A company which specialises in selling food past its best-before date has seen a 10-fold rise in sales as shoppers hunt for bargains in the economic crisis.
Approved Food, an online retailer, has witnessed such a large increase in trade that it has to shut down its website for two days a month to clear order backlogs.
The Sheffield-based firm’s founder, Dan Cluderay, said: “We have seen a significant rise in interest, probably due to the credit crunch and our low prices.”
Approved Food sells 750g jars of Nutella chocolate and hazlenut spread with a best-before date of January 4 for £1. The same product in Tesco sells for £2.55.
Bargain hunters can also pick up 400g tubes of Marmite Big Squeeze, best before February, for £2, while Tesco charges £2.47 for a jar half that size.
Mr Cluderay said the rise in sales was most pronounced since last September’s banking crisis.
While products past their best-before date might be past their prime, they are still safe to eat, the Food Standards Agency said.
A spokesman said: “Best before is an indication of quality rather than safety. Eating food past the best-before date does not necessarily put someone at risk from food poisoning.”
Mr Cluderay, who trained as a computer programmer, started his retail career with a cash and carry business before launching his online venture.
He buys his stock at knocked down prices from wholesalers, suppliers, and supermarkets, looking to get rid of food nearing the end of its shelf life.
By Murray Wardrop
Last Updated: 10:07AM GMT 10 Jan 2009
Source: The Telegraph