Sainsbury's changes 44 household staple items in stores across the UK

Sainsbury's stores milk

Sainsbury's will update milk packaging

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 08/09/2023

- 09:18

Updated: 11/10/2023

- 15:39

Sainsbury's will update milk packaging in UK stores

Sainsbury's has announced it will introduce further changes to its own brand milk cartons.

It will swap use by dates for best before dates in a bid to stop pints being poured away before they spoil.

Milk is the third most wasted food in the UK, according to research, and is often thrown away only because it is past its use by date.

The new Sainsbury's change aims to cut back on waste and give shoppers more time to use the milk.

Milk in shops

It recently changed the caps on milk cartons


The update will be rolled out on 44 milk items in total in England, Scotland in Wales.

This includes all fresh and organic milk and will apply to more than 730 million pints of Sainsbury's milk each year.

Shoppers will start to see the change in the new year with all updates to be made by February 2024.

Use by dates and best before dates come with different instructions, according to the Food Standards Agency.

Food and drink should not be consumed past its use by date as it could be unsafe.

Produce can be consumed past its best before date, however, and shoppers should use their own judgement to see if the produce has gone bad.

Director of behaviour change & business programmes at WRAP Catherine David said: “Applying a ‘best before’ date to milk rather than a ‘use by’ date means that people can use their judgement to eat beyond that date, allowing longer to use what they buy.

"Check out the Love Food Hate Waste for tips on how to maximise the life span of food – for example ensuring the fridge is below 5°C, to keep food fresher for longer.”

Milk cereal

Use by dates will be switched for best before dates


Director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Sainsbury’s Ruth Cranston added: “Around a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted.

"Combatting food waste is one of our top priorities and we are continuously innovating to tackle this issue, all the way from farms and suppliers, right to our customers’ homes.

"By switching to best-before dates on our milk we are empowering customers to make their own decisions on whether their food is good to eat, helping to prevent them from disposing of food too early.”

In the last few weeks, Sainsbury's completed its rollout of new milk caps.

It removed coloured caps from its own brand milk and replaced these with clear caps. This makes them easier to recycle.

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