Ocado to list use-by dates It follows Which? probe of online vs store dates

21 August 2008

Carrots and parsnips

Organic food must meet certain legal requirements

Online grocer Ocado is to list the use-by dates of all food on its website in a bid to attract customers concerned that home deliveries are less fresh than food bought in the supermarket.

The website will display the number of days until the use-by date of each food and drink product, the retailer said.

A survey carried out by Which? in November revealed that groceries bought through online retailers were on average more than a day less fresh than those purchased in stores.

Fresh

Ocado said it hoped the move would appeal to the hundreds of thousands of customers who do not shop online out of concern that their groceries will not be as fresh as the supermarket shelf equivalent.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: 'Ocado customers will have the ability to see product life information just as in a store, reassuring them about the freshness of the food and drink that will be delivered to their homes.

'A further benefit is that Ocado customers will find that meal planning becomes much easier. They will know, at the point of ordering, exactly what they can use at various points throughout the week.'

Best before

The retailer trialled a new-look receipt earlier this year which lists all fresh food - from single ingredients to chilled ready meals - by best-before date.

Mr Steiner said: 'Our receipt will double up as a meal planning tool which means customers can see what needs eating on a given day without rummaging through the fridge.

'We hope that this will further support our ongoing efforts to reduce food waste.'

Ocado will roll out the new information to customers over the next month.