Online retailer Approved Food has taken on a large supply of airline snack boxes following a cancelled order that left thousands of products heading for the bin.

The order of approximately 7,000 Mediterranean snack boxes was taken on by Approved Food after being cancelled by an airline due to seasonal demands and menu changes, leaving the suppliers with a large, unusable order that was set to be wasted.

According to the International Air Transport Association, airline cabin waste alone is responsible for 5.2 million tonnes of waste each year, most of which went to landfill or incineration. And it’s a figure set to double over the next 15 years.

Andy Needham, MD at Approved Food, said: “Even though the products are nearing or past their ‘best before’ date this does not mean that they aren’t perfectly safe to eat. They are no longer suitable for the airline but there is nothing wrong with the products themselves.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve taken on a large supply of ‘problem products’ from airline suppliers and it won’t be the last. Demand can change due to seasons, flight destinations, and many other factors. It can then be challenging for airline suppliers to find a sustainable solution for any excess stock or cancelled orders.

“That’s where we come in. Just because the orders are cancelled, it doesn’t mean that the products themselves are in any way damaged, inedible or otherwise unsuitable for consumption.”

Approved Food Brand Ambassador, Jonathan Straight, added: “It is a tricky situation, airlines are under high pressure to deliver a certain in-flight experience and this can lead to last minute menu changes or amended orders. We do, however, need to consider the impact this has on suppliers. Most of the time these products are branded and prepared with a particular airline in mind, making it difficult for the products to be repurposed by the original supplier.

“Best before dates also play a huge part in this. Switching menu’s each season means that, due to the best before dates of the products, it is highly unlikely that any remaining stock will last until the season comes back around, meaning that the majority of cancelled orders then become a waste issue for suppliers.”

In this instance, the snack boxes are being sold intact but for previous products Approved Food has minimised waste further by splitting the boxes up due to varying ‘best before’ dates.  This enables Approved Food to provide incredible discounts to savvy shoppers and ensure that none of the products are wasted.