download images via this link.

More information

Colruyt Group Press Office
​0473 92 45 10 (NL) - 0473 82 27 15 (FR)

Colruyt Group: working step by step on less food waste

For this action Dominique was a guest at Colruyt Lowest Prices in Bruges-Sint-Pieters. Colruyt supports the action, provided the ingredients and is also happy to share Dominique's recipe and story with its customers. But we also like to highlight the actions that Colruyt Group itself takes to avoid food loss.

Colruyt Lowest Prices is part of the Colruyt Group, which also includes formulas such as CRU, Bio-Planet, OKay and Spar Colruyt Group. The whole organisation attaches great importance to combating food waste and therefore supports such initiatives that can further increase the awareness of customers - also at home.

Besides inspiring customers with recipes such as "cooking with leftovers" and collaborations with organisations like EnVie, Colruyt Group likes to contribute to the system of circular economy in which residual materials are used to make new products: innovative ways to convert unsold food into new food products are being researched. At CRU, for example, mushrooms are grown on leftover bread.

Investments are also made in research projects for new packaging. Less food is lost thanks to innovative storage technologies and packaging that extends the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. The Boni chicory stays fresh up to twice as long thanks to a new breathable packaging with micro perforations, and the avocados stay fresh up to twice as long thanks to an innovative protective layer. In this way we work step by step on less food waste - in the store itself and at customers' homes.

What does Colruyt Group do itself?

  • We sell more than 97% (97.33% to be exact) of our fresh and frozen products effectively. We do this thanks to efficient stock management, good monitoring and optimal storage. So there is not much food loss from our stores.
  • The 2.7% of food that we do not sell is donated to social organisations (such as the Food Banks) as much as possible. In 2020 the whole Colruyt Group donated 4,504 tonnes of food surpluses to good causes. These products come directly from our Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay and Bio-Planet stores and from our distribution centres.
  • We remove unsold food products from the shelves 4 days before the expiry date, primarily to guarantee our customers sufficient freshness. These are fruits and vegetables, but also milk, yoghurt, cold cuts, prepared meals, fresh meat, fresh fish, etc. We prefer to donate these products (as far as possible) to social organisations. The buffer of 4 days until the expiry date gives them enough time to distribute everything.
  • Products which we cannot donate to social organisations, we try to process in animal feed and for biochemistry. Burning and fermenting is only the very last step.
  • In addition, we also have projects running to reduce food loss at customers' premises or we deal with food loss preventively by working together with producers: ​ ​ ​ ​

What is Colruyt doing to help customers waste less food themselves?

  • You will always find a weekly menu in our brochure and in the My Colruyt app. Using the app, you can immediately add the ingredients for that recipe to your shopping list. That way you always have enough and don't buy too much.
  • We are strongly committed to the shopping list that you can make via the My Colruyt app. Working with a shopping list ensures that you buy what you actually need and do not buy too much.
  • If you have any leftovers, you can use our large recipe database of over 10,000 recipes to search for recipes you can make with leftovers. Just type in the ingredient and you'll get lots of options.
  • The Colruyt culinary team, which writes all the recipes for our brochure and website, strives to use as many complete products or packages as possible in the recipes, for example: a complete cauliflower in the recipe or a complete pot of yoghurt. If that is not possible, they tell you what you can do with what you have left over, e.g. make a dip or use it in a salad.