Stora Coop, Visby

Fasten your seatbelts, because this store doesn't mess around

Advanced date checking
Deli and food safety compliance
Sustainability screen

There is no doubt that Stora Coop Visby are frontrunners when it comes to sustainability. Their methods to reduce food waste goes far beyond most of their competitors. They've won many awards and have prestigious titles to their name to prove it. The store is located on Gotland, Sweden's biggest island and has roughly around 100 employees.

In 2017 they initiated a long-term sustainability project at Stora Coop, Visby. A new store manager took the wheel with a lot of energy and a passion for sustainability and innovation. Markus Wahlgren met Whywaste founders, Martin and Kristoffer at a seminar in Visby. He realised right away what game changer our solutions would be for his store. The relationship went from casual to serious real quick after that.


Focus areas

Before working with Whywaste, Stora Coop Visby’s date checking routine was manual. It was time consuming and, frankly,  a boring task to do. It also made it difficult for them to reach their financial and sustainable related goals. It was clear the store needed a new way of working.

Too much time spent checking dates
Hard to identify items at risk in an early stage
Procurement made on gut feeling

The solution

Tailored to fit daily work routines

They use our solutions in their daily routines and it helps the staff to catch products at risk of expiring in an early stage. In the advanced date checking app they'll get a digital copy of the store layout. It makes it super compatible with how they work on a daily basis. The date checking follows a natural route so that staff don't have to go back and forth to find the products. If the shelves are re-arranged, the layout is easy to change. If a product is at risk of not selling before the expiry date, the staff gets a new marked down price tag. It gets printed via the discount label printer connected to our solutions.

Items with short expiration dates are located and marked down or repurposed directly. This means the staff no longer have to keep track of soon to expire items. The systems handle this automatically.

– Markus Wahlgren Store manager, Stora Coop Visby

Plays well with others

There are a variety of solutions out there to manage expired products. The thing with Whywaste’s tools is that it helps the store to prevent food waste at an earlier stage. Stora Coop Visby also partners with a surplus food collection solution. They work well together with ours, since the biggest impact of each service emerges at different stages in the food waste chain.

Our tools give valuable data on how much food waste one specific item has caused, at different times. That makes it possible to customise the assortment and purchase volumes according to data instead of a gut feeling. By using accurate data like this the store is able to take preventive action to reduce food waste.

The Whywaste team were on-hand during launch and installation. We made sure the staff were up to speed with the new routines, but once the system was up and running, they didn't need much help. The solutions are developed to be intuitive and user-friendly. This allows new, as well as more experienced, staff to quickly learn and use them efficiently. 

In addition to using our solutions the store continues to turn new stones to reach their zero waste goal. Markus Wahlgren’s best tips on how to succeed is to be open to new things. Don’t be a naysayer! Be bold, if it fails, at least you’ve learned something. Their fish counter is an embodiment of that statement, since it's also a record shop. Obviously. And it’s not your average record shop either. At Coop Records, Books & Things you’ll find a well curated selection of acid folk to weird shoegaze. Who wouldn’t want a good tune with their tuna! 

Take notes from their best food waste ideas

  • Imperfect fruit and vegetables sell at a reduced price.
  • Leftover bananas get picked up and used by a local ice cream maker.
  • Every Monday, the leftover fish is up for auction before the new delivery comes in.
  • Baguettes turn into garlic bread, and other white bread gets a new life as breadcrumbs.
  • Products like baby formula, oats and such get to be reborn as liquor at a local distillery. The liquor, ”Spill” is a perfect example on how to upcycle products into something even more valuable than before. It is also something Whywaste really enjoyed at the latest after work!


The last piece of the puzzle - The green box

The green box is a machine that takes the remaining food waste and turns it into fertiliser.  They both sell it as well as use it for their rooftop garden. Mouldy oranges, overripe apples or chicken that has expired all go in the green box. 

Reduction in food waste
*From 2018 to 2021

We will then have reached zero waste – and will ultimately be the first grocery store in the world to do so.

– Markus Wahlgren Store manager, Stora Coop Visby

So, that's how they do it. It’s not magic. 
Don’t tell anyone, but magicians don’t do magic. They're just awesome at what they do.

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