Ogilvy: SuperMax’s Reusables

collage of food items on colourful background

Ogilvy: SuperMax’s Reusables

Turning ‘use by’ dates into ‘use for’ the environment

Nearly one-third of all food that’s sold in grocery stores ends up in the trash when it reaches its ‘use by’ date, creating a massive food waste problem for the environment. These dates create a sense of urgency among consumers to consume the food, regardless of whether the food is still safe to eat.

Additionally, some consumers may mistakenly believe that the use by date is a hard expiration date, when really it is only an estimate of peak quality and freshness. Even food that has expired may have a second life. Much of it has alternative uses.

SuperMax, the biggest online grocery store in Puerto Rico, decided to help create behavioural change among consumers to reduce reliance on use by dates as the sole indicator of safe food consumption.

Ogilvy took on the task of changing the negative perceptions of use by dates. It wanted to create a more positive outcome for the environment and generate conversations about the reusability of products to reduce waste.

Ogilvy and SuperMax created an education programme called Reusables to showcase the alternative uses of products sold in supermarkets. It did so by using an augmented reality filter both on Instagram and on the reusables.ai website. When consumers point their smartphone camera at the labels of participating products, the filter instantly transforms them into new ones displaying the products’ alternative uses once they officially expire, thereby preventing them from ending up in landfill.