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Approved Food Review [Updated For 2020]

In the UK, we throw away a staggering 7 million tons of food and drink from our households every single year.

That’s an average of £470 per household, per year wasted on food. According to UK Love Food, Hate Waste 50% of this food could have been consumed.

Research has found that the number one reason for food being thrown out is due to a lack of understanding of food label packaging.

That’s the difference between a label saying ‘Best Before’ and another saying ‘Use By’.

How Approved Food Started

After starting out as market traders, Dan Cluderay and his wife Nicola moved into wholesale and a number of retail outlets that supplied both the public and trade. In the spring of 2009, they launched Approved Food.

Dan, the owner of Approved Food went on the popular TV show Dragon’s Den in May 2014 looking for a £150,000 cash injection in return for a 10% share in the Approved Food Business – unfortunately, they didn’t secure that.

They did, however, manage to arrange a total of £400,000 in investments after the show from private investors.

Those investments quickly paid off, and Approved Food now serves it’s thrifty customers like you and I all whilst turning over approximately £4 million per year.

How Approved Food Works

Supermarket’s don’t want to sell food which is close to or past it’s best before date. Instead, they’ll sell it off to wholesale retailers such as Approved Food at huge discounts.

This helps the supermarkets to ‘dispose’ of their food whilst also meeting their food waste management quota.

With Approved Food being able to purchase food at huge discounts, they can then sell the products forward to their own customers online. Offering customers a savings of up to 70% compared to RRP.

Approved Food has a quantity limit on some products. This has been done to prevent market traders and wholesalers taking advantage of the discounts and allows the savings to be passed directly onto the consumer.

What Can You Buy?

The products you are able to purchase from Approved Food includes; chocolate, cereal, spices, cakes, crisps, drinks etc…

These items will either be;

  • Food that is past its best before date
  • Food that is close to its best before date
  • Overstocked foods that are completely in date
  • In date foods in slightly older packaging after a rebrand
  • Catering packs and cases of food
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Non-food items: toiletries, cleaning products etc

Depending on when you shop you might also find some “seasonal” items at a very low price. These include valentines day chocolates, Christmas baking materials etc…

Unfortunately, I don’t feel that you can do a ‘regular’ weekly shop from Approved Food based on the items they sell. You’re going to want to stick to Wombling for that.

However, you can very easily stock up on other consumables. This, in turn, should really help you to reduce the number of items you have to buy, and therefore money you need to spend at the supermarket.

What I Bought

I spent £28.58 including postage (£5.99) on my order photographed below.

Approve Food had the RRP value of these same items at more than £60, that’s a 50% saving – although I’m pretty sure it’s a slight over-exaggeration so I’ve decided to break down the order to see where the best savings were made.

Item Breakdown

I’ve compared each of the items bought to the cheapest price it’s currently available on the high-street (or the brand level equivalent) using the comparison shopping website MySupermarket to see how much we’ve really saved shopping with Approved Food.

Item Name Quantity Price Paid Cheapest Available Total Saving
Diet Coke Can Caffeine Free 3 £0.99 £1.12 £0.13
Smarties Tube 3 £0.99 £1.20 £0.21
Approved Food Lucky Box 1 £1.00
KP Dry Roasted Peanuts 150g 1 £0.89 £1.00 £0.11
Fentimans Rose Lemonade 275ml 2 £1.50 £2.50 £1.00
Fever Tree Premium Soda Water 200ml 2 £1.00
Green and Blacks Velvet Edition Dark Chocolate Assorted Collection 120g 1 £0.99 £3.29 £2.30
Sharwoods 2 Plain Naans 260g 2 £1.00 £2.00 £1.00
Homepride Pasta Bake Tomato and Herb 485g 4 £3.00 £6.00 £3.00
Skips Prawn Cocktail 6 x 13.1g 1 £1.00 £1.00 £0.00
Wrigleys Extra Peppermint Sugarfree Chewing Gum 4 £1.00 £2.00 £1.00
Lusiteca Gorila Go One Mint Flavour Chewing Gum 2.5g 20 £1.00
Magnum Chocolate Almond 31g 3 £0.99
Barney Jacks Natual Jelly Beans 150g 2 £1.00
Mammoth Kitchen Towel 4 Rolls 1 £1.49
Difatti Gluten Free Pumpkin and Quinoa Gnocchi 250g 2 £1.50 £1.40 -£0.10
Despicable Me Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar 90g 1 £0.99 £1.50 £0.49
Whiskas Cat Snacks Gingerbread Bags 50g 1 £0.99 £1.00 £0.01
£22.59 £29.49 £6.90

Where a comparable price has been unavailable I’ve used the same price as the price paid. As a result, you can see we saved £6.90, however, £5.99 of that was spent on delivery which means the true saving is less than £1.00

Of course, if you’re going to be really picky, this is based on shopping at multiple shops and the time and cost of doing so would once again outweigh the savings.

Delivery

I placed my order on the 5th of November and it took just two days for the parcel to arrive.

The order was packaged in a specially designed box which prevented any damaged items – especially important when you’re purchasing liquids, especially in glass bottles.

The delivery driver who dropped off our parcel and told us how many Approved Food packages he’s dropping off in the area with one particular customer ordering on average every six weeks – so it’s clearly not just me who’s impressed.

Is It Worth It?

In conclusion, I am super happy with my order. I made a conscious decision to really only purchase items I would use, and purchase from the supermarket anyway. However, I just bought them in bulk.

As many of you long-time readers know, I’m a huge fan of cutting food waste. Approved Food is doing just that by reducing the amount of food going to landfill. Offering it to consumers at a discount price instead. What’s not to love?

My final word of advice would be to compare prices on MySupermarket. While Approved Food offers some amazing discounts, supermarkets can occasion beat them.

2 Replies to “Approved Food Review [Updated For 2020]”

  1. I really like what Approved food are doing and have ordered twice from them. They are making money while saving stuff going into landfill sites, which is awesome!

    As you have found, I actually struggled to even get over the minimum order as a lot of it is kinda junk food if we’re honest. I’m not a food snob by any means and enjoy the odd cake or packet of crisps but the bulk you end up buying would be impossible for a healthy human being to eat before it went “properly” off!

    However if you keep an eye out for things you want over a few weeks then its all good! I like getting jars of stuff like olives and what not, it lasts for ages and normally isn’t quite as junky as a lot of the other stuff. (not to mention very tasty!)

    Other people with large families and who maybe like a bit more snacking than you and I would be all over this site I reckon though 🙂

    1. Hey TFS, I totally agree. The awesome thing here is that Approve Foods are actually saving retailers the cost of sending things to landfill, and are passing those savings onto the bottom of the food chain (us!) they could quite easily be the middle man and just redistribute stock to stores in bulk but instead they do the opposite and enforce a restriction on how much of one thing you can buy.

      I totally agree about the junk, hence why we ended up going for items such as beer, toilet roll and kitchen roll… We knew we wouldn’t waste that stuff. Unfortunately there’s a limit on the type of foods which can be eaten after the best before which what I believe leads to this. We’re lucky enough to be trying a range of these shopping / cooking online services in the New Year (i.e. Gusto, Hello Fresh etc…) so if foods your thing keep an eye out! 🙂

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