East of England Co-op and Waitrose among the winners at IGD Awards

Employee-owned Waitrose won the Retailer of the Year Award and East of England Co-op took home the Sustainable Futures Award

Co-operative retailers were represented at this year’s Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) Awards.

Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, won the Retailer of the Year Award, a category in which the Co-op Group was one of the finalists.

The award is based on a survey of 20,000 British grocery shoppers, who share their opinion about which retailer is best meeting their needs.

The Waitrose team pick up their award (Photograph: IGD)

East of England Co-op won the Sustainable Futures Award for its campaign to reduce food waste. With its Co-op Guide to Dating initiative, the society is cutting waste by becoming the first major retailer to sell products past their Best Before date for just 10p.

The Co-op Group was shortlisted for this award for its work on Project Closed Loop, designed to replace unrecyclable packaging with sustainable alternatives.

Midcounties Co-operative was a finalist in the Shopper Insight category, for use of customer insights to create an innovative business solution.

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at East of England, said: “To say we are proud to have won this award, and to have received such recognition from our industry, would be an understatement.

“Co-op Guide to Dating is a simple premise that is already making a hugely positive contribution towards reducing food waste and ensuring perfectly edible food stays in our food chain for longer.

“Customers are perfectly willing to try these products, with reduced items flying of the shelves within hours. As retailers it is our responsibility to ensure we provide customers with the opportunity to make choices that support a more sustainable future for all.”

Nick Downing, commercial director at IGD, said: “Since 1991 the IGD Awards have celebrated the achievements of over 540 winners across the food and grocery industry. Every year the entries somehow manage to top the last with this year being no exception, raising the bar even higher. Yet again we received a very large number of entries from companies of all sizes, demonstrating the innovative, high-quality work taking place across our industry.

“Our industry continues to face some challenging times, yet never fails to impress with inventive ways to keep surprising and delighting shoppers with fresh ideas and great service. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists.”

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